The pros and cons of cash and surety bonds

When it comes to a bond, most defendants will really only choose between two options, a cash or a surety bond. A cash bond is a self-paid bond directly to the courts while a surety bond is one where the defendant or loved one would hire a bail bondsman to negotiate. While both have drawbacks and benefits, it really comes down to the needs and resources of the individual. Here are some of the main points for each type of bond.

Cash bonds are refundable eventually

Cash bonds are bonds that the defendant will pay the amount a judge sets directly to the courts. The requires all the money upfront but the biggest benefit of this is that the money is something of a placeholder. If the defendant shows up to court as promised, then that money will be returned. However, it can take several months for this money to be returned so it’s important that it is money that won’t place financial burdens in the meantime.  

Your only need a fraction upfront for surety bonds

With surety bonds, you have to work with a bail bondsman but it tends to be the most popular and accessible way to make bond because it only requires about 10% down on the total bail cost. This means if the bond is set at $10,000, you would only need to come up with $1,000 to be released. The catch with this however is that the 10% paid upfront is not refundable because it is considered the service cost for working with a bail bondsman.

You need a bail bondsman for a surety bond

As we talked about, with a surety bond you are hiring a bail bondsman which may be an issue for some just because it is adding an extra party into the defendant’s legal issues. In order to work with a bail bondsman, a person will need to sign a contract that further enforces all bond conditions must be followed and that any traveling or issues will have to be reported to both the courts and the bail bondsman.

You’ll get fees taken out with a cash bond

 One drawback about cash bonds that may surprise some is that while the money will be returned if the defendant shows up to court, it will come back less than they think because the courts will automatically deduct any fines or fees associated with concluding the case from this money. This is something to take into account when counting on that money being returned.

 Overall, in general, most will usually go with a surety bond just because it is difficult to have such a large sum of money tied up for an indeterminate amount of time, but even if one does have the resources, cash bonds still have their issues.  

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