DEFINITION of 'Bail Bond'

A written promise signed by a defendant and surety to ensure that a criminal defendant will appear in court at the scheduled time and date, as ordered by the court. The bail amount is set by the court.


The process starts with a defendant being released on bail; the bail is paid by a surety (bail bond agent or bondsman), who usually collects a percentage of the amount of bail. In order to pay the bail, so that the defendant can be released while awaiting trial on criminal charges, the agent might require collateral in the form of valuable property, securities or a statement of creditworthiness.

BREAKING DOWN 'Bail Bond'

Bonds over $1,000 usually cost 10% of the bond. For example, if bail is set at $20,000, the premium would be $2,000. Additional fees may also be added. The goal of a bail bond is to prevent abuse of the appeal process, where the intent for appeal is for a reason other than that for which it is intended. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the cash bond is paid to the court and the collateral is collected by the bond agency, including any other related fees.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Appeal Bond

    An amount of money placed in holding while the appeal is being ...
  2. Bond Violation

    A breach of the terms of a surety agreement. A bond violation ...
  3. Bailout Bond

    A debt security issued by the Resolution Funding Corporation ...
  4. Attachment

    A legal term referring to the action of seizing property in anticipation ...
  5. Surety

    The guarantee of the debts of one party by another. A surety ...
  6. Associate In Fidelity And Surety ...

    A designation earned by bond producers, bond underwriters, and ...
Related Articles
  1. Taxes

    Tax Court: Your Last Resort

    Appealing an unfavorable or unfair tax ruling may be your last chance to save your finances.
  2. Insights

    Explaining Too Big To Fail

    Too big to fail means that a business has become so large that its failure would have catastrophic economic repercussions.
  3. Personal Finance

    6 Unusual Ways To Make A Living

    Bounty hunters, repo men, body guards - many of these strange jobs are on the rise, so find out more about job requirements and pay.
  4. Investing

    Corporate Bond Basics: Learn to Invest

    Understand the basics of corporate bonds to increase your chances of positive returns.
  5. Investing

    What Bonds Are Saying About The Next Stock Plunge

    The relationship between bonds and stocks can reveal a lot about the future direction of the stock market.
  6. Investing

    The Basics Of Bonds

    Bonds play an important part in your portfolio as you age; learning about them makes good financial sense.
  7. Investing

    How To Choose The Right Bond For You

    Bond investing is a stable and low-risk way to diversify a portfolio. However, knowing which types of bonds are right for you is not always easy.
  8. Investing

    Investing in Bonds: 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Today's Market

    Investors need to understand the five mistakes involving interest rate risk, credit risk, complex bonds, markups and inflation to avoid in the bond market.
  9. Investing

    What is a Premium Bond?

    A premium bond is one that trades above its face or nominal amount.
  10. Investing

    Surprise! The Best Long-term Bond Investment May Be Savings Bonds

    A 20-year Series EE savings bond pays more interest than a 20-year Treasury bond. So are government-issued long-term bonds the best bet going?
RELATED FAQS
  1. Under the Uniform Securities Act, a broker-dealer is generally required to obtain ...

    The correct answer is c. The correct answer is $10,000. While the Act states that the Administrator may set the amount, the ... Read Answer >>
  2. How does face value differ from the price of a bond?

    Discover how bonds are traded as investment securities and understand the various terms used in bond trading, including par ... Read Answer >>
  3. What determines the price of a bond in the open market?

    Learn more about some of the factors that influence the valuation of bonds on the open market, and why bond prices and yields ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Co-pay

    A type of insurance policy where the insured pays a specified amount of out-of-pocket expenses for health-care services such ...
  2. Protectionism

    Government actions and policies that restrict or restrain international trade, often done with the intent of protecting local ...
  3. Fiduciary

    A fiduciary is a person who acts on behalf of another person, or persons to manage assets.
  4. Demonetization

    Demonetization is the act of stripping a currency unit of its status as legal tender and is necessary whenever there is a ...
  5. Investment

    An asset or item that is purchased with the hope that it will generate income or appreciate in the future. In an economic ...
  6. Redlining

    The unethical practice whereby financial institutions make it extremely difficult or impossible for residents of poor inner-city ...
Trading Center