Teaching Kids to Be Responsible with Money

4 Terms To Know When Using Bail

by Ian Wallace

Are you getting a bail bond to get a loved one released early from jail? If so, there are going to be a variety of terms that you need to be familiar with. 

Own Recognizance

If someone is being released from jail without having to post bail, this is considered being released on their own recognizance. This may be something the defendant tries to do while they are in custody, which will require being interviewed by a judge so that they can get a good idea of why they should be released on their own recognizance. For example, they may be a first-time offender, be a business owner in the community, or demonstrate some sort of community ties that would cause them to not leave town and eventually return for their court date. 

Surety Bond

When you use a bail bond, you should be aware that it is also referred to as a surety bond. A contract will exist between the court, the defendant, and the bail agent where all three entities are involved to make the agreement work. The defendant agrees to return to court on their court date, and the bail agent will provide the bail money so that the defendant can be released. If the terms of the defendant's release are violated, such as not showing up to court, the bail agent is responsible for releasing the bail money to the court, and the defendant is responsible for paying back the bail agent. 

Skipping Bail

The bail terms require that the defendant return to court for their hearing, or even require they stay in a specific geographic area until the hearing date. If the defendant were to leave town or not show up for the court date, it would be considered skipping bail. Any bail provided would be forfeited, and a warrant will be out for the defendant's arrest. 

Bounty Hunter

Bounty hunters are not just a person that exists in movies and TV shows. They are a bail enforcement agent and can be used by bail agents if you were to ever not show up to court per the agreement of being released from jail. The bounty hunter has the right to enforce the terms of the bail and bring you back to jail if necessary.

Confused about some other terms that you've heard when bailing someone out of jail? Reach out to your bail agent for more information on licensed bail bonds.