Exonerate Law and Legal Definition

Exonerate means generally to be free from blame, responsibility, obligation, or task. In criminal law, exoneration of a bail bond is governed by state laws, which vary by state. Exoneration is a way for a surety to be relieved from liability on an appearance bond if the surety surrenders the defendant into the custody of the sheriff of the county in which the prosecution is pending and the sheriff reports the surrender to the court. In this way, bail forfeiture is avoided.

The following is an eample of a state law dealing with exoneration of bail:

Section 15-13-62

Exoneration of bail by surrender of defendant prior to conditional judgment; bail may arrest or authorize arrest of principal.

Bail may, at any time before a conditional judgment is entered against them, exonerate themselves by surrendering the defendant; and for that purpose, they may arrest the defendant on a certified copy of the undertaking at any place in the state, or may authorize another person to arrest him by an endorsement in writing on such copy.