Bonds are used for many reasons, most often, to guarantee a defendant appear for their criminal court date. In this case, a defendant who has been arrested has two options to get out of jail while awaiting their scheduled court hearing: they either use a cash bond or a surety bond.
Continue reading to learn the difference between the two, including which one you should choose.
The primary difference between a surety bond and a cash bond are the involved number of parties. However, there are several other differences that are important to know if you have to surrender to an arrest warrant or get a loved one out of jail.
Surety bonds involve three parties: the indemnitor, the client, and the jail. The client may be the actual defendant, whether surrendering to an arrest warrant or bailing themselves out of jail, or it can be a family member or friend of the defendant. The indemnitor (or bail bondsman) is the person or agency providing the surety bond and taking on the liability of the total court-ordered bond amount that gets paid to the jail. The jail accepts the indemnity bond, and allows the defendant to be released from jail under the condition that they appear for court. If they do not appear for court, the indemnitor is liable for paying the remaining amount of money owed on the bond.
Here is an example: a defendant’s bond is set at $5,000 but they hire a bail bondsman to obtain a release from jail. The bail bondsman puts up the money to the jail in exchange for a 10% or 15% nonrefundable fee. If the defendant does not appear for court, the bail bondsman must sacrifice the $5,000 unless they can bring the defendant to the judge’s bench.
Cash bonds involve only two parties: the jail and the client. Again, the client can be the actual defendant or a friend or family member of the defendant. In a cash bond scenario, the defendant pays their set bond amount in cash directly to the jail to get released. So long as they appear for their court hearing, they receive the money back in full; if they do not show up for court, they surrender the money entirely. Not many people have $5,000 or $10,000 in cash laying around, so they cannot afford to use a cash bond. This is why we are lucky to have Indiana bail bondsmen at our service.