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Bail Bond Glossary

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A

Accused – The individual accused of committing a crime.
Action – Taking steps to pursue and enforce rights in a criminal prosecution.
Appeal Bonds – A sum of money put down by the person making the appeal to ensure courts get paid should their appeal fail.
Arrest – The legal authority to withhold someone’s legal liberty.

B

Bail Agreement – The general bail information for a defendant, including name, date of the bond, and which court the defendant must appear in. The cost of bail, along with repercussions for failing to follow bail conditions, is also included in the agreement.
Bail Bond – A written agreement that the individual accused of a crime will appear in court. Based on this agreement, the defendant is allowed to stay at their lodging and out of jail for the duration of the court proceedings.
Bail Bondsman – The person whose job it is to maintain the surety of a bail bond.
Bail Conditions – The defendant receiving bail may have other conditions to meet on top of appearing in court. All of these additional conditions will also have to be agreed to.
Bail Indemnitor – A cosigner who takes responsibility for the defendant showing up for their court proceedings, along with any other item listed on the bail conditions.
Bail Schedule – Essentially a list detailing bail information, including the crime committed and the cost of bail. Some bail info varies depending on the municipality.

C

Cash Bail – When someone pays the full amount of the bail in cash, it is known as a cash bail. These funds are held until the court proceedings are over and returned should the defendant appear to stick to the conditions of the bail.
Charges – Any formal accusation brought forth by the proper authorities stating that a person has committed a crime.
City Jail – Used as a holding facility until a defendant can be transported to county jail. As such, there are limited services and resources.
Collateral – If a bail bondsman sees fit, they will ask for some “collateral” in addition to the bail bond fee. This is taken as a further step to ensure the defendant will follow the conditions set in the bond.
County Jail – Controlled by the sheriff’s department but run like a standard jail. Inmates waiting to complete their trial and misdemeanor offenders serving their sentence can all be housed at county jails.
Courthouse – A building meant to handle local court matters. It is also home to certain regional government.
Court Order – An order put forth by a judge during a case that is considered mandatory.

D

Defendant – The individual answering to an accusation in a legal setting.
DWI – Driving while intoxicated refers to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or legal or illegal drugs.

F

Felony – One of the highest levels of criminal offenses.
Fugitive – Someone who is charged with an offense and chooses to flee the state boundaries so as not to face charges.

I

Incarceration – Being confined or imprisoned in a jail setting.

J

Judge – An individual with the authority to listen to and decide on legal cases.
Justice – A judge specifically representing the supreme court for his or her state or country.

L

Lien – Putting a hold on a property until the stated debt is paid off. A lien can be issued on a home as collateral for bail if the amount isn’t paid.

M

Magistrate – In the U.S., magistrates are judges who help out district court judges in many of their more administrative duties. They are selected by federal court judges who reach a majority vote.
Misdemeanor – A criminal offense considered minor.

P

Plaintiff – The individual who took the action of filing a complaint.
Plea – Answering a charge.
Posting Bail – Paying a set amount to remove a defendant from jail for the duration of their court proceedings

R

Removing Bond Liabilities – Once court proceedings are over and the defendant has fulfilled all of the conditions, the bond liabilities will be removed in most instances.

S

Skipping Bail – This is when a defendant ignores the conditions of their bail and decides not to show up for a scheduled court appearance.
Surety Bonds – Essentially a three-party contract between the courts, the defendant, and the bail bondsman. This contract prevents the individual from going to jail during their trial and instead puts the responsibility on the bail bond agency.

V

Verdict – Whatever the court rules in a legal proceeding.

W

Warrant – This is written permission for an officer or legal body to either arrest an individual or search a property.

The content in our blog articles is for general information purposes only and should not be used in the place of legal advice. PCS Bail Bonds strives to provide content that is accurate and timely as of the date of writing; however, we assume no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, timeliness or usefulness of any information in the articles.

For legal advice, readers should contact a licensed attorney and consult the appropriate documentation for information on individual state laws.

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