Bail vs Bond

Bail vs Bond – What’s the difference?4 min read

Some words are used interchangeably, as though they are similar. Instances of such words are “Bail vs Bond”; “jail vs prison”, and so on.

Though “Bail” and “Bond” may have similar end effects (release of the defendant), they are very different in usage. They are words related to the register of law and legal functions.

Bail vs Bond

What happens before bail and bond?

About a year ago, I was working in a cyber cafe when a group of uniformed men entered and dragged one of us to a nearby police station.

Questions popped up about the sudden arrest of the young man, and from all investigations, the young man was accused of being involved in cybercrime. After a day or two, his parents showed up, and things were straightened out.

However, from all indications, this young man was innocent but what to do next was the challenge until after a day.

Now, here is the thing, people get arrested for crimes they did not commit; it could be theft, cybercrime, or other crimes. But, knowing what to do first after the arrest is very important.

After being arrested, most people are offered bail. If a person is granted bail, he or she is released from jail but is expected to attend court on a fixed date for a hearing. Most times, the judge insists that a fee is paid to secure the person’s bail.

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This establishes the fact that the accused person will return to court as he or she is required to do.

Bail amounts are dependent on several factors like:

  • The rate of the crime committed i.e. how severe the crime is.
  • The person’s previous criminal history

On covering the basics of what happens following an arrest, let’s look at what bail and bond are and how they’re used in the legal system.

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Bail vs Bond

What is a bail in court?

Bail is defined as “the release of an accused person awaiting trial, sometimes on condition that a sum of money is lodged to guarantee their appearance in court.”

That is to say; the accused person is released from custody before his or her hearing on payment of bail (which is a pledge of property to the court), which may be refunded if the accused person returns to court for his or her trial.

This amount of money (also known as “Bail”) can be paid either by the accused person or someone close to him (relations). To enable a full payback of the money (bail), the accused person has to follow all the rules and regulations set by the court.

It is also worthy to note that not all crimes are bailable by law. Crimes such as murder, kidnapping, related domestic violence are non-bailable crimes, and in most cases, they result in death or imprisonment for life.

So, if a person is arrested for suspicion of a crime for which punishment isn’t death or life imprisonment, such person may apply to the court (Area Magistrate) for release on bail.

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Bail vs Bond

What is a bond in court?

A bond is a written agreement between the convict and the bondsman (the third person) who decides to fulfill the obligations and duties of the convict, as stated by the court of law.

The major difference between bail and bond is the presence of the third person, who is usually the “bonds.”. The bondsman (or middleman or third party) takes full accountability for the verdict for the person under trial.

The bondsman is responsible for any misconduct of the convict during the remand period.

The accused person pays an additional 10% interest on the Bond’s actual value to the bondsman and his security. Bond is non-refundable and should be paid by the bondsman only according to the demands made by the court of law.

What’s the difference between Bail and Bond

By definition:

On bail, the suspect takes full responsibility for his or her actions and misconduct. Whereas, in bond, the bondsman takes complete accountability for any wrongdoing of the suspect.

Payment of fine:

On bail, the suspect or his relations pays the fine. But, in bond, the bondsman pays the fine, as the court demands.

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Nature of money:

The money is refundable on bail. But, it is non-refundable in bonds.

Cost incurred:

In comparison to bonds, bail charges are quite inexpensive. In a bond, there is a payment of additional interest on the bond’s actual value to the bondsman along with his or her security.

However, if a defendant cannot bail himself or does not obtain a bond, he or she is more likely to stay in jail for weeks or months before his or her court hearing.

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Bail vs Bond


Finally, while bail is a monetary value of what should be paid to guarantee the temporary release of the defendant, a bond is a promise (in the form of money), usually agreed upon by the defendant and bondsman (who has been hired by the defendant).

In the end, bail and bond guarantee release depending on the severity of the crime.

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