When it comes to discussing a defendant’s release from jail, the words ‘bail’ and ‘bond’ are often used synonymously. While the meaning of these words is closely related to each other, there is a subtle difference between the two. Both terms result in a temporary release from custody, but the difference lies in the source of the money that will ultimately secure the release of the defendant.
Let’s define the words bail and bond to understand their differences better.
What is bail?
Bail is the security given by a defendant to be temporarily released from jail while their case is pending. This is usually a monetary amount that is determined by the judge. If the defendant, the defendant’s family or friend pays this amount, this means he is bailed out of jail.
This amount will be returned provided the person abides by certain conditions and appears to all court hearings. That being said, bail is a means of security to ensure the defendant returns to court and complies with all the conditions for his or her release. Otherwise, the amount paid will be forfeited.
Not everyone is entitled to post bail, but if you are allowed, the amount you have to pay will depend on several factors.
How is bail determined?
The bail amount is usually determined based on the severity and condition of the case. While judges adhere to standard bail prices for common crimes, they can raise or lower the amount based on the circumstances of an individual case. For instance, the bail amount for non-violent petty misdemeanors is set at $500 but can be changed depending on several factors.
Judges even waive the bail altogether and release a defendant on their own recognizance, which means no bail amount will be paid. Instead, the defendant will only need to sign a written agreement indicating appearance on their court date.
Factors that influence the bail amount
Several factors can affect the amount set for bail. To speed up the process, the criminal justice system in the United States now uses algorithms to set bail. With this, information about the defendant is entered into a program. This program will then make assessments using several factors for a recommendation to come out. Some of these factors include:
- Criminal history
- Flight risk
- Ties to the community
- Chances of the defendant to commit another crime
As soon as the amount is set, you or your family can now go through the bailout process. However, many criminal defendants do not have the means and resources to post bail. This is where bonds come in.
What is a bond?
With a bond, a bail bond company pays the bail amount for you to get out of jail. You will only need to pay a premium or set fee, which is usually 10% of the total bail amount. The bail bond company will also ask you to secure some form of collateral, such as your property or car, to ensure that you will show up in court. Once you have secured bail bonds in Greeley, you are now bonded out.
If you fail to show up to your court hearings, the bail bond company will be held responsible for paying the full amount of bail to the court. Moreover, not only will you lose the collateral you provided, but you will also be taken back to jail.
Types of bond
Four common types of bail bonds in Greeley can help you secure your release.
This is the most common type of bond to get. As mentioned above, you only need to pay 10% of the bail amount to the bondsman and promise to show up in your court hearing. Securing this is also quite easy. You or someone representing you will only need to contact bail bonds Greeley CO, and it will be processed immediately.
In this type of bond, the defendant will have to give full rights of his or her property to be used as collateral. The property, which is usually real estate, will have to be assessed for its value before it can be secured as a property bond.
Federal Bail Bonds
If a federal crime is committed, the defendant can only use federal bail bonds. To obtain this bail bond, both cash and property can be used and is done directly with the court.
Immigration Bail Bond
This type of bail bond is only applicable to defendants who are not citizens nor residents in the United States. Considering the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States, it can be quite challenging to obtain eligibility for this type of bond. Nevertheless, a reliable bail bonds Greeley, CO agency can help you out should you need someone who has extensive knowledge with immigration bail bonds.
Pros and Cons of Cash Bail and Bonds
Pros of Cash bail
- Less paperwork
- No involvement of a third party
- No extra fees
- You win the court’s trust
- Money is returned if you follow all conditions
Cons of cash bail
- You have to pay the entire amount upfront.
- Tax deductions if payment is more than $10000.
- The refund is returned in check.
- No refund if you fail to show up in court.
- The refund will be returned in a long time.
Pros of Bail Bonds
- Pay only 10% of the bail amount.
- You can pay the amount in installments.
- Bail bond companies are open 24/7
- You get expert help from professional bail bond agents.
- Bail agents will provide reminders about your court hearings.
Cons of bail bonds
- The 10% premium is non-refundable.
- Third-party is involved with your case.
- More paperwork.
Bail vs. Bond: Which is better?
The best option depends entirely on your situation. Some people will prefer to pay in cash as it is simpler and requires less paperwork. Nevertheless, it can be risky if you are not familiar with the entire process. On the other hand, bonds require more paperwork and intervention of a bail bond company. However, you have the advantage of having a professional by your side who will make sure you or a loved one will be released from jail as soon as possible.