Bail Bond Terms You Need To Know

No one ever wants to be in a situation where a friend or family member has been arrested and jailed. Life is unpredictable, however, and you never know when something like this could happen. In the unfortunate circumstance where someone close to you does end up in trouble with the law, you might be called upon to help secure their release by helping them get bailed out. Here are some terms related to bail that are helpful for you to know in case you need to assist a friend or loved one in custody. 


A bail bond is a legal agreement between the defendant and the court. The agreement states that the defendant will show up at all of their court appearances if they are released from jail. The bond also says that if the defendant does not show up, the bail amount will be forfeited. Typically, a bail bond is cosigned by another party, usually a professional bail bondsman. The bondsman will be liable for the full bail amount if the defendant skips their court date or dates.


To help a friend or family member make bail, you might be called upon to put up collateral. This is anything of value that will cover the bail amount that is forfeited when a defendant skips out on their bail and flees. You will sign the collateral over to the bail bond company that is the cosigner of the bond. 

Bail bondsmen accept a range of valuable assets as collateral with two of the most common being real estate and vehicles. Another possible form of collateral is giving the bail bondsman the right to charge your credit card if the defendant violates the bond. If you have any valuable jewelry that would cover the amount of the bond, you may be able to use that as well.


A schedule, in the world of bail bonds, refers to a set of guidelines that list the bail amounts for certain crimes. This allows some defendants to arrange for bail without having a hearing before a judge. One benefit of this procedure is that defendants will not have to wait for a long period of time if they are arrested at night or on a weekend. Not every jurisdiction, however, has bail schedules. Also, the bail amounts are not negotiable. If a defendant wants to argue for a lower bail, they will have to wait until they can go before a judge.

To learn more about the bail process, contact a local licensed bail bond service.