Bail And Bail Bonds: How To Know The Difference

If you've ever received a call from a friend or loved one from jail, you know it can be quite a stressful experience. Adding to the uncertainty is confusion over how to help them get out of jail. Is it bail or is it a bail bond that is needed? To help you understand the differences in these two common terms, read below so that you will know what steps you can take to get your loved one or friend released as soon as possible.

Know What Bail Means

Bail is both a financial payment and an obligation by the defendant. Bail is set by the judge and varies according to factors like the seriousness of the crime and the reputation of the accused. When you pay bail to the court, that money is refunded once the case is completely over — as long as the defendant has obeyed all the bail conditions. In many cases, bail set by the court can be thousands of dollars and few can afford it. That is where bail bonds come into the picture.

Know About Bail Bonds

Bail bonds allow people to get out of jail just like bail does but at a more affordable price. Bail bonds can be had for a percentage of the full cost of the bail. For example, if the bail is set at $10,000 and the bail bonding company charges a 15% premium, the release can be had by paying only $1,500 of the $10,000. The bail premium, however, is not refundable. Here is what else you should know about bail bonds:

Know the location of the accused, their charges, and the bail before you contact a bail bonding company. That information will help them provide you with a quick bail bond quote over the phone. If you don't know all that information, however, don't worry. Contact the bail company and they can find out for you.

Be sure to go local with your bail bonding company. They need to be in the same town or at least the same area since they will be doing business directly with the jail and court. Also, local agents can advise you on bail conditions and more.

Bail conditions exist whether you are using straight bail or a bail bond. The main thing to keep in mind is that the defendant should appear on all court dates and avoid getting arrested again. They may also need to stay in the state for the time being.

Bail bonding agents, depending on how busy they are, can have your friend or loved one out of jail in a matter of hours after the bail bond is purchased. To find out more, speak to a bail bond agency in your town.