Bail Vs. Bond

This article talks about the difference between bail and bond from a United States perspective. Other countries may have different procedures.

When a person is arrested for a crime and booked into jail, he or she has to go before the judge who then decides the terms and conditions of that particular person's bail order. Under certain circumstances, such as if the person is considered a threat to the society, bail is denied, i.e., the person cannot be released before trial and is “remanded” into police custody. In case of a person who can be released from jail, a bond order has to be granted by the judge. There are two types of bonds - secured and unsecured. A secured bond means that you actually pay money or bail property to secure your release. An unsecured bond or surety bond means you sign a document that says you will pay a certain amount of money if the defendant breaks his/her bond conditions.

There are four different types of bonds categorized under secured and unsecured bonds. In some (rare) cases a defendant can be released “on his own recognizance.” The other three are cash, property, and surety bonds ordered in most of the bail-bond cases. Cash bonds, generally referred to as “bail”,are the payment made in cash to the court. Property bonds offer the title to a defendant’s own property, which will be forfeited in the event of non-compliance. And the last, surety bond, generally referred to as “bond”, is the one when a third party agrees to be responsible for the debt or obligation of the defendant. In general, we can say bail and bond are two related terms referring to a requirement imposed by the court that a defendant will put forth a financial backing to their promise to appear in court as ordered.