What is Bail?
Bail is a particular amount of money that acts as insurance between the court and the person who is in jail (the defendant). A bail is an option that defendants have the option of paying in cash, although many cannot do this. This is because bail is often set at a high amount, thus most defendants are financially unable to post bail by themselves. With this, they most times require help from a bail agent, or Bail Bondsman, who posts a bail bond for them.
What is Bail Bond?
A bail bond is a kind of surety bond that is offered by a surety bond company via a bail agent or bail bondsman which secures the release of a defendant from jail. Bail bonds come in two forms:
Criminal Bail Bond:
A criminal bail bond is used in criminal cases and guarantees that a defendant stands for trial when called upon by the court and guarantees payment for any fines or penalties which are decided against the defendant.
Civil Bail Bond:
A civil bail bond is used in civil cases and guarantees the payment of the debt, as well as the interests and costs, assessed against the defendant.
Bail Vs. Bond
The bail and bond word are always used interchangeably when discussing jail release and while they are closely linked to each other, are not the same thing. While bail is the money a defendant has to pay in order to get out of jail, a bond on the other hand is posted on behalf of a defendant usually by a bail bond company, in order to secure his or her release.
Understand that bail is not intended as a punishment in itself. But rather it is a way of securing a defendant’s agreement to promise. To abide by certain conditions and return to court. Thus, bail is collateral left with the court to ensure that. After the release of the defendant from jail. He or she will return for the remaining parts of the criminal case. If it happens that the defendant fails to appear or violates the conditions of the release. He or she may forfeit the amount paid. If the defendant posted a bond. Then the company will forfeit the money, as discussed
After a person has been arrested. A judge or other court officer sets the amount of bail. Along with any other conditions for his or her release from jail. Now the factors to consider which could weigh. Against bail include flight risk and risk to the public of further criminal activity. On the other hand, factors that might be favorable to granting. Bail include a lack of prior criminal history and ties to the community. The possible rulings in a bail hearing include:
Release on Own Recognizance:
Here, the defendant is released from jail in exchange for signing an agreement. That promises to return to court. And abide by other conditions.
In a personal bond, the defendant is released after signing a bond. Which states that he or she will be liable for criminal. And in some cases civil, penalties if he or she fails to appear in court.
Bail Set with Terms of Release:
Here, the defendant may go free by posting bail in the amount set by the court. Either by paying it directly or by obtaining a surety bond via a bail bond company.
Denial of Bail:
The defendant is seen as too much of a flight risk or a risk to the public
How It Works
Typically, bail is most times set in amounts that are beyond the financial capabilities of most people. Bail bond companies are in most states, for-profit businesses that charges a non-refundable fee, which is usually 10 – 20 percent of the bail amount, in order to post bail for a defendant.
The company then signs a contract, which is known as a surety bond, in which it agrees to be liable for the full bail amount if the defendant does not appear in court or otherwise forfeits his or her bail. Now since the company is potentially on the hook for a large sum of money, it may require the defendant checking in or a regular basis, or even consenting to be monitored by the company. Thereafter, the next step for a bail bond company, if the defendant fails to appear in court, might be to retain the services of a bail recovery agent, sometimes known as a bounty hunter.