Surety Bond vs. Cash Bond: What Is The Difference?

Cash Bond and Surety Bond Explained

There are two major types of bail bonds—cash bail and surety bond. They are similar but there are a few key differences to be aware of.

The Cash Bond

A cash bail bond is essentially a payment made to the court that covers the full bail amount. Once the full amount has been paid, the defendant is free to leave jail. If the defendant does not comply with all bail conditions (such as showing up for all court appearances), then the entire bail amount will be forfeited to the court.

Many bail bond companies offer cash bonds. You should shop around to find the best bail bond company for your needs.

A Surety Bond

On a surety bond, an individual who is bonded with a company called "Surety" makes partial payment (10% in Arizona) of the bail amount. A surety bond is a guarantee that you will appear in court and/or follow the terms of your release.

The defendant signs over his or her rights to an agent, such as Didn't Do It Bail Bonds, and we hold the bond with the court until a scheduled trial date.

The remaining 90% of the bail amount is paid back when you appear for your trial (or hearings) or it is forfeited to the state if you fail to comply with your terms of release.

Surety Bond Vs. Cash Bond

There are pros and cons to both types of bail bonds, cash and surety.

Cash Bonds: Advantages

  • You are free to leave jail immediately. If you are an Arizona resident and can post your bail at any time during the pretrial process, you won't have to sit in jail waiting for a bail hearing or trial date. You can get on with your life right away.

Cash Bonds: Disadvantages

  • You lose all of your money if you fail to show up for court or don't follow the terms of your release, which will rarely happen since we have a strong support system in place. So it's important to realize that if you don't show up for your trial, the money is gone.

Surety Bonds: Advantages

  • Since you are not putting up all of your money upfront, it's a less risky way to get out of jail. If you fail to follow the terms of your release, then you will lose only the 10% you put down plus any collateral used to secure the defendants release. This makes a surety bond potentially very cost-effective for those who cannot afford to pay the full bail amount themselves.

Surety Bonds: Disadvantages

  • A surety bond must be secured by collateral. If you do not show up for court or break any other terms of your release, then the property is forfeited to pay off the rest of the bail amount.

Which Is Better?

It depends on how much money you have to invest and whether you can risk losing it.

For those looking to pay their bail in installments, a cash bond may be the best option. It's also safer if you can't afford to lose your entire investment. ◦If you have $1,000 or more, then cash bail is worth considering because you'll get a better deal on the bail bond premium.

The bail process is confusing and it's hard to know which type of bond you need.

Cash bonds are a good option if you can afford the full amount, but they're risky because if you don't show up for court, then your money is gone. Surety bonds are less expensive in the long run, but require collateral that will be forfeited if you fail to comply with your terms of release.

Didn't Do It Bail Bonds offers both cash and surety bonds so we can help find the right solution for each person's needs. Call us today at 602-626-5214.

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