Talking About Loans and Financing

Know The Difference Between Getting A Bail Bond And Using Cash

If someone you know was arrested, they'll be starting in jail for the duration of their trial. This is why you may be getting that phone call asking if you can help pay for bail so they can get their early release. It can minimize the disruption of their life so they can continue working their job and earning for their family. However, when it comes to posting bail, you essentially have two options to pick from. Here is what you need to know about the differences between the two methods.


When you use cash to pay a bail bond, you typically must provide the full bail amount in cash. This can be hard to do for most people, especially when bail is set very high for a serious crime. Cash can be required to deter someone from getting out of jail, since you likely have some high-value assets that can otherwise be used as collateral.

That bail money will eventually be returned, but only when the trial of the accused person has wrapped up. You can also expect to have fees taken out of your bail money for the court to process it, as well as associated court costs.

Bail Bond

A bail bond can be purchased when you do not have the cash on hand to pay for the full bail amount. Bail bonds often come with a premium that must be paid, which is set by state laws that limit how much can be charged. For example, you may be required to pay 10% to 15% of the total bail amount in exchange for taking what is basically a loan.

Thankfully, you can limit how much you pay in a bail bond premium by partially paying in cash. If you only have half the cash on hand for the bail money, you can pay the bail bondsman what you have and reduce your fees in half.

Bail bonds also require giving collateral worth the amount of the bail money. This helps protect the bondsman in case the person being released from jail violates the terms of the bail.

Picking A Method

One thing to keep in mind is that since bail money is retained until a trial has wrapped, it could be many months until you get that bail money back. Even if you have the cash on hand, you may not want to use it because it would drain you of all your savings. Always consider what you could be doing with that money before you hand it over for bail and if a bail bond will be the better way to go.