The terms cash bond and surety bond are likely to come up when searching for information about bail. Terms like that can make things confusing for those already stressed out and trying to get a friend released from jail. For an easy explanation of those two terms, read on.
What is a Cash Bond?
When a defendant is offered bail, the money is owed to the court. It's called a cash bond, but collateral may also be used to fulfill the requirements of the court. These bonds are often very expensive. However, once the case is over, the full amount of the cash bond can be refunded to the person paying the bond. In the meantime, the courts keep the money in an escrow account, in most cases.
What is a Surety Bond?
When you utilize a bail bonding agency, you may be dealing with a surety bond situation. Bail bonding agencies are not affiliated with the court system but may be located near the courthouse to make it more convenient for the employees and clients. To be released from jail, the bail bonding agency offers a bond that costs only a small percentage of the full cost of the bail required by the court. The bonding agent pays the full bail cost on behalf of the client who is then released from jail. The low percentage the client pays is often known as a premium.
In some cases, the bail agency uses a go-between to ensure that the bail is paid. Certain types of insurance agencies cover bonds by guaranteeing that the full bail will be paid if the defendant (the client) fails to follow all bail conditions and skips out on the bail.
If the defendant fails to abide by the bail conditions, the court keeps the money used to pay the bond. The bail bonding company loses the money unless they have used a surety company to insure the bail bond cost. In many cases, the bail agency or the surety company has the right to seek out the defendant and even detain them in some states. If the defendant is judged to be a flight risk or the bail is exceedingly expensive, collateral might be required in addition to the bail premium. The collateral, however, is returned to the defendant or client once the case is over.
While this may seem to be a complicated situation, those posting bails don't have to worry about most of the issues mentioned above. Once the bail premium is paid, the defendant is released. Speak to a bail bonds agency to find out more.
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