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Cash Bail or a Bail Bond: What’s the Best Move?

Brian J Smith Jan. 13, 2015

A friend or family member has been arrested and you need to post bail. What’s your next move? Do you post cash bail or get a bail bond? This decision will vary on a literal case-by-case basis and it ultimately depends on the defendant. Here are a couple things to keep in mind as you make a decision between posting cash bail and getting a bail bond.

Photo by rioncm

Posting Bail

Posting bail is typically the cheaper option for “good” defendants who are diligent about showing up to all scheduled court appearances. Little known fact: When the case reaches conclusion, the full cash bail amount will go back to the defendant – minus a small administrative fee (on occasion). This holds true whether a defendant is convicted of the crime after the trial, pleads guilty before the trial, or gets the charges dismissed altogether.

There are of course exceptions to the funds being returned. If the defendant fails to hold up to his/her end of the bargain by not showing up to required court appearances, or gets arrested again while out on bail, the bail money will be forfeited.

Getting a Bond

While you have a good chance of getting the bail money back by paying cash, the cost of a bail bond is essentially gone forever. The cost of a bond is the seller’s nonrefundable “service charge.”

Bonds are also risky for case that may drag on a little longer than expected. Oftentimes, a bond will only be valid for a limited timeframe. In the event that a case drags on longer than expected and outlives its limited lifespan, the defendant may be subject to additional fees.

If you have a friend or family member that has been arrested and is in need of representation from the top Las Vegas criminal defense attorney, call Brian J. Smith at (702) 380-8248 to set up a consultation today.