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. Petition

    A petition is a legal document formally requesting a court order. ...
  3. Bond Violation

    A breach of the terms of a surety agreement. A bond violation ...
  4. Appellate Courts

    The appellate courts hear and review appeals from legal cases ...
  5. Writ of Attachment

    A form of prejudgment process in which a court orders the attachment ...
  6. De Novo Judicial Review

    A standard of review that does not place weight on the previous ...
Related Articles
  1. Tech

    Blockchain App Helps Indigent Defendants Make Bail

    The app Bail Bloc lets users donate part of their computer’s processing power to help low-income defendants post bail.
  2. Tech

    App Uses Cryptocurrency To Help Indigent Post Bail

    Bail Bloc lets you use your spare computing power to mine cryptocurrencies and exchange them for dollars to post bail for poor defendants.
  3. Taxes

    Tax Court: Your Last Resort

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

    Can Good News Be A Signal To Sell?

    Sometimes positive announcements can mean bad news for a stock. Find out why.
  5. Investing

    Corporate Bond Basics: Learn to Invest

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

    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.
  8. Investing

    Bond Funds Boost Income, Reduce Risk

    Bond funds can provide stable returns for those who depend on their investment income.
  9. Investing

    Basics Of Federal Bond Issues

    Treasuries are considered the safest investments, but they should still be analyzed when issued.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How a bond's face value differs from its price

    Discover how bonds are traded as investment securities and understand the various terms used in bond trading, including par ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Consumer Price Index - CPI

    A measure that examines the weighted average of prices of a basket of consumer goods and services, such as transportation, ...
  2. Moving Average - MA

    A moving average (MA) is a widely used indicator in technical analysis that helps smooth out price action by filtering out ...
  3. Stop Order

    A stop order is an order to buy or sell a security when its price increases past a particular point in order to limit losses ...
  4. Inflation

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

    A chart that displays the high, low, opening and closing prices for a security for a single day. The wide part of the candlestick ...
  6. Indicator

    Indicators are statistics used to measure current conditions as well as to forecast financial or economic trends.
Trading Center