Bail vs Bond – Difference and Comparison

What is Bail?

Whenever you get to appear in court on a criminal matter for the first time, you have to go to an arraignment court.

The arraignment court is where you appear in front of a judge and the normal charges that are read will be mentioned. The reading of those charges can also be waived.

After this, you will enter a plea of “not guilty”. After the plea has been entered, the issue of bail will come up.

Bail is therefore an imposed cash amount to ensure you return to court whenever you are required to. This is based on how sure the court is that you will show up as the court so orders.

Owning a house, having a job, having children in school, being in an apartment for a prolonged period of time, or owning a business are all likely reasons you will get a lower amount of bail imposed on you.

These work in getting your bail lower as they all prove that you have strong ties with the community.

Bail can either be paid by cash or with credit cards.

What is Bond?

Bails are paid in cash or by credit cards, but which way to go when you do not have up to the amount of money with you? That’s where bonds come in.

If cash cannot be brought forth, and you either possess a business or house, or you have secured bonds or other forms of collateral that a bail bondsman will accept, you can go on and buy an insurance bond.

This is a type of bond that will be an indicator you would not commit a misdemeanor or felony after you have been released.

Before you are insured by the bondsman, a check on your history or background to check if you have any warrant activity and other related kinds of stuff too will be done by your bondsman.

Bondsman work for insurance companies, therefore, before they issue a bond for you, you will have to pay them a premium (insurance premium).

This premium is paid once, and it is always a percentage of the overall amount. This particular amount can not be stated, as it varies from one bondsman to another.

This percentage is regularly between a range of 10% – 30% of the actual bail sum.

Following this, you will most likely have to post collateral, which can either be your car, your house, or your business.

Differences Between Bail and Bond

  1. Bails can be paid with cash or credit cards while bonds are issued by insurance companies.
  2. Bails are paid by the defendant’s family members while bonds are paid by insurance companies in the form of insurance bonds.
  3. No collaterals are needed for bail while bonds need collateral to be issued by a bondsman.
  4. When someone takes bail, they either have cash at hand or in the bank, while bonds are validated by your insurance companies.
  5. Premiums are needed to be paid before being issued a bond, while no premiums are needed for bails.

Comparison Table Between Bail and Bond

Parameters of ComparisonBailBond
Method of PaymentBails are paid with cash at hand or in the bank.Bonds are issued by bondsmen who charge varying amounts of money.
Issuance PersonnelBails are paid by defendants’ families.Bonds are given to defendants by insurance companies.
CollateralsBails are just paid without collaterals being required.Collaterals are put in place before insurance companies issue bonds.
Premium PaymentWhen you pay bail, you do not purchase premiums.Bondsmen will stand in for you at court when granted release after you purchase an insurance plan with them.