What Is Bail, and What Is a Bail Bond?

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Bail bonds and bail can easily be mistaken as the same thing, especially to the many of those who do not know the legal process that well. Bail bonds and bail are related, but they are very different.

Bail is the amount of money a defendant will have to owe court in order to be released from jail. A judge will determine the amount of bail per defendant, based on the crime he or she is accused of committing, his or her criminal history, his or her ties in the community, and their financial ability to pay for bail. The full bail amount must be paid in cash, to the court, before the defendant can be freed from jail, and it can be refunded at the end of the process, if everything goes smoothly.

A bail bond is issued by a bail bond company...