Bail bonds are used to release a person who has been arrested for a crime from jail.
When a person is arrested for a crime, they are placed in jail until they can have a bail hearing. During their bail hearing, a judge will set a bail amount that can be paid to free the accused from jail during their court date. If the accused cannot pay the bail amount, they must wait in jail. A person accused of a crime who cannot afford the bail amount can also hire a bail agent to post the bond amount for them.
Surety bonds guarantee that an obligation will be fulfilled or that financial compensation will be provided if that obligation is not met. Three parties enter into an agreement when a surety bond is acquired: the principal, the obligee and the surety. The principal obtains the bond to ensure that they will perform a certain obligation to the obligee. If they fail to perform this obligation, the surety will provide compensation to the obligee.
A surety is a person other than the defendant who is posting the bail money. There are four types of bail that can be posted to secure the release of a person who has been charged with a crime. They include cash bail, a bail bond, a property bond and release on their own recognizance (“ROR”).
A bail agent, also referred to in states as a surety bondsman or professional bondsman, is a person who, for financial gain, guarantees a defendant's appearance to the court and promises to pay the full financial amount of bond if the defendant fails to appear or otherwise triggers forfeiture
The main difference between a cash bond and a surety bond is the number of parties involved. Cash bonds only involve two parties, you and the owner. In a surety bond, there is a third party, the surety company. The term surety refers to any party that guarantees the payment of a debt or performance of a contract.