Difference Between Bail and Bond - Justice Lessit Explains

  • Bail and Bond are two words that are commonly used in the courts but many seem not to understand the difference between the two.

    High Court Judge Justice Jesse Lessit on Monday sought to explain the difference between two which are often confused. 

    She stated that releasing suspects on bail means that the court can order them to deposit money with the court in exchange for their freedom. 

    There are three types of bail. Pre-trial Bail - given to an accused person before trial, Bail Pending Appeal - given to a person who was already sentenced and is waiting for the hearing of an appeal. 

    There's also Anticipatory bail - given to a person pending their arrest, provided the applicant demonstrates that their right to liberty is likely to be compromised or breached unlawfully by an organ of the state that is supposed to protect this right. 

    Bond, on the other hand, is when the court asks the accused to deposit security or surety for release rather than pay cash.
    Security can be in many forms; land title deeds, salary payslips, car logbook or share certificates. 

    Bond can also be classified further into a personal bond that is self-defining, or a bond with surety.

    Surety is a person who binds themselves to ensure that an accused will attend court and comply with court conditions. 

    Both bail and bond are issued to ensure that a suspect attends court when required.

    However, if a court finds that there are compelling reasons for your freedom of movement to be limited, then it shall inform you of those reasons.

    If a suspect released on cash bail or bond attends all court sessions as required, the amount is refunded after the conclusion of the case.

    Lessit went on to explain that all offences are bailable under the new constitution. 
    In the event that two individuals from different economic backgrounds commit a similar offence, the court can conduct a social enquiry into the background of an economically disadvantaged person, to determine the amount that they can afford.