The term bail bond is derived from the two words bail and bond. The term is used to refer to a written promise which is signed by both the surety and defendant. It’s an insurance that the defendant will appear in court on the scheduled date and time.
Bail is the amount that is set by a court judge during the bail hearing. It’s the amount of amount which acts as an insurance set between the defendant and the court of law.
At times, the bail can be set on the higher side. This might force the defendant to seek the services of a surety bond company.
How does a bail bond work?
A bail bond works in a very simplified manner. A judge usually set the bail amount. In case the defendant is unable to raise the amount in full, they can seek the help of a bail bondsman who pays the bail in the form of a loan.
The defendant is required to pay the bail bondsman 10% of the total bail amount.
What next after the bail has been posted? Two things are bound to happen and they include the following:
1. The defendant might fail to attend the hearing -- In this case, the bail bond is forfeited. The Bail Bondsman will have to pay the remaining 90% of the bail amount.
2. The defendant attends the court hearing -- When the case comes to conclusion, the bail bond gets dissolved. The collateral of the defendant is returned to them. The Bail Bondsman gets to retain 10% of the bail amount as their profit.
Types of Bail Bonds
There are several types of bail bonds but we will only focus on the four most common types of bail bonds.
1. Cash bonds
A cash bond is when the full amount of bail is paid in hard cash. The defendant can receive a refund but the court gets to retain a percentage of the bail as an administrative fee. When the defendant fails to appear for the court hearing, the cash bond is forfeited.
2. Surety bond
This is among the easiest and safest method of securing release from jail. It is also referred to as bail bond. It’s often used when the defendant cannot raise the bail amount in full. A surety bond can also be used when a defendant doesn’t want to risk the forfeiture of the cash bond. They are issued by bondsmen who charge a certain percentage of the total bond amount as a service fee.
Should the defendant fail to appear in court, the bondsman has to pay the full amount of the cash bail.
3. Property bond
A property bond is when the court accepts property from the defendant as a form of a bail bond. This is allowed in some counties and the amount of the property should be valued at twice the amount of the bail.
This type of bond may take significantly longer to process compared to the other types of bail bonds. This is because it requires a number of appraisals to verify the value of the property being presented as bond.
4. Personal bond
This is a type of bond where the defendant is released upon paying a small upfront cost. This is done with the assumption that the defendant will appear in court. It is only granted to defendants who are not considered dangerous to others or who are unlikely to jump bail.