bail (noun): the temporary release of an accused person awaiting trial, sometimes on condition that a sum of money is lodged to guarantee their appearance in court:
bond (noun): an agreement or promise with legal force, in particular: an insurance policy held by a company, which protects against losses resulting from circumstances such as bankruptcy or misconduct by employees.
What does a bond agent do ?
A person who has been arrested is detained in jail pending indictment or complaint filed in the court of jurisdiction. The person will remain in jail until their case is called on the courts' docket and a disposition has been made. To keep from waiting in jail for their case to be heard, a peson is allowed to post a bond to ensure their appearance in court. This bond is set by a magistrate during arraignment.
The amount of bail set to secure a defendant's release can range from 0$ to millions of dollars, depending on the offense, defendant's criminal history and risk of flight. There are situations where the risk of flight is so great that the defendant is denied bail and must remain in the jail until the disposition of the case.
When a bail amount exceeds the defendant's available resources, a bond agent is used to assist the defendant in securing release from jail.
The bond agent secures the defendant's release from the jail by guaranteeing to pay the full bail amount to the court if the defendant fails to appear at hearings and trials. In exchange for this guarantee, the defendant pays the bond agent a fee (determined by the bail amount, the charges and the defendant) and must follow guidelines detailed in the bond agreement.
A defendant who fails to comply with the bond agreement can have his bond revoked and be placed back in the jail until the disposition of his case, as well as face further charges such as bail jumping.
*above definitions for bail and bond taken from the Oxford Dictionary
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