form of property deposited or pledged to a court

Bail is money given to the court to guarantee that someone will go to their trial. If the person does not show up for their trial, the government gets to keep the money.

If the arrested person cannot afford the full bail amount, they can use a bail bond. This is a system where part of the bail amount is paid to a company, and they do the bail paperwork. Unlike placing the full bail to the court, the bail bond payment is not returned.

If someone uses a bail bond company, and they do not show up for their court appearance (these people are known as "bail jumpers") a bounty hunter can be hired to track them down and bring them back.