Understanding the Difference Between Bond and Bail

difference between bond and bail

When a person gets arrested, he or she may spend a significant amount of time in jail before going to trial. It can be extremely difficult for him and his family not to consider his ability to keep working and handling other responsibilities.

Bail and Bond are two different ways of getting out of jail while awaiting trial. Only some understand the difference between the two. Most people consider them and same and mix and match the terms to mean the same thing.

What is Bail?

Bail is the sum a person must pay to get released from jail. The presiding judge determines the bail amount based on the gravity of the crime, his criminal background, and the fact that he is considered a flight risk.

He could work with a bail agent if he cannot pay the entire bail amount. 

A bail bond is a type of surety bond posted on his behalf to guarantee his discharge from jail.

Process of Getting a Bail

Generally, the process starts with a bail hearing in which a court sets a bail amount.

If a person cannot pay the full bail amount, he or she should consult a bail agent. 

If the accused fails to appear for his court date, the bail bondsman will charge him a non-refundable fee (usually 10% of the total), and he will be liable for paying the bail.

If the accused appears in court on all his scheduled dates, the bail will be returned to the person who posted it on his behalf (usually the bail bondsman). 

Who Decides on a Bail?

Only a judge can grant bail and determine how much money must be required to pay for the defendant to be released. The judge changes the defendant’s bail amount based on the gravity of the offense. Their level of income may also play a role.

For example, bail for a defendant charged with high economic fraud is likely significantly higher than bail for someone with a minimal job who stole something from a store.

What is Bond?

A bond is a contractual statement between the individual and the court that he will attend all his court dates. If he does not appear for his court date, his Bond is forfeited, and an arrest warrant is issued.

A bond is the bondsperson’s promise to repay the debt if the accused fails to show up for court. The defendant pays the bondsman 10% interest on the Bond’s face value and the securities.

Types of Bonds

Surety Bonds

Surety bonds are indeed referred to as bonds. It occurs when a third person agrees to take on the defendant’s liability. They should guarantee that their commitments and debts are met and that person is held accountable if they do not.

Property Bond

If the defendant temporarily relinquishes title to their estate, it can provide the requisite assurance that he will appear in court on the agreed-upon date. He could be given a property bond. Failure to adhere to the bond company and court officer’s terms results in the property getting forfeited to the government.

Cash Bond

Bail bonds, cash bonds, and bail are all interchangeable terms. It entails making a cash settlement to the court, and the payment safeguards the individual’s bail and temporary freedom. A cash bond is a term that refers to when someone else, generally a friend or relative, pays the upfront money.

Personal Bond

A personal bond is an affirmation depending on the defendant’s recognizance, that they will appear in court at the agreed-upon time. It is a signed agreement that specifies the terms of the release and the expected outcomes until the court date shows up.

A Glance at the Difference between Bail and Bond

  • Bail refers to the interim discharge of an accused person facing sentencing in exchange for a certain sum deposited with the appropriate authority as security to ensure their appearance in court. Bond, on the other hand, refers to a surety bond, in which the bondsperson agrees to make good the loss if the defendant fails to appear in court when summoned.
  • The defendant or someone acting on his or her behalf, like friends or family, pays the bail. In contrast, the bail bondsman, who is a surety to the agreement, pays the Bond.
  • Bail is granted for a specific amount determined by the court, whereas Bond is granted only if a credible third party accepts responsibility for the accused’s debt and obligations.
  • When all court hearings are completed, the bail sum is handed back to a defendant just at the end of the trial. The amount is received as a fee for the services rendered. On the other hand, Bond is not reimbursed.
  • Bail is less expensive than Bond as it does not include interest.


The primary goal of arresting and detaining the accused is to ensure his appearance in court whenever the accused get summoned for trial. If the accused confesses to the crime and gets sentenced to prison, he must appear in court.

Nevertheless, suppose the person under accusation can appear in court without imprisonment. In that case, it seems unfair to keep him in police custody until proven the crime was committed solely by him. Bail and Bond are two options open to the defendant. So, in short, cash bonds are referred to as bail, and surety bonds are referred to as bonds.


What are Bail Bonds?

A bail bond company can assist them if they cannot pay their bail. A bail bond company is a financial organization that works with the LEAA to provide bail. They provide loans to the accused in exchange for a 10% charge. They then pay the bond amount for the accused’s parole until the hearing.

What Exactly is a Bail Bondsman?

A bondsman is an expert whose name has been authorized by the state to post bail on behalf of accused individuals who chose to submit a deposit rather than pay the entire bail amount beforehand. The bail bond is the company’s assurance that the defendant will comply with the penalty norms, which include attending all scheduled court appearances. In exchange for their services, the bondsman receives a small percentage of the bail amount.

Can a defendant on Bond leave the state or the country?

Before trying, you must obtain specific approval from the bonding office. If the court has specifically instructed you not to leave the state or country, you must obtain permission from both the bail agent and the court before leaving. Else, you will get arrested.

What happens if the defendant gets arrested again while on Bond?

On returning to custody, the Bond can get relinquished, and your responsibility ends. There are a couple of issues here: if you surrender the Bond, you will lose the premium paid, and if you decide to rerelease the defendant on the Bond, you will be required to submit two new bonds and pay a premium on both bonds once more.

How can I reclaim my bail money?

Cash bail should be returned after the case if the accused has appeared in court as required. When the case is finished, the judge could perhaps issue an order returning the bail (“exonerating” the bail)