The crime rate continues to rise despite so many efforts being done by the governments. There are many reasons why people convict severe criminal offences and end up in jail. Some of the common reasons are unemployment, poverty, personal conflicts, etc. After you get convicted, it becomes crucial to apply for bail and get out of the intense situation. In this article, we will guide you through the pros and cons of cash bonds and bail bonds. However before we dive full throttle in the conversation, it is crucial to understand what cash bonds and bail bonds are.
What is a cash bond?
In simple words, cash bail is the money one pays for the release of the person who has been arrested. Cash bail is usually expensive for it is money that has to be paid on the spot. It is decided by the judge and must be paid on time as soon as one applies for bail. If the accused has a comprehensive criminal history, the money to be paid will be higher. However if the accused has no history of crime, he/she will have to pay a lesser amount.
What is a bail bond?
As the name implies, a bail bond is a payment which is made by the defendant’s bond agent on his/her behalf. This means if the accused doesn’t appear in court on the hearing dates or turns hostile, the bail bondsman will have to pay the full amount. Bail bonds agents usually have their own commission and fee which has to be paid by the accused. Bail guarantors present themselves in the court as a surety of the fact that the accused will appear in the court on the dates decided.
Pros of Cash Bail:
1. No involvement of a third party
This is perhaps the first benefit of cash bail. If you hire a guarantor that will be another cost on your head since they have their fees. However, if you contact an agency such as a Las Vegas bail bond, the company will charge its own money too. So by paying in cash, you eradicate the need for having the intrusion of a third person.
2. Less Paperwork
Paperwork takes time and costs money. Cash bail is defined by the judge, and the money is paid on the spot. As with other methods, one will have to go through the archaic procedure of preparing the papers and all important documents.
3. Win courts’ trust
Since you’re paying in cash, the court will go the extra mile to put trust in you. As with other options, there will be no cash paid in the beginning. Since you’re paying the money in hand, the court will be relieved that you will attend the legal proceedings without missing any or turning hostile.
4. Money is returned if you follow the orders
Though it doesn’t happen very often, if you are proved innocent, the court will return your money. However, if you don’t adhere to the terms and conditions of the court, you won’t be given your money back. Therefore you need to be disciplined enough throughout the trail.
5. No extra fees
The most difficult thing to manage at the time of bail is money. If you have committed a minor crime, the bail amount wouldn’t be as much. However, if you are convicted of a felony, you will have to pay a hefty amount to get the bail. Therefore there are no extra charges included.
Cons of Cash Bail:
1. You have to pay for all the money
Bail payment has to be made on time. You cannot expect the court to give you the privilege of paying in installments. Once the bail amount has been decided, it has to be paid on time without any delay. Failing to do so will result in the cancellation of bail.
2. Refund is returned in check
When the court pays back in the cheque, it takes time to convert that cheque into cash. Furthermore, the bank has its charges which are deducted at the time of receiving cash. Seldom will you come across a situation in which the court of any particular state might pay in cash.
3. IRS will be notified on checks worth $10,000
This means if your payment is more than $10,000, the state government will be notified and you will have tax deductions on that money. So if you have paid $10,000 to the court, you will not be returned the full amount after being proved innocent.
4. Failure to show in court means no refund
This is the major downside of the cash bail. If you turn hostile and don’t show up in court, the judge might issue your arrest warrant and will also not return the money.
5. Refund will take a long time
Even if you paid the entire cash within minutes at the time of bail, you might have to wait up to 3 months for a refund. Keep in mind, the courts of law have a lot of cases to cater to therefore everything takes time.
Pros of Bail Bonds:
1. Pay less percentage to the bail agent
This is the first coherent benefit of a bail bond. You will have to pay only 10% of the bail amount to the bail agent. At the time of bail, there are other expenses to look forward to, so you can save money at the beginning.
2. You are not responsible for the defendant’s action
Once you hire a bail bond agent, you won’t be held accountable by the court if the defendant shows up. This means you won’t have to pay the full price to the court in case the bail agent doesn’t attend a legal proceeding.
3. Bail bond agents are disciplined
Bail bonds agent males sure the defendant goes to the court and attends all the legal proceedings. If you don’t know much about law and miss a court hearing, you will very likely get in trouble and even get arrested. However, the bonds agent will prepare you for everything before time.
4. You can pay money over some time
This is an important benefit of the bail bonds that you don’t need to pay the 10% amount on the spot. You can pay that amount in installments over some time. Most companies offer flexible low monthly payment plans which can easily be availed.
5. Bail agent knows the process
If you are naïve to the courts of law and have no information about the legal proceedings, there’s no need to worry. A bail agent knows the process and will guide you throughout the verdict. Furthermore, he/she will tell you exactly the way you have to present yourself in court.
Cons of Bail Bonds:
1. The fee paid is non-refundable
Once you pay 10% of the entire money, it is not refundable. Since your bail bonds agent is providing services and putting himself at stake, you won’t be given that money back. So in a way, you are paying the company for professional legal services.
2. Third-party is involved
Just as you don’t want the intrusion of a third person with cash bail, this time you will have a third party know about your case and help you out. So, the truth be told, you will have your privacy compromised. Even if you want to remain discreet with your case, you will have to spill some part of the truth.
3. More paperwork
This time more paperwork will be involved since a new bond agent will be putting himself in the front row to protect you in court. Furthermore, if you’re hiring somebody from a professional firm, you will have to go through their paperwork to sign for the services.
4. You might get in trouble because of the bonds agent
Though you won’t have to pay money in case the bonds agent doesn’t show up in court, but you might get in trouble because of his/her behavior. If you are convicted under serious felony charges, you might be rearrested if the bonds agent for quite some time. Furthermore, the court might purr other charges on your head if you have a careless attorney by your side.
Which is better? Cash bail or bail bonds?
As discussed, both have their pros and cons. Most people choose to pay in cash for the other option takes some time. Cash bail is simple and has less paperwork but is anyways a big risk. Bail bonds require the intrusion of a third person and more paperwork, but you have the benefit of having a professional by your side. Therefore, depending on your situation, you can choose any of the two options.
You must weigh the pros and cons of both the types which have been mentioned above and then make your decision accordingly. Just make sure you hire the right attorney for this job for there are many unprofessional and naïve people in the market looking for fresh bait.