Can you think about bail bonds like the “get out of jail free” card in Monopoly? Well, not entirely, since bail bonds are not free, but they certainly cost a great deal less than cash bail. The benefits of bail bonds far outweigh those of cash bail. Let us review the pros and cons of both:
- With a cash bail, the defendant may not be released from jail until 100% of the bail is paid and the entire bail must be paid all at once.
- If the defendant honors his or her release terms and conditions, and appears in court when ordered, the bail money is returned. However, there will be a waiting period and there may be deductions for court fees.
- If the defendant misses court, disobeys the judge’s orders, or gets into trouble again, they will be taken back into custody, and likely without another opportunity to bail.
- There is no third party to deal with, yet there is no third party to advise you.
- When a professional bail bonds company gets involved, the bail money is paid to them, not the court.
- The price for a bail bond is only 10% of the full bail amount, known as the premium.
- The 10% is paid off over a period of weeks or months, through a customized payment schedule.
- The defendant is released from jail when the paperwork is processed, not when the full 10% premium is finally paid off. Bail bonds payments will continue to be made even after the defendant leaves jail.
- The defendant will need to appear for all court dates, but the premium will not be refunded. It acts like a service fee/ charge.
- Collateral and/ or a co-signer may be required for the bail bond.
- If the defendant misses court, disobeys the judge’s orders, or gets into trouble again, he or she will be taken back into custody, and likely without another opportunity to bail. In addition, the bail bond company may take the collateral.
- Knowing that loved ones have assets as collateral for them, a defendant out on a bail bond is more likely to show up for court dates.
Which option is more appealing to you? While both equally get the job done, most people find that they can better afford bail bonds rather than cash bail. That is perfectly all right.