In the stress of bailing out a loved one, it helps to understand the language of bail bonds. Those in the legal system may use phrases that are familiar to them but unfamiliar to those involved for other reasons. Often times, lawyers, bail bondsmen, and judges use specialized language and forget that those charged with a crime may need a better understanding of the language being used in their cases.
Some of the most-used bail bond terms—ones that you are most likely to hear or see if necessary—include all of the following:
- Bond: A bond is a kind of contract to assure that when the person accused is released, he or she will return to court at a date specified by a judge. A bondsman guarantees your appearance by putting up the bond money for you.
- Bond Premium: The bail bonds agency charges a “bond premium,” which is the amount they get paid for their services. The amount is typically 10% of the total bond amount but varies.
- Collateral: The bondsman needs a guarantee that the accused will meet the conditions of the bond, so collateral, such as a car or home is forfeited if the conditions aren’t met.