Cash bail is a system that requires a defendant to pay a specific amount of money to the court as a guarantee that they will attend all required court hearings. If the defendant attends all court hearings as required, the bail money will be returned to them at the end of their trial. If the defendant does not appear in court as required, they forfeit the bail money and may be subject to additional penalties.
Cash bail is often used as a way to ensure that defendants show up to court and fulfill their legal obligations. It can also provide an option for defendants who cannot afford to pay the full amount of their bail, as they may be able to work with a bail bondsman to secure their release. However, the cash bail system has been criticized for being unfair to low-income defendants, as it can result in defendants being held in jail simply because they cannot afford to pay their bail.