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Is bail and bond the same thing?

words in a dictionary

Is bail and bond the same thing? Many people use these two terms interchangeably. However, bail and bond are two different words with two different meanings (even though they’re closely related).

Let’s take a quick look at the difference between bail and bond.

What is the difference between bail and bond?

When people refer to bail, they’re referring to the amount of money they have to pay to be released from jail. When bail is paid, this only releases the defendant from jail until his or her trial. Paying bail does not mean the defendant is released from jail forever.

Bail is refundable and will be returned to the defendant after trial (even if the defendant is found to be guilty). 

However, if the defendant does not show up to trial, the total bail amount is forfeited. 

The bail amount is determined by the judge. They use a variety of factors to come up with this amount, including how serious the current charge is and what their flight risk is.

Bond, on the other hand, is provided by a bail bond company. A bond is basically a promise or assurance to the bond company that you will return to court on your trial date. In exchange for this promise, the bail bond company will pay the full bail amount to the court.

Bonds are not free. Bail bond companies will charge a bail bond fee (usually around 10%), and they typically require a form of collateral on top of this fee. 

Keep in mind, the bail bond fee is not returned.

Related Content:

How much is a $20,000 bail bond?

Filling out bail bond paperwork

If you’ve been hit with a bail set at $20,000, this means that you must pay the court $20,000 to be released from jail. Upon doing so, you can await trial from the comforts of your own home. 

Once the trial process is completely over, then you should expect a full refund from the court. Bail is not an opportunity for the court system to make money. It is seen as a means to guarantee that the defendant returns back to court.

More bail information:

How much is a bond if your bail is set at $20,000?

So, if your bail is set at $20,000, this doesn’t mean that your bond is $20,000.

In California, a bail bond company will charge you a 10% premium that is non-refundable. There might be additional fees to fill out the application, but you can expect to pay around $2,000. After you fill out all the necessary information and make payment plans with the bail bond company, they will pay the full $20,000 to the court on your behalf.

On top of this, you’ll need to consider collateral.

There are a variety of options you can use for collateral, but whatever you use will have to make up for the additional $18,000. If you fail to appear in court, the bail company will use that collateral to make up for the full bail amount (since bail will be forfeited and not returned with a failure to appear in court). This being said, be careful with what you choose as collateral. If your loved one skips their court date, then the bail bondsman has the right to take your collateral. This would be an incredibly painful experience if you used your home or primary vehicle as collateral. 

More bail bond information:

Do you get bail money back if found guilty?

20 dollar bills for bail money

Do you get bail money back if found guilty? This is definitely a frequently asked question around here. 

But whether you’re eventually found guilty or innocent, it’s important to understand what happens to all that bail money. Is bail money returned or not? And what happens if you work with a bail bond agent instead? Do you lose money at that point?

Let’s take it one scenario at a time.

Is bail returned if you pay the court?

Keep Reading: How is bail amount determined by the court?

If you paid bail directly to the court, then you can rest easy knowing that the bail money will be returned in full. However, the case has to be completely over and done with — meaning nothing can be pending. This is good news considered how steep bail is these days — averaging around $50k in California.

Is bail returned if you work with a bail bond company?

Since bail is so expensive, it’s not uncommon for defendants and their loved ones to seek out a bail bond company. A bail bond company will pay the full bail amount to the court on the defendant’s behalf. However, this is not a free service. Bail bond agents will charge you a premium in exchange for posting bail — this is usually a small percentage of the total bail amount. This fee is nonrefundable, even if you are eventually found innocent of all charges. So while the total bail amount is refundable — the bail premium is not refundable when you work with a bail bond company.

Keep Reading: How do bail bond companies work?

Is bail returned if you’re found guilty?

Whether you’re found innocent or guilty of the charges, bail is returned. But again, the case has to be completely over before this can happen. Bail is simply a preventative measure to make sure defendants return to court for trial. It is not an opportunity for the court system to make extra money. Because of this, bail is returned.

Keep Reading: Can you bail someone out of jail with no money?

