Bail Bond Terms You Should Learn Before Signing The Contract

Finance & Money Articles

When contracting with a bail bond company to get yourself or a loved one out of jail, you'll likely hear a lot of industry terms being thrown around. It's important to know what these terms mean and how they impact your transaction with the company to ensure you fully understand the bail bonding process. Here are three common phrases you'll come across and their definitions.

Bail Conditions

Most of the time when a judge imposes bail, the defendant is only required to show up to all court appointments to avoid forfeiting the money paid to get out of jail. Sometimes, though, judges will order the defendant to perform addition tasks or adhere to certain rules as a condition of his or her release. These are called bail conditions, and they can include any number of things, such as being required to:

  • Complete a drug or alcohol rehab program
  • Check in with a probation officer at regular intervals
  • Wear an ankle monitor
  • Find or maintain employment
  • Stay within a certain geographical area
  • Avoid a certain person
  • Turn over firearms or other weapons

Failure to complete the obligations set by the judge may result in forfeiture of bail and the defendant being put back in jail. If the court revokes the bond, the bail company will hold the person who signed the contract responsible for repaying the money it lost, which typically includes taking possession of any collateral used to guarantee the bond.

Therefore, it's critical you completely understand the terms of  your loved one's or your release. It's important to note that some bail companies may also have bail conditions of their own—such as requiring the defendant to check in with an agent periodically—so read the contract carefully to determine if that's the case to avoid being caught by surprise.

No-Bail Warrants

When people are wanted by police or fail to appear in court as required, warrants for their arrest are usually issued. These warrants remain on a person's record until they are satisfied. So even if you move to another state, you could be arrested if you're pulled over by police for some reason and the warrant comes up when they do a search on your name. In many cases, these warrants will have a bail amount attached. This means you can get out of jail by paying the amount required, eliminating the need to wait to see a judge.

Sometimes, though, the court will issue what's called a no-bail warrant, which means you have to stay in jail until your court date. This type of warrant is usually issued in cases where a serious crime has been committed (e.g. armed robbery, murder), the person violated parole or probation, or the person failed to appear in court.

Unfortunately, until bail has been set, a bondsman can't do anything to get you or your loved one out. However, once the judge determines what the bail amount will be—if any—the company will work with you to get released.

Right to Arrest

Because of the work they do in connection with the court system, bail bondsmen are sometimes granted special powers by the state. One of those special powers it's the ability to arrest a defendant and deliver the person to court.

However, this privilege is typically only to be exercised if and when a defendant skips bail. The bondsman must turn the person over to the police at the earliest possible moment and is authorized to hold the defendant in a safe and secure location in the meantime. They are not required to obtain a warrant and can enter any establishment to get the person.

Before signing a bail contract, be sure to discuss any terms you may not understand with the agent or research them online so you are fully informed. For help getting yourself or your loved one out of jail, contact a bail bond company, like Absolute Bail Bonds.


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