by WebMaster on March 1, 2011

Bail Company / Bail Agency

The legal business name filed with or approved by the California Department of Insurance, verify agency status

Bail Agent / Bail Bondsman

The licensed person working for the bail company/bail agency, verify

Bail Agent License

Issued by the California Department of Insurance, every bail agent must complete yearly requirements to be in compliance with maintaining their license, check online


When a person is arrested and accused of a crime they are taken to the local jail where they are processed / booked and a monetary dollar amount is set by the jail. This dollar amount is the full amount of money required to be deposited with the jail to get a defendant released from jail…this is called bail. Bail amounts differ from county to county and each court system set their own bail schedule in accordance with their locate court system.

Bail Bond

A two part document consists of a Appearance Face Sheet and a Power of Attorney document. Information provided from the defendant’s booking sheet is copied onto these two documents and endorsed by the bail agent. This completed document is the bail bond or “financial guarantee” that is deposited at the jail for the court. Once the jail supervisor accepts and approves the bail bond the defendant is release on bond to the custody of the bail company.

Bail Bond Premium

A non-refundable cost/fee charged by the bail company for supplying/pledging the full amount of the bail. The annual amount paid to the bail company for their service is usually 10% of the full amount of the bail they pledge. The 10% is customarily paid by the indemnitor to the bail company at the time the bail bond is written.

Indemnitor / Co-Signer

A bail bond guarantees one thing with the court:
1.) The defendant will appear in court EACH and EVERY time until ALL court appearances are complete!
The primary reason for co-signing for a bail bond is obligating one’s self to reimburse the bail bond company. The financial obligation is for the full amount of the bail bond pledged to the court in the event the defendant neglects to appear for all court appearances and the court keeps the bail bond money as the penalty for the defendant’s breaching contract. Before a bail bond is given for a defendant’s release, a bail bond application must be completed by the potential indemnitor. Based on established credit worthiness, the bail bond company can evaluate the likeliness of being reimbursed by the indemnitor legally entitled money due to a breach of contract.
Bail Bond Application, Bail Bond Contract and Bail Bond Collateral (if applicable) are completed and signed by the indemnitor, defendant and the bail bond company.
The indemnitor is off the hook for the bail bond amount when the defendant has made the final appearance required by the court or if the bail bond has been exonerated by the court prior to the final appearance. However, the liability of co-signing doesn’t end until after full payment (if applicable) of monies is made for premium balances, interest/penalties-or-other assessed costs.
All nonpublic information gathered pursuant to the bail bond application is strictly confidential and shall not be disclosed except as permitted by law.


Something of value the indemnitor has a financial interest (real estate, personal property, stocks, bonds, etc.) which might be required to be held or a lien placed against by the bail agency as “security” for the bail bond pledged to the court. If collateral was pledged to the bail bond company it will be returned per contract after the bail bond(s) is/are official exonerated by the court.

Not all bail bonds require collateral be taken as security and each bond is different based on a case by case situation. Here are a few factors to whether collateral might be required: the “high” dollar amount of the bail bond, the defendant’s prior conviction record, the likelihood the defendant will appear and resolve the case in court.

Bail Bond Forfeiture

When a bail bond is deposited for the release of a defendant from jail the financial guarantee by the bail bond company to the court is that the defendant will personally appear in court for each and every date until ALL court appearances are complete. If the defendant fails to appear on a scheduled court date the judge will place the bail bond in a forfeited status and issue a warrant for the defendants arrest for not appearing.

Soon thereafter, the court will send the bail company a Notice of Bail Forfeiture, advising the bail company of the no-show of the defendant in court. At this point the court has put the bail company on notice stating if the defendant doesn’t return to court with the required Re-assumption of Liability the court will not clear the warrant and the judge cannot “Reinstate” the bail. If the defendant doesn’t return to court timely, the court will demand full payment from the bail company as a penalty for the defendant’s non-compliance.

Bail Bond Reassumption of Liability

After a bail bond has been ordered to a forfeited status, a Reassumption of Liability is the legal documentation provided by the bail company. This document must be filed with the court and will give consent which allows the court to remove the bail bond from the forfeited status and re-use the original bail bond on behalf of the defendant.

Bail Bond Reinstatement

If the judge accepts from the defendant the reason as to why the court date was missed, the judge will order the bail bond forfeiture to be vacated and the bail bond reinstated to the original conditions that guarantees the appearance of the defendant.

Exoneration of Bail Bond

For bail bond purposes, the bail bond is exonerated by the court when the defendant has made the final appearance required by the court. Usually the case has been adjudicated and the court sends notice to the bail bond company when this has happened.

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