How to decide how to post bail

If you’re trying to decide how to pay bail, working with a bail bond company is often the better choice. Since the court process can take a while, most people are hesitant to temporarily empty out their savings account to pay bail (even if it is returned at the end of everything). A bail bond company gives you the opportunity to keep your money and get your loved one out of jail while they await trial. The bail premium is usually worth it in the long run. 

If you need help posting bail, we can help. At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we have decades of experience helping people post bail in Bakersfield, Taft, Lamont, and throughout Kern County. Give us a call or send us a message to get help today.

Can you bail someone out of jail with no money?

empty wallet with no money

Can you bail someone out of jail with no money? It’s a reasonable question to ask considering how expensive bail can be (averaging around $50,000). So, what happens if you can’t afford bail?

Unfortunately, if you’ve been asked to post bail, you need at least some money. Yes, there are other types of bonds that don’t require you to pay money to be released (like an OR Bond) — but a cash bond is not one of those, and only certain individuals are approved for OR Bonds.

If you can’t afford the full bail amount, then you can attempt to pay a percentage of the bail. To do this, you have to seek out a bail bond company. In California, bail bond companies normally charge a 10% fee and may request some type of collateral from you to back up the bond. 

This percentage fee is not returned, so don’t expect to get it back.

Once you complete the paperwork with the bail bondsman and pay your percentage fee (which could be a couple thousand dollars or more), then the bail bondsman will pay the full bail amount to court and help get your loved one released from jail. 

If you can’t pay the percentage fee on your own, then it’s important to work with friends and family members to come up with that amount. This is still a better alternative than paying the full bail amount to court or having your loved one wait in jail until their court date (which could be quite a while).

Keep Reading: How do bail bond companies work?

If you need more information about how to post bail or if you’d like to inquire about other payment plans or options, please give us a call at 661-324-6009. At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we have decades of experience providing bail bonds in Bakersfield, Taft, Lamont, and Kern County.

We’re located in downtown Bakersfield, and we’re available for assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Bail Bonds in Bakersfield, CA — Easy Bail, Fast Service

the padre hotel in Bakersfield, CA

Looking for bail bonds in Bakersfield? At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we offer fast and easy bail bond services in Bakersfield, CA and throughout Kern County — including Taft, Lamont, Shafter, and Delano.

With decades of experience, we have the resources and expertise you need to get your loved one out of jail fast. When you work with us, you can expect:

    • A free consultation — give us a call, we’ll let you know exactly what to expect and when
    • A hassle-free process — we’ll come to you, and we’ll make the bail bond process as painless as possible
    • 24-hr service — we’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week… when you call us, we’ll answer
    • Honest and direct communication — we don’t mess around, we’ll tell it to you how it is
    • Quick Release — from the very first minute we speak, we’ll work tirelessly to get your loved one out of jail as fast as we can… leveraging our community resources and decades of experience providing bail bonds in Bakersfield

Contact us today to get help with bail bonds in Bakersfield

VISIT US

Cowboy Bail Bonds

1710 Blanche St

Bakersfield, CA 93304

Lic. # 1841598

CALL US

Phone: 661.324.6009

Toll Free: 855.324.2245

Text: 661.342.6823

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info@cowboybailbonds.com

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How do bail bond companies work?

bail bonds agent writing on a document

If you want to know, “How do bail bond companies work?”, then you might be facing some sort of legal trouble. If this is the case, don’t worry. Working with a bail bond company is typically a very smooth process. In fact, a bail bondsman can even quicken the process and help you avoid potential issues along the way.

Let’s take a few moments to discuss how a bail bond company works and provide you with additional resources to keep learning.

What is bail? 

Bail is set by the court. It is a dollar amount that the defendant pays. Once the bail is paid, then the defendant can await his or her court date from home — rather than waiting in a jail cell. Bail is typically pretty expensive, especially in California (the average amount is around $50,000), and many individuals awaiting trial cannot afford to post bail on their own (which is why they seek out a bail bond company). 

However, bail is not always a guaranteed thing. In some cases, bail can be denied based on factors such as flight risk, seriousness of the alleged crime committed, and degree of danger to the community.

Additional Resources:

How do you post bail with a bail bondsman?

