If you have been arrested for a California crime, the court will generally set an amount that must be paid in order to secure your release, known as “bail.” In some cases, you can be released on your own recognizance, which means that you do not have to post bail in order to be released.
Depending on the amount, you may be able to pay the full bail in cash. This is known as posting bail. However, many people cannot afford to do this, particularly with higher bail amounts of $50,000 or more. In these situations, they may choose to “post bond,” which involves paying a bail bond company a percentage of the total bail amount (usually 10 to 15%). The company will then post a bond on your behalf, promising to pay the full amount if you fail to appear in court. If your bail is revoked, then you will forfeit the amount that you paid to the bail bond company.
While bail and bond are often used interchangeably, they refer to different things. Bail is the amount that a defendant must pay in order to be released from jail, while bond is posted on a defendant’s behalf. A bond is usually posted by a bail bond company. “Out on felony bond” simply means that a defendant has been released from jail on a felony criminal charge.