Is there a difference between Bail and Bond?

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After arrest for a crime and been taken to jail, the “suspect” appears in front of a judge to decide the terms and conditions of “Bail” order. Bail is always denied if the defendant is deemed a threat to society or a flight risk. This means that the suspect remains in custody and cannot be released trial.

In the case where the perpetrator of a crime is released from jail before the trial, the judge will grant a “Bond” order. The bond can be secured or unsecured. With the secured bond, the person under arrest has to pay a financial amount or secure property to the value of the bond set by the court.

In the case of an unsecured bond, or surety bond, the suspect in the case will have their lawyer or qualified person to sign on their behalf; that the amount of money prescribed by the judge, guaranteed by the signatory, if the defendant breaks the conditions of the bond.

The forfeit paid by the defendant differs according to the severity of the crime committed. The defendant may be released “on his own recognizance”, which means he pays nothing and is told to appear in court to face trial on a certain date. In most bail-bond cases, the defendant is required to pay either cash or bond security on a property, or offer a surety bond where someone else offers to pay the amount to the court.

Cash bonds, referred to as “bail and are made as direct payment to the court. Property bonds give the title deeds to the defendant’s property, which is forfeit in the event of non-compliance with the conditions of the bond. The final surety bond, referred to as “bond” is where a third party agrees to pay the debt obligation of the defendant. In many cases, a bondsman will pay the bond on behalf of the defendant. Traditionally the defendant will pay the bondsman 10% of the value of the bond and put up collateral for the remainder. Courts will only accept Bail as a cash payment.

In legal terms, both Bond and Bail are related, in that they refer to the requirement imposed by the judge or court. The defendant will in both cases put forth a financial penalty as part of their promise to appear at trial as ordered by the court.

Regarding a Refund, the bail money paid by the defendant will be returned at the end of the trial. The caveat is that the court is satisfied that all requirements have been satisfied, whether the court finds the defendant guilty or not guilty. The money is forfeit if the defendant does not appear on the assigned court date. This money can also be awarded to the court to cover fines and fees.

By contrast, money paid to the agent for the bond is determined a portion of the fee, and is never returned.

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