While almost everyone has a basic understanding of what bail is, the two terms “bail” and “bond” are often used interchangeably, and many people have a question about what the difference is between the two. Factually, “bail” and “bond” are quite different and understanding the difference can make navigating the subject easier.
What is Bail?
Bail is the amount of money a court requires to release someone pending their trial. It is set by a judge, usually in a preliminary hearing after an arrest. An individual, his friends, or his family can pay the bail to the court system, at which point they will be released. If the arrestee then attends all court hearings, attends their trial and follows all court orders, this bail will then be “exonerated” – meaning paid back in full.
Bail can, therefore, mean two things:
- The amount of money set by the court to secure your release
- The money itself, paid to the court to secure your release
Bail often comes with additional agreements and requirements, most often including the agreement that the arrestee won’t leave the state or country.
What is a Bond?
In many cases, an arrestee does not have enough cash available to pay the full amount of the bail, especially when that cash may not be returned for weeks or months. In this case, a bond can be used. Bonds are written legal agreements that a third party (such as bail bond agency) will pay the full amount to the court if you do not appear in court or if you violate the terms of your bail.
Bail bond agencies typically charge a 10-15% fee upfront and sometimes require some form of collateral (such as a car, house, jewelry, etc.) as a guarantee that you will show up to court. If you attend all court hearings, your trial, and comply with the terms of your bail, the bond will be “exonerated,” meaning the bail bond company won’t have to pay your bail.
Comparing the Two
The easiest way to compare the differences between the two terms is with an example. Imagine a man named Joe who was arrested for burglary. Because the judge doesn’t think he’s likely to flee the country, he grants bail at $7,500. Here are the two options:
- Bail: Joe, his family, or his friends pay the court $7,500 in cash to secure his release. That full amount will be returned as long attends all court hearings, his trial, and complies with the terms of his bail.
- Bond: Because Joe doesn’t have $7,500 that he can pay upfront, he hired Balboa Bail Bonds to help him. Balboa Bail Bonds charges a low 10% premium of $750 to post a bond with the court and secures his release. As long as Joe shows up and complies with all court proceedings, nothing more needs to be paid at all.
The Benefits of Bail Bonds
When you contract Balboa Bail Bonds to get yourself or a loved one out of jail, there are several key benefits:
- Our agents are efficient and know the process inside out, resulting in a rapid release.
- You won’t have thousands of dollars tied up in the court system for weeks or months
- Our service is with you from the beginning all the way to the end, helping you with any questions or needs
- We offer flexible financing, giving almost anyone the chance to be bailed out
- We offer rebates to active military, veterans, students, senior citizens, union workers, and others
If you or a loved one are stuck in jail and need help, contact us today at (619) 760-2222.