If you are thinking about posting bail for a loved one for the first time, it's normal to feel overwhelmed. In fact, you might even know what kind of language to use with a pro.

These are the words your bail bond professional wants you to know.

Bail Bond

The bail bond is essentially the contract between the bail bond agent and the defendant that he or she will attend all court hearings or forfeit the bond and any property involved. This includes collateral, the property of value somebody uses to secure a loan. Collateral is often a title to a car or jewelry.

Cash Bond

If you pay a cash bond, you are paying the entirety of the bail amount. You might choose a cash bond if you are unable to secure a bail bond or if the bond amount is relatively low.

Own Recognizance

If you are released on your own recognizance, you do not need to pay bail. In these types of cases, you are likely facing a low-level charge that was not violent and does not come with jail or prison time.


The bond premium is the amount of money you or a loved one pays to the bail bond professional. It is typically a percentage of the bail set by the judge. For example, the bail may be set at $50,000. The bond premium would be $5,000.


The defendant is the person who was arrested and needs to be bailed out of jail. This is the person who needs to attend trials in order to avoid bond forfeiture.


If you are signing a bail bond for a loved one, you are an indemnitor. You might also call yourself a co-signer. In either case, this is the person who may be financially responsible if the defendant does not show up to court.

Conditions of Bail

If your bail has conditions set on it, there are things you are not able to do. For example, you might not be allowed to drink alcohol or perhaps even leave your home.

Skipping Bail

Somebody who skips bail fails to show up at court on their required hearing days. If you skip bail, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest.

What You Can Do With This Knowledge

If you have a loved one in need of bail bonds, you have the vocabulary you need to speak with a bail bond professional. Call a pro today to discuss your options for bail.