If you cannot afford to post bail on your own, then you can either remain in jail as you await your court date or you can seek out a bail bond company. When you approach a bail bond company, they will need to gather personal information, work history, references, and collateral. If approved, the bail bond company will go to the court and pay the full bail amount on your behalf. Then you or your loved one should be released from jail.

Additional Resources

How does a bail bond company make money? 

When you turn to a bail bond company to help you post bail, you will be required to pay a fee (usually around 10%). While the bond itself is refundable, this fee is not (even if you are eventually found innocent of the crime). After you attend your court date, the bail amount will be refunded to the bail bond company, and the bail bond company will pocket your bail bond fee. This is how bail bond companies make money and are able to offer this service.

Additional Resources

Can a bail bond company arrest you? 

Bail bondsmen are not considered law enforcement to any degree. They simply offer a bail service to the community. However, if you don’t make your court date that means the bail bond company will not get your bail amount refunded. This means they have an incentive to get you back to court. In this type of situation, the bail bond company would hire a bounty hunter. These people are also not police officers, but they do have the authority to legally detain you and take you back to court. 

Additional Resources

What happens if you don’t make your court date?

If you don’t make your court date, then you will have a failure to appear on your record and a warrant will be issued for your arrest. As we mentioned earlier, this will be the point at which the bail bond company will likely reach out to a bounty hunter. If you did happen to post bail on your own, then a failure to appear in court means you forfeit the entire bail amount, and it will not be returned to you.

Additional Resources

Need help posting bail? Contact Cowboy Bail Bonds.

At Cowboy Bail Bonds, we have decades of experience providing bail bonds in Bakersfield, Taft, Wasco, and throughout Kern County, and we’d love to talk to you. Fill out our online form or give us a call today.

Not in Kern County? Here’s how to find a bail bond company near me.

How is the bail amount determined in court?

a woman counting money to pay bail amount

If you or a loved one is sent to jail, then you’ll immediately want to know, “How is the bail amount determined in court?” This is because once bail is set, then you can start the process to get your friend or family member out of jail. The sooner you can get your loved one out of jail, the better.

When it comes to bail, however, there are several factors that will help the judge determine bail amount. These factors can include:

  • The defendant’s criminal history: Is this the individual’s first crime or have they committed multiple crimes in the past? Do they have a failure to appear on their record? (Learn more about a failure to appear in court.)
  • The nature of the crime: How serious is the crime? If they’re released, will they be a danger to anyone in the community?
  • Their intent to flee: Do they pose a significant flight risk? Are the chances high that they’ll leave the city, state, or country if released on bail?

Any of these factors can increase or decrease bail, and in certain cases, you could be fully denied bail. At this point, you’ll be forced to remain in jail until your trial is completed.

Keep in mind… even if you have a clean criminal history and relatively minor charge on the table, you could still end up facing a pretty steep bail amount. In fact, the median bail amount in California is around $50,000 (which is significantly higher than other areas of the country).

You can be released on an “OR bond”, which means you don’t have to post bail and you can still await trial at home. Learn more about Own Recognizance bonds.

Know your bail amount already? Here’s what you need to know.

When it comes time to post bail, the majority of people will seek out help from a bail bondsman — simply based on the fact that bail is usually a lot of money. Take a look at the resources below to learn more about how and when to post bail.

  1. Are bail bonds open on weekends?
  2. How to find a bail bondsman near me
  3. What information does a bail bondsman need?
  4. Different types of bail bond collateral

How much does bail cost?

coins coming out of a jar

If you have a loved one in jail, then your first question (of many) is likely, “How much does bail cost?” While there are a few options once someone has been arrested, odds are you probably want to get your friend or family member out of jail as quickly as possible. So, figuring out how much bail is and how to post it is almost always an immediate concern.

If you don’t go the bail route, then your loved one will be required to remain in jail until the court process has been completed. This can be quite a long time. 

If you decide to post bail, then you have two options — pay the bail outright to the court or work with a bail bond agent. Since bail can be a high amount (especially if it’s not a minor charge), most people can’t afford bail, and they’ll end up reaching out to a local bail bond company.

At this point, you won’t be required to pay the full bail amount to the court. Instead, you’ll pay a bail fee to the bail bond company, and the bail bond company will post the full bail amount on your behalf.

