Various terms and phrases relating to bail bonds can understandably be confusing for someone unfamiliar with the administration of bail. We hope that the explanations below can provide a resource that alleviates stress or worry about the bail bond process.
The defendant’s first court hearing. This is where a plea is entered, release conditions are set, a need for bail is determined, and the next court date is scheduled.
This occurs when a citizen is taken into custody by law enforcement because they were charged or suspected of violating the law.
The amount of money set to assure court appearance and public safety and must be paid before a defendant can be released from jail.
A pledged agreement between the court and defendant, or the court, surety, and defendant, stating that the bondsman must provide the complete amount of bail or forfeit determined collateral in the occurrence that the defendant fails to appear on a scheduled court date.
Bail Bond Premium
Bail bonds companies charge a non-refundable sum added to the bail’s price in exchange for posting a bond on behalf of the defendant. Minnesota Bail bonds companies can charge up to 10% of the bail amount.
A licensed individual who, in exchange for compensation, acts as a surety and makes an agreement to pay a financial condition of the bond if the defendant does not appear for court.
Typically in the form of cash or real estate, collateral is anything provided by the defendant to protect a commercial bail bond agent from loss if a defendant fails to appear for court.
The person accused in a criminal proceeding.
This occurs when a defendant fails to show up for court appearances, and the bondsman is liable to the court for the full amount of money guaranteed on a bail bond. Minnesota state law only allows for a bail bond to be forfeited as a result of failing to appear.
Failure to Appear (FTA)
Consists of a defendant failing to show up at the stated time of a required court appearance. This may be considered a violation of a bail condition.
A person or company who agrees to take on the obligation typically placed on a surety to pay a fixed amount if the defendant fails to appear in court.
A person, such as a bondsman, who commits responsibility for the appearance of the defendant in court.
A document issued by the court to arrest someone accused of a crime.