Defendant: the person arrested and who is asking for bail
Bail: the pretrial release of a defendant from custody
Bond: the posting by a person on their surety to pay a specific sum ordered by the Courts
Many people often wonder how does bail work and what is bail. When a defendant is arrested, they must either post a bail or wait in custody until their trial date. To be released from jail, they must choose to post bail. They can contact a bail bondman or they can have their family or friends to put up bail money. A bail bonds is a specified amount of money, established by the Courts, which serves as an insurance between the court and the defendant.
The bail bonds may be in the form of currency, property, or check. A surety bond is purchased through a bail bondsman, who in turn presents it to the court with a bond guaranteeing that the defendant will appear in court when needed. However, if the defendant does not appear in court, the bail money is forfeited or in the case of property, it will be seized. Also, depending upon where the Court trial is held, if the defendant is found not guilty, the bail money may still be forfeited.
In the State of Virginia, there are different bondsmen:
- Property bail bondsman – Individuals who pledge real property, cash or certificates of deposit or any combination, as security for a bond that has been posted by order of a judicial officer as a condition of bail.
- Agent bail bondsman – a licensed individuals who have been given power of attorney to act on behalf of a licensed property bondsman.
- Surety bail bondsman – individuals who are also licensed by the State Corporation Commission, in the Bureau of Insurance as a property and casualty agent and negotiates surety insurance on behalf of insurers. They guarantee that a bond that has been posted, is to assure performance of terms and conditions specified by order of a Court officer as a condition of bail.
Bail bondsmen are located throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. They are now serving all of Hampton Roads and includes Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Newport News, Suffolk, Hampton, Virginia Beach, Southeast and Central Virginia.