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  • Writer's pictureLarry Grandberry

What is a Surety Bail Bond

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

Types of Bail Bonds

Although there are several varieties of bail bonds, the two most common types are a cash bond and a surety bond.

A cash bond is when the arrestee pays the full amount of the bail in cash. A cash bond is most effective when the judge has set a very low bail amount. For example, someone arrested on suspicion of DUI is likely to have a bail set at around $500.00. If that arrestee is able to pay that amount, it makes sense to pay the $500.00 in cash. Once the criminal case is resolved, the $500.00 will be applied to any applicable fees, and any remaining amount will be returned.

Surety Bail Bonds – A surety bond is when the arrestee utilizes a bail bondsman who agrees to be responsible for the debts or obligations of the arrestee. Here, the bail bondsman pays the full amount of the bail. In return, the arrestee pays the bail bondsman a percentage of the assigned bail. In Florida, it is common for the bail bondsman to charge a fee of 10% of the total assigned bail. After the bail bondsman posts the bail, the arrestee is released from jail. At the conclusion of the case, the bail is returned to the bail bondsman assuming the arrestee appeared at all required court dates. The 10% paid by the arrestee to the bail bondsman is kept by the bail bondsman as their fee for doing business; this is why it makes sense to pay a cash bond if you are able to do so. A surety bond makes the most sense where the assigned bail is very high. For example, someone arrested for delivery of fentanyl (or a fentanyl derivative) could likely have a bond set at $25,000.00, or higher. In that case it makes sense to retain the services of a bondman, who would front the full amount to court upon the receipt of their 10% fee, or $2,500, from the arrestee.

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