Bail vs. Bond

The words “bail” and “bond” are often synonymous when talking about jail release. However, they are different. Bail is the amount a defendant pays to be released from jail. A bond is placed on a defendant’s behalf in the amount of bail, typically by a bail bond company, to secure his or her release. Bail is not designed to be a punishment; it is a simple way of ensuring a defendant will follow certain conditions and come back to court. Bail is like collateral to ensure the defendant will be present for the other parts of the case. The amount may be lost if the defendant fails to appear or violates the conditions of the release. So, while they are similar to each other, they are not the same thing.