If you have a friend or relative who needs to post bail but doesn’t have the money required by a judge, then you can help by making arrangements with a bail bondsman while they are in jail. But while you will find several bail bond companies today, they are no all the same.
Bail Bondsman Defined
A bail bond, also known as a surety bond, is a type of bail that is paid to the courts by a person or company known as a bail bondsman on behalf of the person accused. In the event that the defendant fails to appear before the court as dictated by the judge, the bail agent agrees to pay a certain amount. The bond ensures the release of the defendant, who otherwise may have to remain in jail because of their inability to pay the court-determined bail amount.
The Role of a Bail Bondsman
A bail bondsman serves as the accused person’s surety, which means that they or the company will pay the monetary penalty if the defendant does not fulfill their promise to show up in court when they have to. If the person facing court charges violates the terms and conditions of the bond deal, the bondsman is legally permitted to recoup the money from the accused. Fortunately, this is a rare scenario, with most people showing up in court when they are told to. Surety companies, however, typically refuse to provide bail bonds to high-risk defendants.
Qualities of a Good Bail Bondsman
If you’re planning to use a certain bail bond company, it’s good to check if they are supported by the Better Business Bureau. There are companies that ask for a collateral, usually the title to your car or some other property, and there are those that don’t. Either way, a good bondsman can provide answers to all your related questions, from details on the bail hearings to the how repayments will be made and so on. Of course, they need to be able to provide documentation as evidence that they can legally work in your jurisdiction. Be sure to ask for your prospective bondsman’s licensing information prior to using their services. Agents are usually licensed through their state’s Department of Insurance.
In addition, a good bail bondsman will be able to work with the jails and courts 24/7 so that a bail hearing could be arranged as soon as possible. This is where local knowledge plays a key role. Bondsmen that have a good relationship with the local jail and sheriff will be able to facilitate a quick release and work out favorable terms. As when choosing any legal resource, you need to make sure that you work with the bail agent that is best for your unique situation.