For people with limited familiarity with the criminal justice system, or who only know the terms “bail” and “bond” from seeing them in the newspaper, the concepts can come to seem synonymous. Understanding bail bonds in Angleton, TX, isn’t especially complicated, but recognizing the difference between bail and bond is an important first step.
What is bail?
After an arrest, when an accused person appears before a judge, one of the typical conditions of release is bail, or an amount of money that must be paid to the court to secure release. The purpose of bail is to ensure that the accused will show up for court for the duration of the case. In some cases, such as if the accused is a flight risk or the crime was especially heinous, the judge may decide not to set a bail amount.
The bail amount is determined by the seriousness of the crime. In relatively minor cases, the bail amount is typically small, but in the case of a more serious crime, the bail amount can be much higher. Regardless of the bail amount, but especially when it’s high, it’s possible that the defendant won’t have sufficient funds to pay it. This is when bond comes into the picture.
What is bond?
When a defendant or their family is unable to post bail, there is still a way to allow the defendant to leave jail before having to appear in court. This is thanks to the concept of bond. A bondsman can ensure that bail will be paid regardless of whether the defendant winds up appearing in court. Generally, the defendant or their family will pay the bondsman some portion of the value of the bond, typically 10 percent, and offer up property as collateral. Usually a house or car will be used as collateral. While bail payments have to be made with cash, bond payments do not.
Bond serves as an assurance that the defendant will appear in court—it is a legal document signed by both the defendant and a co-signor. In the event that the defendant fails to appear in court, the co-signors will be responsible for covering the amount of the bond as well as any other related fees.
One important difference between bail and bond is that bail money will be returned to whomever paid it at the end of the trial, provided the defendant appeared as required. Bond payments, however, are not refunded.
The distinctions between bail and bond become necessary to understand particularly if you’re unable to afford the cost of paying bail. When this situation arises, it can help to have the guidance of a trusted professional bail bond company. Brazoria County Bail Bonds has served customers for 20 years and has the experience your situation requires. If you have questions about bail bond services or can’t afford to pay bail yourself, contact Brazoria County Bail Bonds. We handle bail bonds in Angleton, TX, and throughout Brazoria County, and are happy to serve you during a difficult situation.