Bail Definitions

Bail – security demanded by the court to guarantee the appearance of the accused during the pending action while on release from custody  Bail Bond – A power of attorney issued by a surety insurance company, executed by their licensed agent to allow a defendant freedom from incarceration pending adjudication of the criminal case.

Bail Agent – An individual licensed by the Department of Insurance who contracts for the undertaking of bail.

Collateral – Assets pledged by an indemnitor as security for the appearance of a defendant released on a bail bond. Collateral is returned to the depositor upon adjudication of the case.

Defendant – A person required to appear in court to answer pending charges.

Forfeiture – Issued by the court advising non-appearance of a defendant on bail, stipulating schedule of demand for full payment of the subject bail bond.  Indemnitor – Friend or family of the defendant who accepts liability for the bail bond by pledging real or personal property.

Own Recognizance (O.R.) – Release from custody by making a personal promise to appear in court on a date mandated by the Court

Liability – Responsibility for any financial loss incurred in connection with the bail bond posted.

Premium – The bail bond fee as regulated by the Department of Insurance, typically ten percent of the bail amount.