What’s the Difference Between Bail Bonds and Bail?
Many people use the terms bail and bail bonds interchangeably. However, these are two different things. If your loved one has been arrested, you may want to know the difference between these two items and what each means. This will help you to better understand the process and what exactly is meant when a judge or lawyer says bail or bail bonds.
What is a Bail Amount?
Following an arrest, most individuals are given a bail amount. You may hear that bail has been set or a bail amount has been granted. This amount is set by either a predetermined schedule, a judge or a magistrate depending on the county where your loved one is arrested. The amount that bail is set at varies based on many factors, including your loved one's past criminal history and the type of crime or crimes they are being charged with. Having a bail amount means that your loved one has the opportunity to post a bail bond and get out of jail.
What Does it Mean to Post Bail?
Once bail has been set for your loved one, you or your loved one have the opportunity to post bail. For example, if your loved one's bail is set at $5,000, you or your loved one can post $5,000 with the jail or the courthouse, depending on the city, and your loved one is released. When the case is concluded, the $5,000 is returned to you, regardless of the outcome, as long as your loved one shows up to court and does not flee.
What is a Bail Bond?
Most people are unable to post bail on their own because bail can cost thousands of dollars. This is where bail bonds come in to play. If your loved one's bail is high and you cannot afford to pay the full amount, a bonding company may be able to help you. Most bonding companies charge 10 to 15 percent of the bail amount to post bail on behalf of your loved one. So if bail was set at $5,000, you would pay $500 to $750 to a bonding company in return for them posting bail. The money is not returned to you under any circumstances, but it is much cheaper to help get your loved one out.
Has your loved one been arrested? Do you need help posting bail? At Free at Last Bail Bonds, we are fully committed to reuniting families. If you or a loved one needs our services, we are here for you 24 hours a day at 404-577-2245.