Bail is the money required for a defendant to be released from jail pending his or her trial. Bail bonds are a way to make bail when you don’t have enough money to cover the required amount. A company will pay your bail in exchange for repayment or collateral. Here are four types of bail bonds.

1. Surety Bonds

A surety bond is when your bail is paid by another person, either a bondsman or a personal contact. Someone paying the full bail amount is paying a secured surety bond. If someone agrees to pay the full bail amount but doesn’t pay upfront, the bond is considered unsecured. A surety bond is one of the most commonly available types of bonds, so whether you’re in Pennsylvania looking for Montgomery county bail bonds or in Arizona seeking Maricopa county bail bonds, you should be able to get a surety bond.

2. Insurance Company Bonds

Unlike surety bonds, insurance company bonds are paid by companies. Bail bond companies typically require you to provide collateral and pay a fee or a premium for their services. These can be useful if neither you nor anyone you know can pay the required bail amount.

3. Federal Bail Bonds

Federal bail bonds apply only to those charged with federal crimes. Due to the nature of federal charges, it can be more difficult to find a bondsman or bail bond company that can provide a federal bail bond. Not only is bail set at higher rates for federal charges, but you may be required to meet more conditions than only paying a certain amount of money. For example, if you’re charged with a federal crime, you could be required to agree to undergo regular drug testing and to limit certain business activities. Your travel may also be restricted.

4. Appearance Bonds

When you pay an appearance bond, you, the defendant, are the one responsible for paying your bail. If you can’t pay the full amount right away, an appearance bond will allow you to either pay a percentage of the amount upfront, which is considered a partially secured bond, or an unsecured bond, where you aren’t required to pay any of the bail amount upfront but are required to pay it at an agreed-upon future date.

If you do utilize bail bonds, it’s important to pay the bail bond company back according to the terms laid out in your contract. Otherwise, you may find yourself being sued by your bail bondsman or even re-arrested.