When someone is arrested and jailed, there is more than one way to obtain freedom. Bail is just one of several different legal acts that can lead to a release. Many people think about bail and bail bonds in interchangeable terms, but they are actually quite different, and it pays to understand what both mean when dealing with a stressful situation like a loved one's arrest. Read on for a quick and simple explanation of the difference between bail and a bail bond.
Bail Is a Financial Commitment and More
If the accused has little to no criminal record and is not considered a threat to the general public, bail may be granted. Usually, the accused finds out about bail and the amount being charged either at the jail, at an arraignment or during a bail hearing. All of these can take place relatively quickly after confinement. Give the jail about 24 hours after an arrest, and then phone them to get the bail information for your loved one.
It should be emphasized that bail is not to be considered a form of punishment in and of itself, but is more of a deposit and a promise. The defendant promises to return to court at all appointed times and dates until the case is over. In addition to paying a certain sum of money, conditions accompany bail agreements. Commonly, the accused must agree to several conditions that might include:
If all conditions of the bail agreement are met, the bail money is returned to the accused after the defendant is either found innocent or is sentenced.
What Is a Bail Bond?
While bail is paid directly to the courts, a bail bond is an agreement with an outside agency. Bail bonding agencies are found in any city that also has a jail, and they work closely with the jail to form an agreement. The agreement means that the bonding agent makes a pledge (known as a surety bond) to the courts that the accused will meet all the conditions of the bail. If the accused fails to comply with bail conditions, the bail bonding agency has the right to take certain actions to locate and bring the accused in.
Benefits of Using a Bail Bonding Agent
If you are trying to get a loved one out of jail, using a bail bonding agent is far less expensive than paying bail to the court. The funds you pay to the agency is a mere percentage of the bail amount. For instance, if the bail is set at $15,000 and the percentage charged by the bonding agency is 15%, you would only have to pay $2,220 of that for your loved one to be released from jail.
To get more information about bail and bail bonds, speak to a bonding agent in your area.Share
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