A money bond agreement is a legal contract that allows an individual to be released from jail before their trial by posting money as collateral. This type of bond is sometimes referred to as a cash bond and can vary depending on the jurisdiction and severity of the crime. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about money bond agreements.
How Does a Money Bond Agreement Work?
When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, a judge will determine whether or not they are eligible for bail. If they are eligible, the judge will set a bail amount that must be paid before the defendant can be released from jail. If the defendant or their representative cannot pay the full bail amount, they may turn to a money bond agreement.
A money bond agreement allows the defendant to pay a percentage of the bail amount, usually 10%, to a bonding company. The bonding company will then post the full bail amount with the court as collateral. If the defendant meets all of the conditions set by the court, such as showing up for all court appearances, the money is returned to the bonding company. However, the bonding company will keep the 10% as a fee for their services.
Pros and Cons of Money Bond Agreements
There are both advantages and disadvantages to using a money bond agreement.
1. Quick Release: Money bond agreements allow defendants to be released from jail quickly, which can help them maintain their employment and familial responsibilities.
2. Less Expensive: Posting a cash bond is often less expensive than utilizing other types of bail, such as a property bond.
3. Flexibility: Money bond agreements are often more flexible than other types of bail, as they can be posted at any time.
1. Loss of Money: If the defendant does not appear in court, the bonding company will forfeit the full bail amount to the court. This means that the defendant and the cosigner will lose the money they have posted as collateral.
2. Limited Availability: Not all jurisdictions offer money bond agreements, as it is up to the court`s discretion to allow this type of bail.
3. High Interest Rates: Bonding companies often charge high-interest rates for their services, which can make this type of bail more expensive in the long run.
Money Bond Agreement vs. Other Types of Bail
There are several types of bail available to defendants, including property bonds, surety bonds, and release on recognizance. Here are some key differences between money bond agreements and other types of bail:
1. Property Bonds: A property bond uses real estate as collateral to secure bail. Unlike cash bonds, property bonds take longer to process and require property appraisals.
2. Surety Bonds: A surety bond is a contract between the defendant, a bonding company, and the court. This type of bond requires a cosigner, and if the defendant fails to appear in court, the bonding company is responsible for forfeiting the full bail amount to the court.
3. Release on Recognizance: This type of bail does not require any collateral. Instead, the defendant signs a statement promising to appear in court on the designated court dates. This type of bail is typically reserved for low-risk defendants.
In conclusion, a money bond agreement is a legal contract that allows defendants to be released from jail by posting a percentage of the bail amount as collateral. While this type of bail has its advantages, such as quick release and lower costs, it also carries risks, such as the loss of money if the defendant does not appear in court. Before posting bail, it is crucial to understand the terms and conditions of the money bond agreement and to speak with a qualified attorney.