Common Terms You’ll Come Across During the Bail Bonds Process

Common Terms You’ll Come Across During the Bail Bonds Process

You’ll likely come across some new and unfamiliar terms during the bail bonds process. Encountering these words and phrases can add greater confusion to an already complicated system.

At Andy Callif Bail Bonds, we are committed to helping individuals in Columbus effectively navigate the complexities of the process. Our team takes the time to provide detailed answers to our client’s questions and ensure that they understand bail bonds' various concepts.

Although we discuss common terms in this blog, we recognize that you may have additional queries and concerns that have not been covered. We invite you to contact us at (614) 945-4334 for further assistance.

Common Bail Bonds Terms

Appearance Bond

With an appearance bond, the defendant or their friends or family deposits 10% of the bail amount from their own funds. At the end of the case, the court returns 90% of the deposit, minus applicable fees, provided the defendant appears as required.


Bail refers to the means of releasing someone from jail after they have been arrested but before their criminal case has been heard. It may involve monetary or non-monetary conditions the defendant must abide by while out of police custody.

Bail Bond

A bail bond is a promise between the defendant or a bail bonds agency and the court. It serves as an assurance that the defendant will show up for all required court appearances.

Bail Bonds Agent

A bail bonds agent is a person working for a licensed bail bonds company who submits a surety to the court, guaranteeing the defendant’s appearance for future hearings. They agree to cover the full bail amount should the defendant flee before their case concludes. They recover any money that must be paid out from the defendant or the individual who secured the bail bond. The agent charges a non-refundable fee for their services.

Cash Bond

A cash bond is money the defendant or their friends or family pays to the court from their own pocket. Generally, the individual must pay the full bail amount to secure release from jail. If the defendant shows up for all court appearances, the court returns their cash, minus state fees. If the defendant fails to appear, the court keeps the money.


Typically, collateral is property that the defendant or their friends or family may put up when securing a bail bond. It ensures that the bail bonds company can recover funds it might owe the court if the defendant does not appear for their hearings.

Conditions of Bail

Conditions of bail are the terms of release the court sets to ensure public safety and that the defendant returns to court when required. The conditions can be financial – where the defendant or their loved ones pay money for release from jail.

They can also be non-financial requirements, such as:

  • Travel restrictions,
  • House arrest,
  • Prohibited contact with the alleged victim, and/or
  • Substance abuse treatment.


A defendant is a person arrested for an alleged criminal offense.


In terms of bail, exoneration means that the defendant or their loved one is released from liabilities associated with the bond. Bail is exonerated after the defendant has successfully completed the conditions of bail and their case concludes.

Failure to Appear

Failure to appear means that the defendant did not show up for scheduled court hearings. Their bond is forfeited, and they may face various penalties.


Bond is forfeit when the defendant fails to appear in court. The court retains the money the defendant or their loved ones paid to secure release (if a cash bail was posted), or the defendant or their loved ones owe the bail bonds company the remaining bail amount (if they went through an agency).


An indemnitor is a co-signer for a bail bond. By signing for the bail bond, they accept certain responsibilities, such as ensuring that the defendant shows up for required court appearances. They may be liable for the entire bail amount if the defendant fails to appear.

Pretrial Detention

Pretrial detention is when a defendant is held in police custody after an arrest but before their case is heard. They may remain in detention for the duration of their case if bail is denied or they cannot post bail.

Pretrial Release

Pretrial release refers to being free from police custody while a criminal case is pending. Typically, the defendant must abide by various conditions during this time.


When a defendant is released on their own recognizance, they are not required to pay bail. Instead, their signature serves as their promise that they will return to court when required.

Surety Bond

A surety is a bond secured through a bail bonds agency. The defendant or their friends or family pay a 10% non-refundable fee for the surety.

If you need help through the bail bonds process in Columbus, please reach out to Andy Callif Bail Bonds by calling (614) 945-4334 or submitting an online contact form. We provide prompt and knowledgeable assistance.


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