WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BAIL AND BOND?
The terms “bail” and “bond” are often used interchangeably, however, they are in fact quite different.
What Does Bail Actually Mean?
Bail refers to the amount of money the court requires a detainee to pay to secure his/her release from jail. Therefore, if the court sets a bail at $25,000, the detainee actually has to pay $25,000 to the court in order to get out of jail until trial.
If a detainee posted the full amount of his/her bail but failed to show up for court, then the money would be forfeited. On the other hand if the detainee complied with all the terms and conditions of bail, i.e. showed up for all court proceedings/hearings, then the full amount of the $25,000 would be refunded at the conclusion of the case. Most folks would take advantage of the fact that they could get a full refund of their monies at the end of a case if they could. But most folks just don’t have $25,000 at their disposal for such situations. Most people, need assistance posting bail and therefore utilize bonding companies to assist in securing their release from jail. Bond companies (also known as a “Bail Bond”) are businesses that have the financial credit to post monies for individuals and families needing to secure their release and/or the release of loved ones in exchange for their “promise to pay” the full amount of the bond if the detainee fails to comply with the orders of the court, e.g. to appear in court when ordered to do so. In exchange for the post of credit, the detainee (or whomever posts the bond/“promise to pay”) will pay a percentage of the bail to the bail bond company.
For example the bail bond company may secure your release, but charge you $2,500 (10% of bail is pretty standard). There usually are surcharges as well that add to the 10% charge. There is one primary problem with using bonding companies, at the end of the case you do not get your money back. The reason why, that’s the bond company’s profit.
What Happens If A Detainee Fails to Show Up For Trial?
If the detainee gets out of jail and fails to show up for trial or mysteriously goes missing, the bond company will have to pay the full $25,000. Because the bond companies obviously don’t like losing this kind of money, they hire and/or employ bounty hunters to look for and find people. Bounty hunters thrive on their ability to track people down and they are very good at it. The last place you want to find yourself is on the run with a bounty hunter in pursuit – if you get a bail bond, don’t skip town. You will be on the run for the rest of your life.