You often have heard on the news that someone was released on $20000 bail. But, do you know what it means? Are you aware of what makes a bail different from a bail bond? Anytime a person is arrested for an offense, the police keep them in jail until their hearing date in court. They have to stay in jail until the judge decides to let them go, or until bail is paid for their release.
What Does a Bail Mean?
A bail is basically a fixed amount of money. The purpose of this money is to provide insurance to the court that the person who is being held in jail will arrive for the court trial after the release from jail.
The amount of a bail is usually very high, therefore, most defendants are not in a position to pay the amount of bail. In this case, the defendant seeks the assistance of a bail bondsman. The bondsman posts a bail bond for the defendant, so he or she can get out of jail.
What Does a Bail Bond Mean?
Bail bonds refer to surety bonds. These bonds are provided by a surety bond company in which a bail agent is there to do all the formalities. A bail bondsman that does formalities for the release of the defendant from jail does so on the basis of two forms of bail bonds.
Criminal Bail Bond
This bond is used specifically for criminal cases – as the name suggests. Such bonds ensure the defendant against whom criminal charges have been filed will appear for the court hearing. Also, it guarantees the defendant will pay for all penalties as ruled by the judge.
Civil Bail Bond
If the case is a civil case, then a civil bail bond is provided to assure payments of interests and costs against the defendant party.
How Do Bail Bonds Work?
The amount of bail is fixed by a judge of the court. In case the defendant cannot pay for the bail by themselves. Then they can seek the services of a bail bondsman – who will provide a bail bond.
In order to post a bail bond, the defendant is supposed to pay 10% of the total bail amount to the bondsman. Afterward, the bondsman will get the rest of the bail amount in the shape of collateral. In case the defendant lacks ample collateral, then the bondsman may get in touch with relatives and friends to cover the bail. Below are the two scenarios:
Defendant Failed to Appear in the Court
In this case, the bail bond is forfeited and the judge rules that 90% of the amount for bail must be paid. The bondsman will now go for the collateral of the defendant i.e real estate, jewelry, etc. to pay the remaining bail amount to the court.
The Defendant Does Appear in the Court
When the judge has given a final verdict on the case, the bail bond automatically gets dissolved, and the collateral goes back to the bondsman. In this case, the bail bondsman keeps 10% of the amount and gives the rest to the defendant.