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Understanding the Difference Between a Bail and a Bail Bond

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When a friend or family member is arrested, the first thing you think about is how to get them out. If they have been granted bail, you will do everything in your power to ensure that you get the money required. However, what do you understand by ‘bail’? Is it different from a bail bond? What is the difference?

It is important to understand these terms so that you are better informed about what is expected of you and also of your loved one in jail.


This is an amount of money that is set by the court that serves as a guarantee between the court and the defendant. The amount can be paid in cash. However, this is not often possible because the defendant may not have that kind of money lying around. Bail money is usually set at a pretty high amount.

As a result, the defendant has to seek assistance from a bail agent or bondsman who posts a bail bond on their behalf.

 Bail Bond

A bail bond is a surety bond that is put up by a surety bond company such as http://bailbonds4u.com/ via a bondsman or a bail agent in order to get an incarcerated person released from jail. The two types of bail bonds are:

  • The criminal bail bond: This one is used in criminal cases and guarantees that a defendant makes all their court trials when required to do so. It also ensures that any fines or penalties that are decided against the defendant are paid.
  • Civil bail bond: This is used in civil cases and guarantees payment of debts including interest and costs that the defendant is required to pay.

In the case of the bail bond, a judge decides on the amount of bail. If the defendant cannot pay, they approach a bail bondsman to put up the amount needed in the form of a bail bond.

The defendant is expected to pay the bondsman at least 10% of the bail amount. The rest of the amount is secured in the form of collateral which the defendant provides. In case the defendant cannot raise the collateral, the bondsman may seek out the relatives and friends of the defendant to assist in getting the bail covered. An additional amount is often paid in addition to the full collateral in order for the bail bond to be released.

What happens once the bond is posted?

This depends on the defendants conduct while out on bond.

  • If the defendant does not appear for their scheduled court trials, the bond is forfeited. The court then demands that the bond be paid in full. The defendant loses their collateral to the bondsman since they will use it to pay the remaining 90%.
  • If the defendant appears for all the court cases, the bail bond will be dissolved upon conclusion of the case and the bondsman releases the defendant’s collateral. The bondsman retains the 10% fee as profit.

Therefore, bail is the money that you are required by the court to pay so that you can be released, but if you cannot raise the amount, you can contact a company such as hhtp://www.bailbonds4u.com which posts a bail bond for you when you provide appropriate collateral.


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