Describing the Different Types of Bail Bonds

When an individual is arrested and faces criminal charges, the court may require the defendant to pay a bail bond in order to be released from jail until their trial. Bail bonds are a type of financial guarantee that ensures the defendant will return for their court dates. There are several different types of bail bonds, including bail bonds, surety bonds, and personal bonds. Understanding the differences between these bonds is essential for anyone who may need to post bail for themselves or someone else. Want to know what the different types of bail bonds are and how they work? Dive in to find out!

But, first, what is a Bail Bond?

A bail bond is a contract between the defendant, the bail bondsman, and the court. The defendant or a co-signer pays the bail bondsman a non-refundable fee, typically 15% of the total bail amount. The bail bondsman then posts the full bail amount with the court and guarantees that the defendant will appear in court. If the defendant fails to appear, the bail bond company can take any sort of legal action against the defendant. So, to begin with, let’s read more about the types of bail bonds.

1. Unsecured

Unsecured bail bonds are not tied to any asset and their trustworthiness is completely dependent on the reputation and credit standing of the issuing bail bond agency or the company. It is also known as the signature bond and an unsecured bond is applicable after a bail hearing when the defendant signs an agreement instead of paying the bail. In the agreement they state to pay the bail if they fail to appear on the court on the designated date.

2. Secured

Secured bail bonds, on the other hand, require the defendant to put up collateral to secure the bond. This can be in the form of cash, or property such as a house. The amount of collateral required is usually equal to the amount of bail. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the court can seize the collateral to cover the cost of bail. Note that secure bonds can be paid with cash, a property as a collateral or a surety bond (bail bonds).

3. Personal Recognizance

A personal bond, also known as a signature bond, is a type of bond where the defendant is released from jail without posting any money or collateral. Instead, the defendant signs a contract promising to appear in court and is released on their recognizance. Personal bonds are typically only granted to defendants who are not considered a flight risk and who are charged with relatively minor offenses. In some cases, a judge may require the defendant to provide a co-signer for a personal bond, who would be responsible for ensuring the defendant appears in court.

Surety bonds are the simplest form of guarantee bonds that involves a third-party agreement. The three parties in the surety agreement involve:

  • The principal or the court
  • Surety or the bail bond company
  • Obligee or the defendant

In the surety bond the bail bond company guarantees that the defendant will abide by the court’s agreement. If the defendant fails to fulfil their obligation, the surety company is responsible for paying the full amount of the bond to the courts.


Understanding the differences between bail bonds, surety bonds, and personal bonds is essential for anyone who may need to post bail for themselves or someone else. Bail bonds are typically used in legal cases to guarantee that the defendant will appear in court and whether you are a co-signer or the defendant, knowing more about the bail bonds can always be helpful. Instead of diving through the bail bond intricacies all on your own, you can always work with a professional bail bond company in NC.

When facing charges, it is important to consult with a bail bondsman from a renowned bail bond company in NC to get out of jail as soon as possible without any atrocious repercussions.