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Bail VS Bond: What’s the Difference

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When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, they have the right to seek release from jail while awaiting their hearing. This is done by a judge using a bail schedule. Judges may raise or reduce, or deny bail according to the perceived “risk” the defendant poses to public safety or if they are a flight risk.

What is Bail? 

The terms “bail” and “bond” are frequently misused.  Most people understand what bail is – the money that the court requires to be paid on behalf of someone who has been arrested in order to secure their release, which ensures the defendant’s appearance in court. 

The amount and conditions of bail is determined by a judge, who (ideally) makes the amount high enough that the arrestee can be trusted to show up at their court hearing (because otherwise, they would forfeit the bail money), but low enough that they are not prevented from exercising this option due to an inability to gather these funds. 

In fact, the 8th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires that bail not be “excessive”.

The Amount of Bail and Condition of Bail is the Judge’s decision

The amount of bail set in any case is entirely at the discretion of the judge, and he or she has great authority in this matter. However, there are two important factors to determine the amount of bail that can be set by the judge:

First, it’s important to note that the purpose of bail is not to punish the accused. Instead, the point is to make sure that the defendant shows up in court after being released on bail. The amount of bail should be set by the judge with this notion in mind. Excessive bail, often said to be “not warranted by the circumstances or the evidence at hand,” may be considered improper and is a violation of the defendant’s constitutional rights. Thus, when determining or “fixing” the amount of bail, the court (judge) will consider the seriousness of the charge, the existing criminal record of the defendant, and the overall likelihood of the defendant appearing for his or her trial or hearing.

Second, if public safety is an issue, the court may take this into consideration. For example, if threats are made against a victim or witness, a deadly weapon has been used or is a flight risk, the judge may set a higher than usual bail amount, and also place additional restrictions such as an ankle monitoring device as a condition of bail. 

What is a Bond?

The term “Bond” refers to the payment of the bail amount.  

Ways to pay a bond:

Bonds or “surety bonds” are a paper bond or contracts between a court and a surety company for payment of bail.  Bonds are issued only by licensed bail bond companies, such as BREAKING BAD BAIL BONDS. Bonds generally cost between 10% and 20% of the total bail. 

The bail may also be paid in cash. In this case, the full bail amount must be paid to the court and will be held until the defendant has appeared at ALL court hearings, The money will be refunded in full once the case is resolved. If the defendant fails to appear the money can be kept by the court. 

There is a form of bond that doesn’t require any money at the time of release, but which allows the arrestee to sign a commitment to attend their required court date. If they fail to show up, they may be subject to significant financial penalties on the basis that they did not follow through on this commitment.

Cash Bail vs Bail Bond

To post cash bail, the individual must post the full amount of the cash bail set by the judge.  To get a Surety bond, otherwise known as a bail bond, the family must only pay a percentage of the bond’s face value.

Here is an example: 

Imagine the judge sets bail at $5,000 cash or bond.  To post cash bail the individual and or family must bring the full $5,000 to court.  To get a bond, the individual and or family has to pay the bond fee of $500 (based on the most common fee of 10%). That’s a total upfront cost of $5,000* for cash bail and $500* for bail bond.  The cost of purchasing the bond (bond premium of 10%) is non-refundable.

 **disclaimer**  this does not include any document fees, jail fees, or processing fees that may be charged by the jail or bond company

Assuming the defendant makes all court appearances the cash bail is refunded and the long term cost would be nothing. This does not account for the defendant failing to appear, in which case the cost is the full $5000.00 when the bail is forfeited to the court. 

Rely on the Licensed Professionals at Breaking Bad Bail Bonds Utah

There is no convenient time of having a loved arrested and needing to get out of jail. We understand that everyone is innocent until proven guilty, therefore, we treat all of our clients with respect.  We genuinely want to do our best to secure their release while awaiting court.  

We are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week and even holidays. Contact our friendly bail bond agents online or give us a call at 888-POST-BAIL today and one of our friendly agents can assist you for any jail in Utah.

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