What's the difference between posting bail and getting a bond?
People who are unfamiliar with the criminal court system may be completely unfamiliar with the legal concepts of bail and bond. However, knowing the definitions of these two terms, and the differences between them, could be vital in terms of understanding how the American legal system operates.
Plus, if you personally encounter a situation in which your relative or close friend requires an immediate release from jail, knowing the concepts of bail and bond can help you take the appropriate actions in order to give your relative or friend under custody temporary liberty.
Bail and Its Advantages
When a person is arrested and jailed, they may be given the opportunity to bail themselves out, and be granted temporary freedom. This chances of a person under custody being given the opportunity to post bail can be dependent on the person’s past criminal behavior, and the seriousness of the crime that was allegedly committed.
Nonetheless, after the court sets the bail amount, that individual has the chance to post bail by paying that amount. If the person does not have the money, they can borrow it from friends or loved ones. When the bail is paid without the help of a bonds service, that person has, in effect, bailed themselves out of jail.
One advantage of posting bail with cash at hand is the ability to receive temporary liberty without having the need to use assets like a house or a car as collateral. However, many people who are arrested lack the funds required for bail, which forces them to consider another alternative if they want to enjoy freedom before their court date.
Bonding Out of Jail and Its Advantages
Because so many individuals have limited funds during their incarcerations, these people are given the chance to enjoy the same freedom as bailed individuals when they opt for a bail bond. A bond is a loan from a bonds company; the bondsman pays the court a certain percentage of the bail amount with the promise that the rest will be paid in full should the defendant flee or fail to make their court date.
In turn, the defendant must often pay a percentage of the bond amount to the bondsman, along with a promissory note putting up some sort of collateral like a house or car to secure the bond. This arrangement allows people get out of jail, even if they do not have the financial resources themselves to pay their bail amount.
It may or may not advantageous to purchase a bail bond since some bond agents are more honest about this matter compared to others. It is therefore advisable to carefully scrutinize your bond agent should you opt to avail of bond instead of bail for your temporary liberty.
Should you get legal advice?
If you or someone close to you has been criminally charged or arrested, it is highly advisable not risk your liberty and the outcome of your case by facing a judge without legal representation. The outcome of any criminal case could certainly have a large bearing on your life.
With this, it would be a good idea to consult with a criminal attorney before your first appearance. A professional attorney can advise you of the best legal recourse, and also refer you to a reputable bond agent.
- Laura Wasser
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