Bail bonds allow a person who has been arrested to go free while they await their trial. If a person is arrested and the judge sets bail, a bail bondsman will put up the full amount for a fee of around 10 percent. This service allows people who cannot afford the full bail amount to obtain their release. The bail bonds process is as old as the United States itself, with roots in medieval England. While you may understand the basics, some of the terminology might be confusing. Check out our guide to the most common terms used in the world of bail bonds:

Bail: Bail is defined as the sum of money required for an arrested person to go free pending their trial. The bail amount depends on a variety of factors including the severity of the crime and is decided by the court.

Bail Bond: A bail bond serves as a type of insurance for the court that states the full bail amount will be paid if the defendant fails to appear in court. Bail bonds are acquired from bail bondsmen, who present the bond to the court to acquire the release of the arrested person.

Bail Bondsman: A bail bondsman is a person who provides bail bonds in exchange for a fee — usually around 10 percent of the total bail cost. Bondsmen work for agencies and even sometimes insurance companies. At Icon Bail Bonds, our bail bondsmen are waiting to serve you 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Collateral: Collateral is defined as property that is put up as a guarantee for repayment to the bail bondsman in the event of forfeiture by the arrested person. Examples of collateral include houses and cars. Collateral is not always a requirement when acquiring a bail bond.

Forfeiture: A forfeiture occurs when an individual released from jail under a bail bond does not show up in court. At this point, the bail bondsman must deliver the full bail amount to the courts. At this point, the arrested person is considered a fugitive. A fugitive recovery agent, also known as a bounty hunter, may be retained to retrieve the fugitive.

Indemnitor: The indemnitor is the person who obtains the bail bond — usually a family member, friend or colleague of the arrested person. The indemnitor must sign the bail bond agreement contract and pay for the cost of the bond. They are responsible for the full cost of the bail and any other costs accrued in case the defendant fails to show up in court.

At Icon Bail Bonds, we have the professional experience to make the bail bonds process run smoothly. We understand that obtaining bail can be a stressful situation. Our personal service is always confidential, and if you can’t get to us, we’ll come to you. Our bondsmen are standing by to take care of your bail bonds needs — contact us today for immediate service!