A written promise by a surety and defendant to ensure that the criminal defendant will make his/her appearance in the court at the scheduled date and time, as ordered by court. The bail amount is provided by the court.

The process begins after the released of a defendant using a bail; the bail is provided by the surety (bondsman or bail bond agent), who normally collects a portion of the bail amount. To pay the bail, so that the defendant will be free while waiting for the trial on criminal charges, the agent may oblige a collateral in the form of a statement of creditworthiness, securities, or even valuable properties.