A bond is an obligation or a promise to pay money to the court if the defendant does not appear in court when he or she is scheduled to do so. There are a variety of bonds:
- Cash Bond: An individual “deposits” the entire bail amount in cash (or cashier's check) with the court and loses that cash if the defendant/accused fails to appear in court. Once the criminal case is completed then the entire amount is returned.
- Bail Bond (Surety Bond): Bonds are purchased from a bonds company or bail bondsman. Typically a bail bondsman will require an 8% to 10% fee based on the bail amount. The person buying the bond must guarantee the amount personally and financially.
- Property Bond: An individual guarantees the bail amount with property, such as real estate, and could lose that property through foreclosure if the defendant doesn't appear in court.
See also, Bail, Bail Bondsman.