bail vs bonds | Key differences

In this article we will define and focus on key difference between bail and bond.Contents of the page are as follows :

Bail and Bonds are two common terms associated with criminal proceeding.Bail is a subset of bond.This two procedures as put forward by the court have only one reason at its nutshell .That the person promises to return for later trials in court.

What is bail?

Bail refers to the interim release of the person under trial. Many times a person is granted bail by submitting money as a promise to return for later trials in court.

What is bond?

Definition of bond
Bond refers to the legal agreement which binds a person to pay later to the other person involved in the agreement. Bonds are also issued by governments to raise money – that is they give bonds to the lender with a promise to repay the whole amount along with interest.


Both these terms are related to the criminal defendants. Bail is actually the subset of bond and in particular cash bonds are referred as “ BAIL “. When you have money in your pocket then – you pay your own bail amount. But what if you do not have money to pay the bail amount, then there is where all these bond companies come into the picture. They pay your bail amount to the court. These bond companies keep the accused assets as security for themselves ( e.g. –his/her property). They also charge the accused 10% of total bail amount as their fee. However In most of the cases, the company pays only a part of amount and rest has to be paid by the accuser only. And in case, the accuser fails to pay his part than the bonding company has to pay that part.

Both these terms actually mean “TEMPORARY FREEDOM “ to the person. Both these bails and bonds are of the secure type as they secure the release when you complete your payments procedures. However, they differ in the way that freedom is granted to the concerned personal and who is making that payment for it.




Bail vs Bond

Sr No. Bail Bond
1. Bail refers to the temporary freedom to someone– usually in the case of court trials. Bonds are legal agreements, mentioning clearly the terms of an agreement and thus making both parties legitimate to follow the conditions.
2. Money submitted in courts for release through cash by the defendant himself. Money deposited in the court mainly through secondary source of the defendant ( that is through loans from bank, bonding companies or some other means )
3. Bail is a subset of bond and cash bonds are particularly called as bail Bond is a broader term involving all cash, property, surety bonds.
4. Mode of payment is chiefly cash Mode of payment is cash as well as it can be property or some other source.
5. Cash bond is included in this Cash, property, surety bonds are included in this.
6. Total cost amounts to total money charged to the accused. Total cost to the accused is increased as compared to bail amount because bond companies’ charge 10% of the total bail amount as their fee.
7. Money paid as bail is returned to the accused once all the court proceedings are completed, no matter whether the person is found guilty of the crime or not. However in the case of not appearing for trials, his money is confiscated by the court and never returned. Bonds are never returned – they act as a source of payment for services offered by the bonding agent and thus are never returned.
8. Complete responsibility for payment is of the accused only. Bondsman company shares responsibilities. If the accused does not turn up for the trial or tries to flee away than the bond company has to pay the remaining amount.
9. The whole money is paid by the accused himself( also include money generated from family, friends etc.) Bail bondsman pays a part of the total bail amount only – but in certain cases, they have to pay the full amount themselves.


  1. It’s interesting to read that bail is the subset of the bond and that cash bonds are referred to as “bail”. I’m sure if anyone finds themselves in a bind, getting a court bond could be a life saver. This system seems like a great way to ensure that people will show up when needed. It also seems like a great way to help alleviate some of the potential crowds that could result in this system.


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