From movies and news, you must have gathered an idea about what bail is. As you may know, bail refers to the amount of money a person, arrested under a criminal or civil offense, has to pay to come out of jail. But who pays the bail if the person is already in prison? And what is bail bond, then, a term that is most commonly used in the context of bail during the release process of the inmate? Bail and bail bonds are two separate terms, which serve the same purpose, but they don’t mean the same thing. Here both these terms are explained to help you get their meanings right so that someday if you land in any such legal trouble, you know what you need to do.
Meaning of bail
A crime suspect is referred to as the defendant. He can come out of the jail on bail, which is a sum of money decided by the court. It’s a kind of insurance between the arrested person and the court. The person can pay the specified amount and get free. But many times, the amount is so high that they have to seek outside help, wherein comes the role of bail agent or bail bondsman.
Meaning of bail bond
A bail bond dealer, agent or company makes the bail bond, a kind of insurance or surety bond that helps the inmate to get the release from jail. These insurance contracts can be of two types:
- Civil bail bond: As evident from the name, this kind of surety bond comes in handy in civil cases. The contract contains all the terms and conditions of the total payment to be made, including the debt, interest rates, etc.
- Criminal bail bond: Applicable in case of a criminal case, this bond ensures that the person in question would be present during courtroom trials and all the penalties or fines charged on him will be paid off.
How is bail different from bail bond?
In simple terms, bail is the amount of money that the defendant has to pay for his release. A bail bond, on the other hand, is surety insurance created by a hired bail bond agent for releasing his client or defendant from jail.
Generally, these bonds need you to pay 10% of the total value of your bail amount. Later, the rest of the money is recovered through collaterals. If you don’t have a property, these agents can ask your family or friends to cover the bail.
In many cases, a person has to pay full collateral along with additional cash for the bail bond. But why is this so? The reason why bail bondsman charge all this is that if the defendant does not come to the court at the time of the hearing, the court orders the agent to clear 90% of the bail payment. In such an event, he uses the collateral, such as stocks, house, and jewelry, to make the payment.
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