List of Common Terminology for Bail Bonds

List of Common Terminology for Bail Bonds

One of the most harrowing experiences is getting arrested for a criminal offense. That is why the court permits a defendant to file for bail to give ample time for legal preparation. Applying for bail may not be an easy thing to do especially if you are not thoroughly familiar with some bail bonds terminologies. This guide aims to help you get acquainted with several concepts or terms related to bail bonds.

What is a Bail Bond?

So how does bail bond work for a defendant? Essentially, a bail bond is a written promise duly signed by the accused and his or her guarantor, in this case, a bail bond agent. The main purpose of signing this document is to assure the court that the defendant will attend the trial as scheduled.
Upon signing this agreement, the bail bond company pays the bail amount granting that the defendant has fully complied with all the requirements. In general, bail bond companies require collaterals. This may be in the form of securities, personal properties, and an outstanding credit rating.


Today, many people use “bail” and “bail bonds” interchangeably but for clarity’s sake, the term “bail” refers specifically to the money you pay to the court or to a bail agent.

Bail Condition

The court sets out certain conditions to make sure the defendant will appear during the trial. Most of the time, the court only requires the defendant to comply with this requirement unless there are other factors that must be taken into account.


A bond functions as a contract that stipulates the specific dates of the court hearing and the amount of bail that a defendant must pay to the bail bond agent. If you are the defendant, you could sign this contract with a bail bondsman especially if you cannot afford the bail amount. You may also pay cash directly to the court.


This term refers to the goods or property that is used as a form of security against a loan or bond. A collateral item is automatically forfeited if the conditions are not satisfactorily met by the defendant. Some of the most common items used as collateral are cars, house, jewelry, electronic gadgets, and boats.
Generally speaking, collateral helps you assure the court and a bail bond company that you have substantial resources to meet the bail requirements.


A defendant is an individual who is accused of a crime. During a criminal trial, the defendant will be provided with a fair and reasonable amount of time to explain and defend his or her case with the help of a lawyer.
This term also refers to the person who you need to bail out of prison.


The court clearly requires that the defendant must appear for the trial. In case this requirement is not met, the court will notify the bond company. In some instances, the court will set another date and if the defendant fails to do so, the whole bail amount will not be returned.
Sometimes, the bail bond company may hire a fugitive recovery agent to keep track of the defendant’s whereabouts.


A defendant must find a co-signer for the bail bond in order to make sure someone will be held responsible if the accused fails to do his or her part. An indemnitor or co-signer will be held accountable for all the legal expenses incurred during the trial as well as pay the entire bail amount to the court or bail bondsman.

  1. Thank you for the clarification of what a bail bond actually is. I often get confused between bail and the bond itself. My cousin was recently arrested and I’ve been trying to figure out how all of it works so I can get him out. Thanks for the legal tips!

  2. I don’t know much about bail bonds, so this article was really helpful for me. It’s good to know that collateral is generally required when posting bond to assure the court and bond company that you can meet bail requirements. I’ll pass this information onto my cousin who seems to be getting into trouble with the law more and more lately.

  3. I I never knew that a bond functions as a contract for a specific date when you will appear at court if they let you go. I have a cousin that just got arrested and is in need of some legal help. I’ll have to call him and tell him about the information in your article about certain bail bonds.

  4. Thanks for helping me learn more about bail bonds. It’s interesting to learn that the collateral can help make sure that you have the resources to meet the requirements of a bail. I’m kind of interested to learn more about what these could entail depending on someone’s situation.

  5. I liked what you said about a bond functioning as a contract with specific court dates. This is important for anyone that is working on getting a bail bond. I have a cousin who was asking about something similar who would like knowing this.

  6. Thanks for explaining that cars, houses, jewelry, and electronics can all by used as collateral for a bail bond. My son was caught selling drugs, so my husband and I are researching how bail bonds work to get him out. I wasn’t sure what could be used as collateral, so I’m glad you shared that info here.

  7. I’d say that a good amount of people out there don’t know a lot about bail bonds, me being one of them. If I did ever have to use one, I would probably say something wrong so I thank you for explaining all of the common terms here. I didn’t think that there was such a thing as an indemnitor with a bail bond. It is good to know that you do need a co-signer just in case you can’t cover the bond amount.

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