As we’re sure you’re very well familiar with, no one wants to be put in a situation where they’re bailing a loved one out a jail. However, it happens to the best of us and often in unforeseen, unexpected circumstances. This might even occur as a result of a simple accident or a false arrest, but either way, no one wants to have to wait for trial inside of a jail cell!

When it comes to bailing someone out of jail, however, it is very important to know the difference between a surety bond and a cash bond. Technically, surety bonds and cash bonds are both types of bail bonds, so a surety bond is not exactly a bail bond, but rather a certain kind of bail bond. It is crucial to know what the differences between these two bond methods are before deciding to post bond.


Here’s the main difference between a surety bond and a cash bond: Once a judge sets a bond amount for a defendant, it is possible to secure their release. If the defendant is paying the entire amount upfront, that is considered a cash bond. If the defendant contacts a bail bondsman to put the money up for them, then that is considered a surety bond.

Securing a Bond

Primarily, what determines securing a surety bond is the initial payment amount, which differs greatly between a surety bond and a cash bond. With a cash bond, one must provide the entire face amount of the bail demanded by the court before the inmate can leave jail. This money is held as collateral until the completion of the trial and is considered one form of quick bail.

A surety bond is more commonly used as a quick bail, however, as most people do not have the available funds to post a cash bond. Even if they did, there’s no telling how long their money would be held up before the case is over. Because of these factors, a bail bondsman can provide a surety bond to have the inmate released for about 10 percent of the total bail amount. The bail bondsman fee is non-refundable once the bond has been posted, but no other money has to be exchanged or kept in limbo during the course of the trial.


With large amounts of money, there are inherent risks. If a defendant goes on the run and doesn’t return to court, then the person who signed off on the bail is liable for the full bond amount. If a cash bond was put forward, the courts will forfeit bail and keep the money. So when it comes to a defendant going on the lam, the risks between a cash bond and a surety bond are pretty much the same.

Additional Security

If a surety bond was posted and the defendant flees, then a bail bondsman will locate the defendant through the help of the surety bond co-signer or a fugitive recovery agent. Naturally, a trained bounty hunter will have a much better chance of getting a fugitive back into custody versus a normal citizen. So if a bail bondsman does take this action, then the indemnitor, or one who co-signed the surety bond, is liable for the cost.

If the hunter is successful in bringing the defendant back to justice, however, then that might be all that the indemnitor is liable for. Since the bounty hunter has a much better chance of tracking down said rogue defendant, then a surety bond provides additional security for the indemnitor when signing off on someone’s bond.  

007 Bail Bonds encourages you to be smart when making your bail bond decision. A surety bond will be more convenient and secure in most situations, but choose the best option for your own situation.

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