Oftentimes, a person can get into trouble with the legal system. They might have to appear before a judge in a court. Sometimes, when a law is broken, the person has to go to jail with the police before appearing in front of a court judge. In either case, a judge gets to decide whether the person under question can get bailed out or not. If the person is in any way a danger to the society, then it is less likely that they will be granted bail by the judge. On the other hand, if a person’s crime is not considered harmful to the person’s surroundings, they will be granted a bail order instead.

Bail Money Defined

Bail is an amount of money decided by the judge which has to be paid by the convicted person in order to gain their freedom. This amount can only be paid when the judge gives a bail order.

Bail versus Bond Money

Bail or bond money are often used interchangeably. There are several times when a judge might order for a bond order instead of a bail order. In that case, for a person to be free before their trial, they must sign a bond with the court. Instead of paying money, the person can pay with other things like the title of their house, car, or any other valuable thing they own.

Difference between Secure and Unsecure Bond

The difference between the secure and unsecured bond is simple:

  • A secure bond is such a bond in which the defendant pays full money in cash or hands over the ownership of their property in order to secure their freedom.
  • In case of an unsecured bond, the defendant signs a contract with the court with certain conditions. If any of those conditions in the contract are broken, they have to pay a certain amount of money.

Types of Bail or Bond Money

In general, there are four different types of bonds which fall in the category of secure and unsecure bonds. Each has their own distinct feature.

Recognition Bonds

Some prominent personalities are oftentimes granted bail because of their renowned works or their good character which is known by everyone. Even this though may seem like a common type of bond or bail type, it is the rarest one.

Cash Bonds

Cash bonds are commonly known as the “bail” bonds. These are paid in cash to the court.

Property Bonds

These bonds give the title of a person’s property to the court. This means that if a person does not comply with the rules and regulations of the release, the property can be forfeited from the defendant.

Surety Bonds

This kind of bond means that a third party provides surety on behalf of the person. This means that they will be responsible for providing the court with the decided cash amount or property.

Do You Get Your Bond Money Back

Paying the court is expensive. Whether it is for your own bail or for the sake of a loved now. There is a chance that you might not get your money or property back.

Cash Bail

After fully paying the court in cash, there is a chance you might be able to get your money back. If a defendant attends all their court hearings and appears regularly in all of them, the court will give back the whole amount to the defendant. But if the defendant fails to show up in the hearings and does not appear regularly before the judge, that amount will not be returned by the government. Similarly, if the defendant is arrested during the bail period, the cash is not returned to the defendant. If a person pleads guilty, the cash is discharged. The cash is also discharged in the condition that a defendant is not proved guilty.

Surety Bail

If a person employs the services of a bail agent to help in writing a surety bond, the defendant’s cost can be much lower. This is because a premium amount (a percentage of the total) will have to be paid by the defendant and not the full payment. The hired bail agent will be responsible to get the person to the hearings on time and manage the overall situation. This premium amount is non-refundable.

Property Bond

In the scenario that the person gives the title of their property to the court as a bond, the property can be confiscated by the court if the case is lost by the defendant. In the other scenario, if a person wins the case and it is dismissed then they are able to keep their property.

Pay Directly or Hire a Bail Agent?

Keeping the above discussion in mind, the question becomes whether a defendant should pay the bail money directly to the court or hire a bail agent, pay them a certain amount, and use their help to manage the court appearances. It is suggested that a defendant who is unable to arrange the whole amount and pay it to the court, then they should opt for working with a bail agent. This way they can only pay for the premium amount only and do not have to pay the court in whole.

On the other hand, if the person or the person sponsoring the defendant have an amount or property that they can easily give to the court for holding until the case is resolved, without any hindrances in their finances, they should opt for paying the court directly with the amount. Bail agents can also be hired in the scenario if the person needs to come out of jail immediately (within a few hours or a day). This is because through them the money can be arranged in no time.

Do not expect to get your bail or bond amount/property back immediately. On an average, people need to wait for an approximate of 4 to 6 weeks to get their amount back. And in worst case scenarios, the court might not give the order to give your money or property back to you. In such a case, defendants often have to fight the court in another case to get their amount or property back. Bail/bonds is a complicated topic and needs to be analyzed thoroughly in order to grasp the rules and regulations properly.


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