Bail Terms You May Not Recognize

Bail is an amount of money that allows an arrested person to get out of jail while the case drags on in the judicial system. The amount of bail required is typically determined by the state legislature, though there are districts that permit the judge to determine and rule on the monies. This allows the court to take into account the severity of the crime and the amount of danger other people were under at the time the crime was committed. There are even times the bond may be waived. To understand bail, you may want to become familiar with these unusual terms.

  1. Commissioner

A judge assigned to hold a hearing over a case during emergency hours to move the accused through the legal system quickly.

  1. Agent

The agent is the person working for a bail bond business, such as the Washington County bail bonds company, that can arrange the defendant’s release from jail on an agreed amount of money.

  1. Surety

An individual labeled liable for the defendant’s bail debt.

  1. Bailee

The company agent that receives money or property from someone as a bail amount is called the bailee.

  1. Personal Recognizance

The term “personal recognizance” is used in a criminal case when a judge allows the defendant to be released after he or she agrees to appear back in court at a scheduled time.

  1. Bail Jumper

When a defendant is released from jail on bail, but then the criminal defaults on the agreement to return to assigned meetings or court proceedings.

  1. Bonds

Bonds require a 10% fee of property or cash to be paid to the bail company before the agent can make arrangements for the defendant’s release.

The bail system has been used for centuries as a means of allowing individual defendants to be discharged from jail while awaiting trial. Whether you agree with the practice or not, bail has helped millions of people return to work instead of sitting in jail.