In case you or someone you know has been accused of a crime and are in police custody, you may need to post a bail bond to secure your release from jail. However, not all bail bonds are the same. Here is a look into the difference between cash bail bonds and surety bonds and what you should know before you post bail.
Cash Bail Bonds
When a court sets the bail amount, you or someone on your behalf can post the entire bail amount as cash bail. This means that you or the person posting on your behalf should hand over the full amount of the bail cost to the court. The court will hold onto the cash until the end of the trial, and if you show up for all court dates, you or the person posting the bail will get the full sum back.
Surety bonds, on the other hand, work differently. In this case, you will be required to work with a bail bond agent, who will charge you a certain percentage of the total bail amount as a premium for their services. The bail bond agent will then put up a surety bond for the entire bail amount to the court. If you miss your court hearing or flee, the court will call on the bail agent to pay the full amount of the bond. You or the person who posted the bond will be responsible for the full amount plus any fees that the surety agent incurred.
Cost of Cash Bail Bonds vs. Surety Bonds
Cash bail bonds usually need the full amount of bail as collateral, which may be difficult to come up with. On the other hand, surety Bond premiums can be more affordable, depending on the bail bond agent. Essentially, you’ll pay a fee to a bail bond agent for agreeing to pay the full amount of the bond if you refuse to comply with the court proceedings.
Qualifications for Cash Bail Bonds vs. Surety Bonds
You don't need to qualify for cash bail as long as you have the entire bail amount. On the other hand, when it comes to surety bonds, a bail bond agent will assess your credit score, employment status, and collateral to know if they're willing to post bail on your behalf.
How to Choose between Cash Bail Bonds and Surety Bonds
If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime and cannot afford to pay cash bail, a surety bond may be the best option. Also, if you have a decent credit score and are willing to pay a premium fee, a surety bond could be more affordable than paying the entire bail amount upfront.
Contact a local bail bonds service provider for more info.