When a person finds himself or herself in jail, it could be argued that he or she usually wants to be released as soon as possible. The aim of this article is to describe how the process of being released from jail in the United States works by outlining the differences between bail and bond.
What is bail?
Bail can be thought of as a combination of a payment and a promise. When a person who has been arrested posts bail, he or she is paying the court in order to be released from jail and simultaneously agreeing to show up for his or her court date.
Depending on the severity of the crime and the person’s criminal background, he or she may be able to post bail immediately after being arrested. In other cases, the person will have to remain in jail and wait for what is known as a bail hearing. The time frame for a bail hearing varies.
During the bail hearing, the judge will decide if the person is eligible to post bail. If so, the judge will then determine the cost of bail.
Based on a number of factors, bail may be less than five thousand dollars or more than one million dollars. Bail may also be waived. A person is released on his or her “own recognizance” in these situations.
What is bond?
Bail and bond are somewhat synonymous terms used to describe a financial “penalty” imposed by a judge on a person who has been arrested. When a person makes the payment, he or she is agreeing to appear before the judge to plead his or her case.
The technical differences between bail and bond lie in the forms of payment and the ascribed names. For example, cash bonds are essentially bail. In fact, bond is often referred to as “bail bond.”
As previously stated, a person may be allowed to post bail by making a cash payment to the court. The money is refunded if the defendant appears on his or her court date or dates as ordered by the judge.
What happens when a person does not have cash to post bail?
If a person has not been released on his or her own recognizance or does not have enough money to post bail, he or she will have to use the services of a bail bond company in order to be released from jail.
Other payment options include property bonds and surety bonds.
What are property bonds?
As implied by the name, a property bond is a form of payment in which the defendant uses the title to his or her property or properties instead of cash to post bail. The property value must be enough to cover the cost of bail; and in the event that the defendant fails to show up for his or her trial, the property is forfeited.
What are surety bonds?
Surety bonds are bonds that someone else agrees to pay on the defendant’s behalf, and these services are usually rendered by bail bondsmen.