What is the difference between a cash bond and a surety bond?

When dealing with bail, most people will typically come across two types of bonds. Cash bonds and surety bonds. Though there are other types out there, they are more for specific situations or special cases so in this article, we will focus on the two most prevalent. So what exactly is a cash bond and surety bond and what are the differences between them? Read on to find out!

A cash bond is one you pay yourself

When a person goes for a cash bond to be released from jail, it means that they are essentially bailing themselves out with their own money. With a cash bond, the judge will set the bail and the defendant will pay the entire cost of the bond and then once the hearing has concluded, the money is usually refunded within a few months.  However, court costs, fees, and penalties will most likely be deducted from that amount.  If the defendant does not appear in court however, the money put up for bond will be lost.  The biggest downside to the cash bond is that the defendant must come up with the entire amount themselves.

A surety bond is one you get when working with a bail bondsman

When a person gets a surety bond to be released from jail, it means that they have worked with a bail bondsman who puts up the majority of the money.  The defendant will put up 10% of the total amount and the bail bondsman will put up the rest of the money to get them released from jail. The 10% is never refunded in this case, this is essentially the bail bondsman’s fee for the service.  Court costs, fees, and penalties will still have to be paid by the defendant another way.  If  the defendant does not show up to court, the bail bond agent losses the rest of the bond money and the defendant and any co-signers will then be liable for the entire amount lost by the bail bond agent in addition to any warrants

While there are positives and negatives to both, most people do not have enough money on hand to pay a cash bond.  If you or a loved one are ever in need of a surety bond or have any questions about the process, please don’t hesitate to call us.


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