The terms bail and bond are often used interchangeably. Though they’re related, they’re not the same thing. It’s essential to understand the difference, especially if you need to help someone get out of jail.

  • Bail: This is the amount needed to release someone who’s been arrested from jail. The bail amount is determined by a judge based on several factors, such as the severity of the defendant’s crime, their flight risk, and criminal history. This can be provided by a spouse, friend, relative, or bail bond agent. Some defendants may be denied bail.
  • Bond: When bail is posted by a bail bond agent it’s called a bond. Allowing defendants the opportunity to leave jail before their trial on bond helps ensure that they will abide by the conditions of their release and appear for all their court dates.