Bail Bonds FAQ / Glossary

Bail Bonds FAQ Helps Answer Bail Questions You May Have

Aarrow Bail Bonds Virginia has put together this bail bonds FAQ to help answer those questions about bail bond laws in Virginia. These are the most common frequently asked questions (FAQ) about bail but are some most people don’t understand. As a bail bondsman in the Richmond community, we fell it’s our duty to educate the public on how bail works in Virginia.

Appellate Court

A court whose jurisdiction is to review decisions of lower courts or agencies.

Bail

The pretrial release of a person from custody upon those terms and conditions specified by order of an appropriate judicial officer.

Bail Bond

The posting by a person or his surety of a written promise to pay a specific sum, secured or unsecured, ordered by an appropriate judicial officer as a condition of bail to assure performance of the terms and conditions contained in the recognizance.

Bail Bond – Secured

A bail bond which is backed by collateral. This can be in form of cash, a lien to a title, or a mortgage. If a licensed bail bondsman is involved, the bonding agent has the collateral pre-approved, be it a property, or backing by an insurance company.

Bail Bond – Unsecured

A bail bond which holds a defendant liable for the conditions of the bond. A defendant signs a contract and agrees to appear before the court. The defendant promises to pay the bond amount if s/he fails to appear in all the court proceedings.

Bail Bondsman

Any person who is licensed by the Department who engages in the business of bail bonding and is thereby authorized to conduct business in all courts of the Commonwealth.

Bill of Particulars

A written statement outlining the reasons a plaintiff, or prosecutor, filed a lawsuit against a defendant. It is a detailed, formal, written statement of charges or claims by a plaintiff or the prosecutor given upon the defendant’s formal request to the court for more detailed information.

Criminal History

The records and data collected by criminal justice agencies or persons consisting of identifiable descriptions and notations of arrests, detentions, indictments, informations or other formal charges, and any deposition arising therefrom.

Felony

Regarded as a more serious criminal offense, and may punishable by imprisonment for a minimum of at least one year.

Felony

A formal charge or accusation of a felony.

Judicial Officer

Unless otherwise indicated, any magistrate within his jurisdiction, any judge of a district court and the clerk or deputy clerk of any district court or circuit court within their respective cities and counties, any judge of a circuit court, any judge of the Court of Appeals and any justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Misdemeanor

A criminal offense which is less serious than a felony. Regarded as misbehavior, is usually punishable with monetary fines, but may involve some jail time, but never imprisonment.

Probable Cause

Apparent facts discovered through logical inquiry that would lead a reasonably intelligent and prudent person to believe that an accused person has committed a crime, thereby warranting his or her prosecution, or that a Cause of Action has accrued, justifying a civil lawsuit.

Property Bail Bondsman

A person licensed pursuant to this article who, for compensation, enters into a bond or bonds for others, whether as a principal or surety, or otherwise pledges real property, cash or certificates of deposit issued by a federally insured institution, or any combination thereof as security for a bond as defined in § 19.2-119 that has been posted to assure performance of terms and conditions specified by order of an appropriate judicial officer as a condition of bail.

Recognizance

A signed commitment by a person to appear in court as directed and to adhere to any other terms ordered by an appropriate judicial officer as a condition of bail. this is also known as ROR (Released on Recognizance).

Surety Bail Bondsman

A person licensed pursuant to this article who is also licensed by the State Corporation Commission as a property and casualty insurance agent, and who sells, solicits, or negotiates surety insurance as defined in § 38.2-121 on behalf of insurers licensed in the Commonwealth, pursuant to which the insurer becomes surety on or guarantees a bond, as defined in § 19.2-119, that has been posted to assure performance of terms and conditions specified by order of an appropriate judicial officer as a condition of bail.