The terms ‘bail’ and ‘bond’ are often used interchangeably but they actually have two different meanings. When a close friend or family member is arrested, the emotional impact can leave you feeling confused and stressed. It’s important, however, that you understand the process and what happens next.
With this simple guide, you can learn more about the difference between bail and a bond and access the right type of help.
What happens after an arrest?
After being arrested, most people are offered bail. If bail is granted, the person is released from jail, but they are required to attend court on a specific date for a hearing. However, a judge will normally insist that a fee is paid to secure the individual’s bail. This increases the likelihood that they will return to court as they are required to do, rather than absconding.
Bail can be set at any amount, providing it’s not ‘objectively unreasonable’. Bail amounts depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the offense and the person’s previous criminal history. It’s not unusual for bail amounts to be high. In fact, it’s very common for bail amounts to be $5,000 or higher.
Who pays for bail?
Once bail has been set, the defendant has two options. Firstly, they can either pay the amount set themselves or have someone pay it on their behalf. This is known as ‘cash bail’. Although anyone can pay a defendant’s cash bail, it must be paid in full. While the amount is refundable (minus fees) when the defendant attends the court date, the full amount must be paid upfront. Of course, very few people have thousands of dollars available to pay for bail. Due to this, an alternative option is often used.
The second way to pay for bail is to obtain a bail bond. This means paying a small percentage of the bail amount up front. Professional bondsmen stand surety for the defendant and agree to pay the outstanding amount if the defendant doesn’t appear at their upcoming court date. When you take out a bond, you will pay a fee to the bondsmen or bail agent too.
If a defendant can’t make bail and doesn’t obtain a bond, they will be unable to secure their release. This means they will be kept in jail until their court hearing. As there can be long wait times between being arrested and having a court date set, this could mean spending weeks or months in jail.
Getting a bail bond
Following an arrest, most people require a bail bond to secure their release from jail. If you can’t pay your bail amount in full and you don’t want to stay in jail until your hearing, a bail bond is the only way to meet the requirements set by the judge.
At Sanctuary Bail Bonds, we make it easy to manage the bail bonds process. With over 10 years’ experience, we’re available 24/7 so you can access the help you need at any time. To find out more or to obtain a bail bond now, call us on (602) 224-5247.