After a judge sets a bond and a defendant has to figure out how they want to pay for it, the defendant tends to have two main options. Either they can pay for the bond in its entirety and eventually the cost would be refunded after the case concluded or they hire a bail bondsman to negotiate release but for a non-refundable fee. While if a person has significant financial resources to pay upfront, it can be of benefit, the fact of the matter is most people would probably do better to go with a bail bondsman and get a surety bond. Here is why this route is can be helpful.
Going with a surety bond only requires a percentage down.
Bonds are expensive by design and can range from a few hundred all the way into the millions depending on the severity of the crime and other factors. For most, coming up with this type of money immediately may not even be a possibility but this is why surety bonds exist. When you work with a bail bonds agency they only require a fraction down and if the defendant shows to all their hearings without fail, then that should be all they will have to pay in terms of the bond. This fraction can vary state-to-state but it is typically around 10%. This tends to be a much more accessible amount that allows for someone to get out of jail when otherwise they might have had to stay in jail due to cost.
You have more flexibility with your money
Some people may have the money for a cash bond but it becomes a situation where it will essentially wipe them out of their savings or max out their credit cards to do so. While they will eventually get most of their money back, it can take several months for hearings to go through and even months afterward before the money is returned. If having all your resources tied up and inaccessible is going to cause financial and mental hardship, then is it probably just a better option to go with a surety bond.
You have control over what the courts charge and take out
One major thing that many who go with cash bonds may not know is that before the cash bond is refunded, all fines and fees are taken out of this amount. This can be particularly frustrating if you were depending on a certain amount being returned. In addition to this, it gives the courts the upper hand when it comes to challenging costs or errors in where they overcharge because the money has already been deducted. When going with a surety bond, the court fees will be separate so that you can properly go line-by-line and see what is being charged without the money being automatically taken.
To sum up, there is no denying that a cash bond can be a great option for someone who has no financial worries, but for the vast majority, surety bonds will offer more flexibility and fewer financial constraints while still getting you or your loved one out of jail.