If you’re wondering, “How much does a bail bond cost?” — then you’ll need to only calculate the bail fee amount. The bail fee amount is a percentage of the full bail amount. In California, this usually sits at or around 10%. So, if your bail is set at $10,000, you owe the bail bond company $1,000. 

Keep in mind — while the full bail amount is refundable (if you don’t have a failure to appear in court), the bail fee paid to a bail bond company is non-refundable (even if the charges are dropped in the future). However, certain bail bond companies will do their best to work with you and may be able to provide payment options (or other forms of payment).

In some cases, you will be required to put up collateral, as well. There are many types of collateral, including homes, cars, and jewelry. You’ll want to be very careful choosing your collateral since this can technically become the property of the bail bond company if your loved one fails to appear in court. 

Want to keep learning about the bail bond process?

Take a look at our additional resources, and reach out to us if you have any questions.

How to get out of jail in California quickly

The inside of a dark black and white jail

If you’re wondering how to get out of jail in California (and not in Monopoly), then you’ve come to the right place. Getting out of jail can be a stressful and confusing process, so it’s important to find local experts to help you out. More specifically, you’ll want to find a local bail bond company (and maybe even a lawyer if the charge necessitates it).

How can a bail bond agent help you get out of jail?

When you’re arrested for a crime, odds are you’ll be assigned a bail amount by the court. Bail could be assigned immediately or it could be assigned after seeing a judge (which could take up to 24 hours).  

If you can post bail, then you’ll be free to go home. If you cannot, you’ll have to remain in jail until your next court date. Bail is used as an incentive to get the defendant to return to court, which means that your bail amount will be returned if you don’t skip your court date.

Learn More: What happens if you fail to appear in court?

However, bail can sometimes be out of reach for the average person, which is why bail bond companies exist. A bail bond company can work with you or a close friend or family member, guide you through the bail process, and get you out of jail quickly. Usually, a bail bond company will take over the whole process on behalf of the defendant and their family, which can speed things up and create less confusion.

Keep in mind, working with a bail bond company is not free. You will be required to pay a non-refundable percentage of your bail to the bail bond company. And in some cases, you’ll also be required to put up some form of collateral.

Learn More: What can you use as collateral for a bond?

In some situations, people could be granted an OR release (own recognizance release). This usually only happens if the crime committed is minor, and the person has a relatively clean criminal history. With an OR release, you won’t be required to post bail or remain in jail until your court date — you simply sign some paperwork, and you’re allowed to return home. 

Cowboy Bail Bonds can help you get out of jail in California 

Need help getting out of jail and posting your bail? Give us a call at 661.324.6009 or fill out our online form to get immediate help. We are available 24/7 to help you or your loved ones make bail and get out of jail quickly.

What is an OR bond?

Barbed wire outside of prison

When a loved one is arrested, you might be wondering, “What is an own recognizance release and how do you qualify for one?” 

This is a common question (even if people don’t actually know the term “own recognizance” or “OR”). Because if you’re not asking, “What is an OR bond?”, then you’re likely asking, “Can I be released from custody without posting a cash bond?” These two questions are one and the same.

If you’re required to post a bond, it’s usually not cheap, and it’s this way on purpose. The court needs to give you a bigger incentive to return to court on the appropriate day. If you don’t, your bond will not be returned. If you do, you get all your money back

Even though bail bond companies will post bail on your behalf, you’re still required to pay a percentage of the bond to the bail bond company. And you may even need cosigners who will be responsible for the full amount if you skip your court date. For some people, cosigners and even the bail bond fee are out of reach — which is why an own recognizance release is often requested. 

Who qualifies for an own recognizance release?

  • The court believes you do not require cash bond to return to court
  • The individual has not been charged with an offense punishable by death
  • The individual will not be a threat to public safety

Keep in mind, most people charged with felonies will not be granted an OR.  If it’s your first-offense and you’ve been charged with a low-level offense, it’s a possibility that you could be granted an OR after a background check.

What happens if you don’t get an OR?

If you don’t get an OR and you are required to post a cash bond, then you’ll likely need to reach out to a bail bond company. A bail bond agent can help you through the bail process and get you released from jail quickly. Take a look at some helpful links below to learn more about the bail bond process.