Common Bail Bond Terms and What They Mean

When you’ve been arrested, and/or are applying for bail, there may be some terms used that you are not familiar with. These terms are easy to understand when explained in the right way, and shouldn’t be a barrier to you when applying for bail.

Here is a helpful guide to some of the most common terms you’ll hear when applying for bail.

Bail Bond

A bail bond is the agreement between a bondsman and the court, that if you should not attend court when requested they will be liable for the full amount of bail set. It differs from a cash bond as often, no money is exchanged, or perhaps only 10%, while you are requested to pay the full bail amount to the Court if you post your own bail, or a family member does it for you.

Bail Bondsman

This is the individual or company that applies for a bail bond on your behalf. Most commonly, your attorney or a family member will contact the bondsman and ask them to visit you in jail to complete the paperwork. Ordinarily you will make a payment agreement with them to pay back the costs over time, and will need to pay them the full amount of bail in installments if you skip court.


Collateral is property, cash or items that are given to a bail bondsman as well as your agreement. If you don’t adhere to your agreement then these things can be seized as compensation.

Skipping Bail

This is when you fail to turn up to your court date as requested. It is very important not to skip bail, as you will likely be rearrested, and your bail bond will be seized.

When you understand these terms, you should be able to navigate your way through applying for a bail bond with little trouble.


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