When someone is arrested, there are a few ways that he or she can be released from custody. You have probably heard of bail and bond before, although there is a difference between the terms. Understanding these differences will help you determine what is needed for your loved one to be released.
What Is Bail?
Bail is the amount of money a defendant must pay in order to be released from jail. When the money is given to the jail, the defendant is said to have been “bailed out.” Should he or she not return for the next court hearing, that money is forfeited and a warrant is issued for the defendant’s arrest.
There can be several conditions of bail, too, such as not leaving the jurisdiction of the court, not drinking, not doing any drugs and more. If a defendant does not abide by these requirements, the the bail could be revoked and he or she would be put back in jail.
What Is Bond?
Bond is money paid by a bonding company to the court. The bond is usually secured with the bondsman, which means that something is given to the bonding company in exchange for the defendant’s release. If the defendant doesn’t appear in court, the property put up with the bondsman becomes the property of the bondsman.
The bond put up is generally done so with an affidavit from a company that backs the bondsman. If the bondsman is unable to get the defendant to return and appear for court, the bondsman, and in some states, bounty hunters, are allowed to pick up the defendant and return him or her to court.
What Is a Signature Bond?
Some courts allow defendants to post a signature bond. This is an agreement between the defendant and court and does not require any money ahead of time. If the defendant doesn’t appear, the defendant will owe the court a specific amount of money. This type of bond is generally reserved for defendants who are not considered a high risk of flight.
Is Bail or Bond Better?
It really depends on your resources. If you can put the money up with the court and know that you will appear, then you won’t be out any money. If you skip court, though, you will not only have the bounty hunters looking for you, but law enforcement as well. Your attorney can provide advice on using bail or bond to get out of jail. This professional advocate can also ask the court for a bail reduction if it is set too high.