What’s the Difference Between a Cash Bond and a Surety Bond?

What’s the Difference Between a Cash Bond and a Surety Bond?

In a criminal matter involving you or your loved one, a judge might have set bail for your release from jail. When you post bail, you're telling the court that you are paying the money as a guarantee you will show up for your scheduled court appearance. If you fail to appear for any hearing, the court can keep your money.

Several different methods are available for you to make bail, and if you've been searching around for ways to secure release from jail, you may have come across two: cash bond and surety bond. Basically, these two avenues function the same. They serve as a promise that after pre-trial release, you will be at all court hearings until the conclusion of your case. Although cash bond and surety bond are initially the same, there are differences between them.

What's a Cash Bond?

A cash bond is money you or a loved one pays to the court or jail for release. It comes out of your own pocket and must be made in full. The money is then held by the court as collateral until the case is completed.

What's a Surety Bond?

A surety bond is different from a cash bond in that it does not come from your own or a loved one's personal finances. Instead, it's secured by working with a skilled bail bond agent.

When you get a surety bond, you sign a contract with a bail bond company. That company provides the court with a written guarantee, stating they will put up the entire amount of bail should you or your loved one not show up for court.

For the bail bond company's services, you must pay a non-refundable 10% fee. You may also be required to put up collateral, such as property or real estate, which the company may take as reimbursement if you fail to appear for your hearings.

Should I Post Bail with a Cash Bond or Surety Bond?

In some cases, bail amounts can be quite high. For instance, if you're arrested for a misdemeanor or felony offenses stemming from a DUI-related matter, your bail can be set at tens of thousands of dollars. Because an arrest comes at an unexpected time, you might not be prepared financially to pay that amount of money right away.

Even if you do have the funds at the time of the arrest to post a cash bond, there's no telling when you'll get the money back. Criminal trials can last months or even years, and the court will hold on to your money until the case is over.

It's often more practical to post bail with a surety bond. In this case, you'll be required only to put up a small percentage of the bail amount. For instance, if bail is set for $25,000 and the bail bond company takes a 10% fee as required by law, you'll pay $2,500 for release as opposed to the entire amount.

At Andy Callif Bail Bonds, we understand that you may not be familiar with the bail process, which is why we are here to answer your questions and review your options. For help getting out of jail in Columbus, call us at (614) 945-4334 or contact us online today.


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