Definition - What does Bail mean?

Bail refers to the act of depositing some type of property to a court in order to persuade the court to discharge an individual from jail while awaiting trial. If released from jail, the person is expected to return for trial on their trial date. If the individual appears for trial, the deposit is returned. However, if the individual does not show up for trial, they forfeit the money and will likely also face a charge of failure to appear.

Justipedia explains Bail

A judge is always the one who is responsible for setting an individual’s bail. However, seeing that most people would rather not spend the night in jail, the majority of jurisdictions have standard bail rates for common crimes. If a person cannot afford their bail, they can ask the judge to lower it. There is no guarantee that the judge will do so. Finally, the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution requires that an individual’s bail not be excessive.

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