A bond and a bail are both mechanisms used in the legal system to secure the release of a defendant from custody while they await trial. However, there are some key differences between the two.
A bail is an amount of money that is paid to the court by the defendant or a third party as a guarantee that the defendant will appear at their scheduled court hearings. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail is forfeited and the defendant may be arrested and returned to custody. If the defendant appears as required, the bail is returned at the end of the case, minus any fees or other costs.
A bond, on the other hand, is a type of surety that is often used when a defendant cannot afford to pay the full amount of bail. Instead of paying the bail directly, the defendant or a third party (such as a bail bondsman) pays a fee (typically 10% of the bail amount) to a bail bonds company, who then provides a bond to the court for the full amount of the bail. The bond serves as a guarantee that the defendant will appear in court as required, and if they do not, the bail bonds company may be required to pay the full amount of the bail.
In summary, a bail is a direct payment made to the court as a guarantee of the defendant’s appearance, while a bond is a type of surety that is provided by a third party to guarantee the defendant’s appearance.