3 Important Bail Bond Terms To Know

Jail is not a place where people want to spend time. Unfortunately, being booked into a local jail is inevitable if you or a loved one has been arrested. A bail bondsman can be a valuable ally in helping secure someone's release from jail.

Navigating the bail bond process for the first time can be challenging, but knowing some of the important terms used in reference to bail bonds can provide you with a greater understanding of the bail process.

1. Bail Premium

There is a lot of confusion regarding the cost of bailing out of jail. A judge sets bail based on the crime a person is accused of committing and any mitigating factors. Someone who is deemed a flight risk or has no ties to the community may have a higher bail amount than someone with family in the area and a full-time job.

The full bail amount is not required if you are working with a bail bondsman when trying to obtain your own or a loved one's release from jail. A bail premium will be paid instead. The bail premium is a percentage of the total bail.

A bond agency will collect the premium and then pay the remainder of the bail, which will be returned once the defendant appears for all scheduled court dates.

2. Bail Reinstatement

Another term that you might run into while navigating the bail bond process is bail reinstatement. In the event that a defendant misses a scheduled court date, bail is forfeited and a bench warrant is issued for that individual. Once the bench warrant is cleared and a new court date is set, the bail bond will be reinstated.

You may be required to follow stricter guidelines (like keeping a curfew or reporting for drug testing on a regular basis) before your bail can be reinstated. Most bail bondsmen will also charge additional service fees to reinstate a bail bond.

3. Bail Exoneration

Bail exoneration is the final step in the bail bond process. Exoneration occurs when all legal proceedings have concluded and a case resolution has been reached. This resolution can be a guilty or innocent verdict, a dismissal, or the striking of a plea deal.

The bail premium is discharged during the exoneration phase, but you will still be responsible for paying any outstanding fees or unpaid premium payments. Failure to make these payments can serve as grounds for your bail bondsman to take you to small claims court.

For more information, contact bondsmen services in your area.