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. Investing

    Can Good News Be A Signal To Sell?

    Sometimes positive announcements can mean bad news for a stock. Find out why.
  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. Financial Advisor

    How Trump Could Let the Fiduciary Rule Die on the Vine

    If Donald Trump keeps his promise to repeal the fiduciary rule his administration could do so by not defending it against pending lawsuits.
  7. Investing

    What is a Premium Bond?

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

    Is Freeport-McMoRan Bailing on Oil and Gas? (FCX)

    Weak oil prices are forcing Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) to take a hard look at its oil business. This is after these weak prices crushed the company's earnings in the first quarter. However, ...
  10. Investing

    5 Basic Things To Know About Bonds

    Learn these basic terms to breakdown this seemingly complex investment area.
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. Portfolio Investment

    A holding of an asset in a portfolio. A portfolio investment is made with the expectation of earning a return on it. This ...
  2. Treynor Ratio

    A ratio developed by Jack Treynor that measures returns earned in excess of that which could have been earned on a riskless ...
  3. Buyback

    The repurchase of outstanding shares (repurchase) by a company in order to reduce the number of shares on the market. Companies ...
  4. Tax Refund

    A tax refund is a refund on taxes paid to an individual or household when the actual tax liability is less than the amount ...
  5. Gross Domestic Product - GDP

    The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country's borders in a specific time period, ...
  6. Inflation

    The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising and, consequently, the purchasing power of ...
Trading Center