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Bail, Bond, and Bail Bonds: What’s the Difference?

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

For most, the complexities of the law enforcement code and the judicial system are outside their area of expertise. Because of this, it can be difficult to understand what everything means when you are in a tough situation that may require an emergency bail bond.

Sometimes the language used in the judicial system can make things even more complicated. For example, what is “bail” and is it different from a “bond” – or are they the same thing? Questions like these, while small, can contain important details.

That’s why the McAllen bail bondsman at Anzaldua Bail Bonds near Hidalgo County Jail is here to help! We want to help you understand some of the key aspects of the language surrounding bail bonds, so you’ll be better prepared when any legal issues arise in your life.

The Definition of “Bail”

Bail is a fee set by the court that the defendant must pay to be released from jail prior to their trial date. This fee assures the court that you will show up for your court date.

Typically, bail is set at a range from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Factors that determine the amount of your bail can include:


  • defendant’s prior criminal record (or lack thereof)

  • severity of the charges

  • defendant’s behavior in preliminary hearings

On certain occasions, defendants are able to use other assets, such as property, to help pay for the bond.

However, many people aren’t able to afford their bail on their own, and this is where a McAllen bail bondsman can step in to assist.

What’s a “Bond?”

When an individual is unable to pay their bail, they can seek out the help of a bondsman to help cover the bail and obtain a bond. Technically, the bond is a promise you make to appear in court for your actual trial.

Typically, if you are unable to afford bail on your own, you or your loved one can pay 10% to the bail bonds agency, which will then post the full amount. The bondsman takes on the responsibility that you will show up for your trial. Furthermore, the agent becomes liable if you do not appear in court, which violates the agreement of the bond.

How Are “Bail” and “Bond” Different?

While the terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between bail and bond. In straightforward terms, bail is the amount set by the court while bond is the legal agreement between the defendant and the court.

If you pay the total cost of the bail on your own, the responsibility to go to court rests solely on you. You will be the only one to face consequences, but you will also get all the money back if you follow through.

On the other hand, you can provide a nonrefundable 10% payment to the bondsman who will then take up the pledge, or bond. However, if the defendant does not show up to their court date, multiple parties can be held responsible for not following through with the agreement.

The defendant can even be made liable for additional court fees.

Better Understand Bail Bonds With McAllen’s Best Bail Bondsman

The team at Anzaldua Bail Bonds near Hidalgo County Jail recognizes that mistakes happen, and that being informed can help you make better decisions about your situation.

We hope you’ll feel more comfortable reaching out to our highly-trained bondsmen who are available 24/7 to help!

If you need an emergency bail bond near the Hidalgo County Jail but still have questions, contact Anzaldua Bail Bonds for more information




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