Bail Versus Bond: What Is The Difference?

Bail Versus Bond: What Is The Difference? 

You may be wondering what the difference is between bail and bond. When someone is arrested, they may have the chance to get out of jail temporarily by posting bail or getting a bail bond. The judge determines the bail amount and takes many things into consideration including the severity of the crime, criminal record, and flight risk. Navigating the legal system can be complicated and understanding the difference between bail and bond is helpful.

What is Bail?

Bail is the amount of money the defendant can pay to the court in order to get out of jail until a later court date to determine guilt or innocence. Usually, the amount of bail posted correlates to the severity of the charge against the defendant. In some cases, the judge can decide to forego bail completely. After an arrest, a bail hearing will state what the bail amount is. When an individual pays the bail amount in full, this is meant to ensure the defendant will attend all court dates. Paying the amount in full to the court means a bonding company does not become involved.  

What is a Bond?

When an individual is unable to pay the bail amount whether large or small, a bond from a bail bond company can assist the defendant in getting out of jail until the court appearance.  A bond is essentially an agreement between the arrested individual, the bonding company, and the court. A nonrefundable fee of around 10% of the bail amount must be paid to the bondsman in exchange for the services provided. In exchange, the bonding company pays the court the bail amount and assumes responsibility if the defendant does not attend court. Acquiring a bond is typically the more affordable option, especially for higher bail amounts.

Which Option is Better?

Choosing between paying the bail amount individually or acquiring a bond is a case-by-case decision. The most obvious decision for choosing a bond through a bonding company is if the individual cannot afford to pay the full bail amount. If they cannot pay the bail themselves, they will be stuck in jail until the trial is over. Additionally, bondsmen are available 24/7 so if you are unable to access personal funds at a certain time, a bonding company can post bail for you and get you out of jail quicker. Additionally, payment plans can be put in place even if the individual cannot pay the 10% fee.

Final Thoughts

Both bail and bond come with advantages and disadvantages. Knowing the difference between the two is crucial if you or a loved one find themselves in an unfortunate situation. Recognizing that a bonding company can act quickly and get you out of jail fast is crucial. Mercy Bail Bonds is available 24/7 and is dedicated to providing professional and discreet bail bonding services. Call (727) 856-7775 to discuss the bail bond process today. Our team will walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.