Surety, Secured, and Unsecured Bonds
There are three main types of bail bonds that we use in criminal law, and they are defined as surety bonds, secured bail bonds, and unsecured bail bonds. Below, we will get into the defining characteristics known to each unique bond.
Surety bonds are a type of bail bond, which acts as a crucial “risk mitigation” tool. Bail bonds are surety bonds and visa-versa. A typical Bail Bond is essentially a type of surety bond provided by a surety bond company through a Bail agency or a single Bail Bondsman, that secures the release of a defendant from jail based on evidence of financial stability. Surety bonds don’t often require collateral of a material possession such as a car or house, jewelry or stocks. The arrestee can be released from jail by paying ten percent of their posted bail (if it’s above $1,000). For example, if the bail is set at $3,000, the arrestee will pay a surety of $300. The defendant isn’t required to pay it themself; they can seek financial help from a family member or friend to pay it on their behalf. The surety will simply issue the bond based on the financial standing of the underlying entity being bonded.
A secured bond is another type of bail bond in which the arrestee or “issuer” pledges a specific asset, typically a home, vehicle, or something else of substantial value. This asset is used as a form of collateral on the loan (the bail bond). In the event of a default (meaning that the defendant doesn’t appear to all of their necessary court hearings etc), the bond issuer will then pass the title of the asset onto the bondholders.
In simple terms, a secured bail bond means paying money to secure release. If the defendant does not show up in the court, the party financially responsible will, unfortunately, forfeit the security to the lender. The lender may then demand a car or house as security. However, if the defendant does continuously show up for their scheduled arraignments and court trials, the lender will give the property or car back. If the defendant misses their dates or skips town, then the lender or bondsman will keep the title to the cosigner’s house or car, stock, jewelry or other such valuable assets.
Unsecured bail means a bond, which holds the accused liable for breaching the bond’s conditions. In the case of an unsecured bond, the defendant is obligated to sign a contract or agree to go to court. If they fail to do so, the defendant or their co-signer promises to pay the agreed amount before the court. Unsecured bail bonds are also commonly known as “signature bonds.” because they don’t have any material assets as security or collateral. In this type of bail, the defendant or co-signer simply must promise the bondsman that the defendant will effectively appear in court on their scheduled trial dates.
Understandably, unsecured bail bonds are much riskier for the bondsman, as there is no collateral holding the defendant to their part of the bargain except their word. For this reason, not all arrestees are eligible for unsecured bail bonds. Those who are offered this option typically have credibility working for them. Proving good credit, having lived in the same neighborhood for years, or being involved in insignificant crime are all qualifying factors allowing a person the option for unsecured bail bonds.
Now that you understand your bail options, don’t hesitate to call us at Power Bail Bonds for any and all bail help. Additionally, you can visit us online for a free consultation, to understand your rights and to go over your available options. Remember that time is of the essence, especially during the increased risk of COVID 19 entering into the legal system. Ensure your loved one gets home safe, and give us a call to speak with one of our knowledgeable representatives. As one of the top Bail Bonds Agencies in Los Angeles, Orange County Bail Bonds, and Bail Bonds San Diego, we are proud to serve the greater Los Angeles area, as well as numerous Southern California counties, stretching from San Diego to San Bernadino, and all the way up to Central Los Angeles.