Getting arrested isn’t the end of the world. There’s always a way out, and a way to avoid further trouble. Before you start exploring your bail options, though, it’s important that you’re aware of the terms and conditions that they entail. Knowledge of the legal system and its essential jargon can help you navigate the bail system better.
This blog will help you attain a basic understanding of important terms:
These are the most common types of bail bonds. Every surety bond involves three parties:
- The defendant
- The court or the judge
- The bail bond agency
The bail bondsman works on behalf of the agency, and is known as the surety. This is because their job is to ‘assure’ the court that the defendant will show for their hearing. If they fail to do so, the full bond amount will be paid to the court. The court is known as the obligee, since the bail amount paid to the court is a legal obligation. The defendant is also known as the principal. This party is indebted to the obligee.
The whole point of bail is that the defendant promises to return for their hearings. Bail doesn’t mean your case has come to a close. It only means that you’ve bought yourself some time to prepare for the hearings.
However, if the defendant fails to show up for the hearing on the pre-defined date, the court will then set another date. If the defendant doesn’t show up the second time, it means they have violated the terms and conditions of the bail bond; therefore, the bond will be declared forfeited. In this case, the bail bondsman will be required to pay the outstanding bail.
In most cases, the bail bond agency tries to avoid bond forfeiture by sending bounty hunters to track the defendant down and bring them to court.
Certain bail bond agencies require you to have a consignee who also serves as one of the involved parties. The consignee is also known as the indemnitor who takes it upon themselves to ensure that the accused shows up for the court hearings. If they fail to do so, the bail bond agency holds the indemnitor accountable. As a result, the indemnitor will be responsible for paying the rest of the bail amount.
Anyone who you trust or who trusts you can qualify as an indemnitor. In most cases, it is either a friend or a close relative.