Many people assume that bail and a bond are the same thing. While they are similar, there is a difference. Bail is the amount of money that the court sets, based on the arrest charge, that is required to be paid in order to begin the jail release process. A bond is part of the financial agreement between a bail bond agency and the court. There are several other differences between bail, and a bond, such as:
Bail is the amount of money a court or judge orders for a person to be released from jail until their court date. This amount is based on the bail schedule that is set by the higher courts. The bail schedule is a document that lists arrest charges and the amount of money required for a jail release.
In some cases, the judge may increase or decrease this amount based on how trustworthy the judge believes the accused to be, and the arrest charge. More serious and repeat crimes often have increased bail amounts. In some instances, a judge may think that a crime is too serious or that the person is likely to flee if they are released from jail so a very high bail amount will be ordered. Usually, the arrested person will stay in jail until the trial date.
A bond is a transactions that results in the receipt of money between a bail bondsman and the court or jail. A bondsman delivers the bail money (bond) to the court or jail with the agreement that the bailed individual will show up to court.
The reason a bond is used, rather than money paid directly to the court or jail, usually has to do with bail amount. Bondsmen charge a percentage of the bail amount rather than the entire amount. This saves the arrestee and family members money. The remaining balance typically needs to be put up as collateral to ensure they appear before the court. It is recommended that upon arrest, a person should contact friends and family to start the jail release process with a licensed bail agency.