Bail Facts: Cash Bonds Vs. Surety Bonds

When you post bail, does the court get to keep all the money? The fact of the matter is, as long as you appear in all your court hearings, the bail amount you pay will be refunded. However, if you don’t have the entire amount needed to bail yourself or a loved one from jail, you can contract the services of a bondsman or a private bail bonding agency. Whether you are capable of paying the full bail amount in cash or have to work with a bondsman, you need to know the difference between a cash bond and surety bond.

Cash Bond

If you can pay the full amount required for the bond to release a defendant from jail, then you’ll be paying a cash bond that may carry a nonrefundable Sheriff’s fee (usually at $10) if it’s posted after regular office hours. As long as the defendant attends all court hearings and the charges are dismissed or dropped, the person who paid that cash bond will be refunded.

Surety Bond

Generally, surety bonds involve bondsmen or bail agents who are licensed by the State to post bail in behalf of the defendant. Surety bail bonds are a great help for those who can’t afford to pay the entire bail amount. Other than spending for the nonrefundable Sheriff’s fee, however, one will also pay the surety bondsman’s fee. Surety bonds are also beneficial for those who don’t want to take the chance that all or part of their cash will be utilized to pay the defendant’s court fines, restitution, and other fees.


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