Common Types of Bonds

A Brief Explanation of the Most Common Types of Bail Bonds

There seems to be a lot of misconception about bail bonds in today’s media.  Many people are unclear exactly how bail works and what options are available.

Surety Bonds

A surety bond is what people typically think of when they imagine posting bail.  When posting the full amount of bail is not feasible, a third-party bail bondsman is hired.  The bail company charges a marginal fee for posting the bail in its entirety.  Bail bondsmen are regulated and licensed by the State.  In California, the Department of Insurance is in charge of licensing and regulation of bail bondsmen.

Cash Bonds

Another common type of bond is a cash bond.  A cash bond is paid directly to the court or jail.  A person must post the entire bail amount to be released pretrial.  If a defendant fails to appear at court, then the posted bail is forfeited.  If, on the other hand, a person attends all court hearings and complies with court rulings, the posted bond is returned to them.  There are some court fees that are taken out, but they are minimal compared with the total amount posted.

Property Bond

Another form of bond is known as a property bond.  This occurs when a defendant places property as collateral for their release.  The court may place a lien against the property that is used to secure the defendant’s appearance in court.  If a defendant fails to appear at court, the property may be forfeited.

Many bail companies will also work with families on posting immigration bonds, civil surety, federal bonds and more.


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