In Georgia, there are three types of bail bonds; cash, property, and the use of a bonding company.
A cash bond is the quickest way to bond someone out of jail. Once the bail is set, you take that amount to the Sheriff's Office to release the accused. The money is not lost. Once the case is completed, the money is returned to the person who posted it. It can also be signed over to the defendant to use for the payment of fines and court costs.
The negative of a cash bond is that for many individuals, they do not have the amount of the bond in actual cash, and the jail will not accept credit or debit cards. There is, however, an online cash bond service that takes credit cards for a fee. That service is not available in all jurisdictions.
When someone uses a bonding company, a percentage is paid to the company in exchange for them being responsible for assuring the appearance of the accused. The negative of using a bonding company is that their fee is earned by securing the release of the accused. There is no refund at the end of the case. Also, some bonding companies require their “customers” to check in regularly, and depending on a person's risk profile may charge people a refundable deposit as well.
A property bond is where someone pledges the deed to his or her property to secure the appearance of the accused. This does not cost the owner of the property anything to secure the bond.
That being said, we NEVER recommend a property bond in any misdemeanor case. Pledging a home to secure the appearance of someone in court is an unreasonable risk. If the accused misses court, the surety can lose their property. People make mistakes and miss court. The risk is too high.
We only recommend a property bond in felony cases, where the amount of the bond is completely unaffordable to ordinary people. Never use a property bond in a misdemeanor DUI case in Georgia.