What Is A Bail Bond

A ‘bail bond’ is very similar to a check. It is delivered to the jail to allow a defendant’s release from custody, and is then transmitted to the court clerk’s office, usually to be held in the bailee’s (defendant) case file. If the defendant makes all required court appearances and finalizes the proceedings against him/her, the bail bond is ‘exonerated’ and liability thereunder is terminated.

If a bailee fails to appear in court as ordered, notice of the failure to appear (FTA) is mailed to the responsible bail agency and the surety insurance company that guarantees the agency’s bonds.

Under the law the bail agency has a fixed time period within which to get the bailee back into court; if the defendant does not return to court within the time allowed, a judge will order the bail agency and insurance company to pay the full amount of the bail bond to the court. When this happens, the bail agency that has suffered the loss on the bond will turn to the indemnitor(s) for the money it paid to the court.

When a defendant FTA’s and the bail bond is in jeopardy, the bail agency will notify the bail indemnitor of the FTA upon its receipt of notice from the court.