Bail is confusing, complicated, and not fun at all. Understanding bail is complicated enough, but then there is the bail lingo that can make things worse.
When you call to inquire about a loved one who is in jail, you will soon be confronted with a term that you may not be familiar with. It’s not like you plan on having to bail someone out, so you obviously didn’t study up on the lingo. Words like defendant, indemnitor, and co-signer will seem foreign to anyone who has never dealt with bail before.
First, the defendant is the person who is in custody. This is typically your loved one. The defendant is the person who you’re trying to bail out. An easy way to remember who the defendant is, is to think that the defendant is the person who is trying to defend themselves.
Then there is the indemnitor is the person who is helping post bail for the defendant. Indemnitors are needed when the defendant can’t post bail by themselves. Sometimes when a defendant can’t post bail, they may need co-signers. This is similar to when you were younger, and you needed a car loan, but you needed your parent’s signature to get the loan. The Indemnitor is typically the person who calls us. We will gather most of the information from the indemnitor. The indemnitor is responsible for the bond.