When defendants are released from jail, they may have to post bail as part of the conditions of release ordered by a judge. Oftentimes the words bail and bond are used in connection with these conditions, and more often than not, the words are used interchangeably.
Bail is a dollar amount that the court is requiring for the defendant to be released from jail (pre-trial) as part of the conditions of release. The “Bail” can be paid in one of two ways: Cash or a Bail Bond. When choosing to post a Bail Bond instead of paying cash directly to the jail, a bail bond agency must be contacted, (We suggest using AAA Bail Bonds) The bail bond company will charge a fee, typically 10% of the bail amount, subject to a minimum fee (typically $150). In addition to the fee, the bail bond company may require a cosigner. This third party, the cosigner, will be responsible for any costs that the bail bond company has to pay in the event the defendant fails to appear for any scheduled hearings. The obligation that the cosigner takes on will remain until the case is settled and the defendant is sentenced. This obligation also goes away if the charges are dismissed, if the defendant passes away, or if the defendant is acquitted of the charges.
The other option is to pay the bail in cash. In this event, the bail amount must be paid in the full amount directly to the court, typically at the jail. If the bail is $10,000, then $10,000 in cash must be presented to the jail where the defendant is being held, or to the jail in the county where the charges stem from. There are 2 catches to posting cash bail.
- The money posted for bail, by state statute, becomes the property of the DEFENDANT, not the person paying the money. In other words, if the person is convicted of the charges, or lesser charges by way of a plea agreement, the fines, court costs, and other fees are taken out of the cash bail. The monies that are left over after these costs, by law, are given to the DEFENDANT, not the person who paid the cash bail.
- If the defendant fails to appear, or sometimes if the defendant is even late for court, the cash bail may be forfeited, and a warrant issued for the defendant’s arrest. When this happens, the court captures the cash, and in most cases, a petition must be filed by an attorney to reverse this forfeiture. In our experience, people that post cash bail as opposed to a bail bond, especially in larger amounts, usually end up regretting their decision.
If you need help posting bail, don’t hesitate to contact AAA Bail Bonds. Our bail bondsman are available 24 hours a day and can bail you out of jail any time, day or night.