The cornerstone of the American justice system is that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. The presumption of innocence means that in all but the most extreme cases a person has a right to seek release from custody in Adams County while they await their day in court. The process by which that temporary release is obtained is called either “posting bond” or “making bail”. But what is the difference? Is there a difference? Below we’ll examine those questions.

Bail verse Bond

Do You Make Bail or Post Bond?

The terms “bail” and “bond” get tossed around so much these days in TV shows and movies that one could be forgiven for thinking they are the same thing. But while they are similar and they produce the same net result - the accused is released from custody while awaiting trial - they are actually two different things. To most people who have never been arrested and charged with a crime the difference is not terribly important. Which is why the terms often get misused. But if you have been asked to help someone make bail by contacting an Adams County bail bonds agent the difference between bail and bond will become quickly apparent.

Making Bail

When a person is arrested for a crime in Adams County they will typically be offered a chance to pay a certain amount of money to the state in order to obtain their immediate release while they await their day in court. The payment is called “bail”. In most cases the bail amount is set by a judge or magistrate at a hearing. Although in other cases there will be a “bail schedule” posted in the jail that states how much a person needs to pay for various crimes. It may be that the person is able to pay the amount on the spot. In which case they are said to “make bail” and are released until their scheduled court date.

FYI: Even though the 8th Amendment to the Constitution addresses the matter of excessive bail no specific constitutional right to bail was laid out in the document itself. It actually wasn’t until the Bail Reform Act of 1966 that the accused were given a statutory right to bail in lieu of a constitutional right and the bail system as we know it today came into being.

The Inability to Make Bail and the Role of the Adams County Bail Bonds Agent

In a majority of cases where bail is high people simply aren’t able to make bail on their own. They need assistance from someone to cover the entire bail amount. That someone is the Adams County bail bonds agent. When the Adams County bondsman is enlisted to help with the process of gaining freedom for the accused the process changes from “making bail” to “posting bond”.

Posting Bond

When a person is unable to make bail they typically call a loved one from jail and ask for help. More often than not the loved one is not able to come up with the entire bail amount either and so they call a Adams County bail bonds agent for assistance. Contrary to popular opinion the bondsman is not required to help. As such, before they agree they will ask for the particulars of the case, including the charges and the history of the accused. Although in some cases they will then decline to help, most of the time they will agree to issue a “surety bond”.

The surety bond requires the loved one to sign a contract stating that they accept responsibility for the accused after the bond is posted and they are released. By agreeing to do so they become the “indemnitor” of the accused. The Adams County bondsman will typically require the indemnitor to pay 10% of the total bail amount and provide collateral and they (the bondsman) will put up the rest. Once the bond is posted the accused is released with the indemnitor accepting responsibility for them.

What Could Go Wrong?

Unfortunately, many who agree to become an indemnitor by signing a contract with an Adams County bail bonds agent are unaware of the potential ramifications of “accepting responsibility for the accused”. They sign the contract believing their role is finished and it’s up to the loved one to appear in court and face the music for what they’ve done. But it’s not that simple. If, after working with the Adams County bondsman to obtain the release of their loved one, that person jumps bail (meaning they flee and don’t show up for their court date) bail is revoked.

Once bail is revoked the bondsman will lose whatever money they put up for the surety bond. But that’s not the end of the story. Because, you see, the bondsman will now pursue financial restitution from person who agreed to become the indemnitor. As a result, the person who thought their role in the drama was over once their loved one was released on bond now becomes legally responsible to repay the Adams County bail bonds agent for the full amount of the bail as well as for any costs incurred by the bondsman to track down the fugitive and return him or her to custody.

The moral of the story? Bail and bond are two different things and before you agree to work with a Adams County bondsman to post bond for someone ask yourself if you are truly prepared to lose everything if they flee.