Other than the words bail (money paid to the court that will ensure your appearance at court hearings) and bond (money paid to the court on the defendant’s behalf, typically paid by a bail bond company), there are several terms that come up throughout the bail bonds and court processes. Getting arrested and taken into custody is already an overwhelming situation, let alone when you don’t understand what’s going on or the jargon that the judges, police officers, and bail bondsman are using.
ASAP Bail Bonds wants to help you through this process. We can ensure that you spend as little time in custody as possible, we provide some of the lowest bail bond fees in Gwinnett County, and we can help you understand what your responsibilities are throughout the process. Whenever you need help posting bail, you can count on our 24-hour bail bond services.
Bail Bond Definitions You’ll Need to Know
Indemnitor, or Co-Singer
When you are arrested and get help posting bail from a friend or family member rather than a bail bondsman, they are your indemnitor, or co-signer. Whoever pays for the bail amount, whether it’s a friend or family member, is responsible for ensuring that you appear at your court hearings. If you do not show up to your court date, you could forfeit the bail amount, meaning that your friend or family member will not get back the bail amount. Indemnitors may also need to cover any costs incurred during the court process, such as filing fees, court costs, or money spent trying to find and bring back the defendant when they did not appear at court.
When a defendant is released on bail, there are certain conditions of release that must be followed, such as not traveling, not breaking the law, maintaining employment, and they must appear at their court hearing. When any condition is broken, the bond that was paid by a bail bond service is revoked. The defendant is then fully responsible for paying the entire bail amount or any property used as collateral could be seized.
When a bond is revoked, the defendant will have an opportunity to fight the revocation and explain why they didn’t appear at court or why a condition was not followed. However, if the judge upholds the revocation, the bond is forfeited and the defendant must return to jail.
The word surety can be confusing, but is essentially a fancy word for a bail bond company or a person who provides the court with a bond on the defendant’s behalf, similar to an indemnitor. When someone is arrested, they can obtain a surety bond from a bail bond company, which provides some assurance that the defendant will appear at their court hearing. The bail bondsman will act as the surety.
Failure to Appear
Commonly known as simply FTA, this is an additional criminal charge that a judge can impose on a defendant when they fail to appear at a court hearing. There are several court hearings throughout the process, including bail hearing, arraignment, and preliminary hearing. It is essential that a defendant make all of these court appearances or their bail bond will be forfeited.
Fugitive Recovery Agent
Better known as a bounty hunter, these agents are responsible for investigating and finding fugitives, such as when a defendant doesn’t show at their court hearing. They also are responsible for bringing back the person as well as the revocation of the bond. Bounty hunters are often hired by bail bond companies, but are completely separate.
The Eighth Amendment states that punishments for a crime must be fair, cannot be cruel, and that fines or penalties need to fit the crime and not be extraordinarily harsh. The Eighth Amendment also states that bail for crimes cannot be set too high. For example, bail would not be set for $1,000,000 when the defendant committed a DUI. This is to prevent judges from predetermining a defendant’s guilt and imposing a bail based on their assumptions. This is how bail schedules came about. Bail schedules are a series of bail amounts specifically for certain crimes. Generally, a felony crime will receive a bail amount that is five to 10 times higher than a misdemeanor crime.
ASAP Bail Bonds has been providing 24-hour bail bond service to defendants in the Gwinnett County area for years and we are familiar with what your rights are, what the processes are, and what your responsibilities are throughout the court process. If you have been arrested and are confused about what to do, get in touch with our bail bondsman right away. You don’t need to sit in jail just because you can’t afford to post bail. We’ll help you post bail so you can continue living your life.