Difference Between Bail and Bond
A person who is accused of committing a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. As a result, they should not usually be denied freedom unless there is a good reason, like a potential flight risk. When a person is arrested, they usually have the right to seek temporary release from custody through the process of “making bail” or “posting bond.” Below we’ll discuss the difference between these two.
What is Bail?
Bail is the amount of money a defendant must pay in order to be released from jail. When this money is given to the jail, the defendant is “bailed out.” If they do not return for their next court hearing, that money is forfeited and a warrant is issued for their arrest. There may be several conditions of bail, too, such as not leaving the jurisdiction of the court or not drinking and doing drugs. If a defendant does not abide by these rules, their bail could be revoked and they would be sent back in jail.
What is Bond?
On the other hand, bond is the amount of money paid by a bonding company to the court. A bond is usually secured with a bondsman, which means that property is given to the bonding company in exchange for the defendant’s release. If the defendant doesn’t appear in court, the property put up by the defendant’s family then belongs to the bondsman and the bonding company. If the bondsman is not able to get the defendant to appear for court, the bondsman or even a bounty hunter, is allowed to pick up the defendant and return them to court.
Certain courts also allow signature bonds, which is an agreement between the defendant and court, and does not require any money ahead of time. If the defendant doesn’t appear, they owe the court a specific amount of money. This type of bond is generally reserved for defendants who are not considered a high flight risk.