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Bail Terminology


The arraignment is the defendant’s first court hearing. A plea is entered, conditions of release are set, the need for bail determined and the next court date is set.


When a person is taken into custody by law enforcement after being charged or suspected of committing a crime.

Bail Bond

A guarantee pledged to the court to secure a defendant’s future appearance in court. In Vermont, there are 3 types of bonds commonly used. The unsecured appearance bond is a bond the defendant simply signs agreeing to pay a certain amount should they fail to appear in court. The secured appearance bond usually requires a deposit of either cash or a bail bond to “secure” the secured portion, usually 10% is the secured portion. Surety bond, this is a bail bond. The requirement of “cash Only” bail is unconstitutional in the state of Vermont.

Bail Bondsman

An individual licensed by the Vermont Department of Banking and Insurance as a bail bondsman and working for a legitimate bail bond company.

Bail Bond Premium

Vermont is a 10% bail state. All reputable bail bondsman will charge a 10% fee or premium to post bail. The premium is not refunded once the defendant is released on bail.

Bail Forfeiture

A bail forfeiture occurs when a defendant fails to appear in court and the bail bond company is unable to return the defendant to the court before the bail forfeiture hearing. At that time, the bail bond company becomes liable to the court for the full amount of the bail bond.


In some cases, usually larger or more risky bonds, the bail bond company will require collateral be placed with the bail bond company as a condition of posting the bond. Collateral is usually in the form of cash or real estate. The collateral is returned when the court releases the bond upon successful completion of the case.

Conditions of Release

Conditions of release are set by the judge at arraignment and are used to set limits of what the defendant can and cannot do while their case is pending trial.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

Each defendant is entitled to representation by a lawyer. If the defendant cannot afford their own lawyer, the court will appoint a public defender. A private lawyer is retained privately by the defendant.


The person accused of a crime.


When a fugitive is arrested in another state and the state where they originally failed to appear agrees to come and transport the defendant back to their state.

Failure to Appear (fta)

When the defendant fails to appear at any required court appearance. A fta usually results in an arrest warrant being issued by the court.

Federal Bonds

Bail bond posted for criminal cases in US District Court.


A crime punishable by 2 or more years in jail.


A person that fails to appear in court in one state and is arrested in another state.

Immigration Bonds

A bond needed to secure the release of an individual detained by US Immigration in matters related to US visa violations. These bonds are posted through our office in Baltimore, Md.


When a person is in jail.

Indemnitor (Co-signer) (Guarantor)

The person financially responsible to the bail bond company should a defendant fail to appear in court resulting in a bail forfeiture.


A crime punishable by less than 2 years in jail.


The term bail bond and surety bond mean the same thing.

Transfer Bond

When a Vermonter is arrested in another state, Advantage Bail Bonds, may be able to post a bond in that state through our insurance company family of agents.


A order by the court to arrest a person accused of a crime.