Bail Terms And Buzzwords

Bail is not a concept that many people bother to find out about until it's absolutely necessary. When you need to get a loved one released from jail as soon as possible, a bail bond will very likely be necessary. To help you as you navigate through the bail and bail bond process, take a look at some common terms and what they mean.

1. Agreements – When you pay a bail bonding agent, you are entering into a legal contract. This contract will contain your name and contact information as well as the name of your loved one. It will also state the charges, the date of the arrest, the amount of the bail, the bond premium, and the court identifier. Your signature on this form means that you are responsible for ensuring that the accused returns for all upcoming court dates.

2. Cash Bond – If you are able to pay the full amount of the bail and don't use a bonding agent, that is known as a cash bond. If the loved one complies with the conditions of the bail, the money is returned to you and any collateral is released.

3. Collateral – In some cases, property can be used to secure a loved one's release from jail. The bail or the bond might also require that property be pledged in addition to any cash paid. The property often consists of real estate, jewelry, boats, and cars. Property can be forfeited if the person fails to return to court but will be returned if all conditions are met, innocence is proven, the case is over, or the charges are dropped.

4. Conditions – All bail agreements have conditions. These conditions are in addition to the money required. In most cases, the conditions are as follows:

  • No further arrests
  • Appear for all hearings and court matters.
  • Stay in contact with the courts.
  • Stay away from any alleged victims.
  • No association with criminals.

And more.

5. Own Recognizance – Bail may not be necessary in some cases. Some defendants are released on their own recognizance, meaning that they have been judged eligible due to several factors, such as:

  • Accused of a minor crime.
  • First-time offender.
  • Reputation.
  • Job and education.
  • Family and community ties.

6. Premium – When you cannot afford to pay the full amount of the bail, you can gain the release of your loved one using a bail bond agency. The fee you pay the agent is known as a premium and the amount owed is a mere percentage of the full bail amount. This fee is non-refundable. Collateral pledged, however, is released as long as the accused follows the rules.

To learn more about any of the above terms, speak to a friendly bonding agent in your town.