The terms “bail” and “bond” are often used interchangeably, but they actually are not the same. If you are ever taken into custody, it’s important to understand the difference between bail and bond.
What is Bail?
Defendants who have been taken into custody and charged with a crime will be released from jail if they either post bail or obtain a bond. Bail is a specific amount of money that must be paid in order to secure the defendant’s release. This is not a punishment for being accused of committing a crime, but rather a way for the court to ensure that you will not flee to escape legal consequences. If you fail to appear in court, you will automatically forfeit the bail money.
The amount of bail needed to secure a defendant’s release is set by a judge during a bail hearing. The judge will consider a number of factors when setting bail, including the nature of the crime and the defendant’s criminal record.
What is a Bond?
Many people cannot afford to pay the bail that is set by the judge. However, this does not mean people who cannot afford bail will be left in jail. If bail is unaffordable, defendants have the option of obtaining a bond for their release instead.
Bonds are posted on the defendant’s behalf by a bail bond company. To obtain a bond, the defendant or a loved one must provide collateral, such as a home or vehicle. The person obtaining a bond must also pay a percentage of the bail amount, usually between 10-20%. Then, the bail bond company will sign an agreement that states they will pay the full bail amount if the defendant fails to appear in court. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the defendant will lose the collateral put up to secure the loan and the bail bond company will pay the full bail amount.
To put it simply, both bail and bonds can be used to free a defendant from jail. However, the difference between these two terms is the source of the funds used to secure the defendant’s freedom.
If you have been accused of committing a crime, contact Reisch Law Firm as soon as possible. Our criminal defense attorneys will immediately begin working to secure your release. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 303-291-0555 or filling out this online form.