If a friend or relative has to post bail but can’t afford the amount set by a judge, you can seek the help of a bail bondsman while they remain in jail. But while you will find several bail bond companies today, they are no all the same.
Understanding the Bail Bondsman
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. If the defendant does not appear in court as dictated by the judge, the bail agent will pay a preset amount. This bond serves as an assurance of the temporary freedom of the defendant, who otherwise may not be able to pay the court-determined bail amount.
Role of a Bail Bondsman
A bail bondsman is basically the defendant’s surety, meaning in case the accused does not appear in court as expected, the bondsman will pay the monetary penalty set by the court. 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 intend to use a particular bail bondsman, it’s wise to check if they are backed by the Better Business Bureau. Some companies seek a collateral, such as a car or any property title, while others 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 normally obtain their licenses from the state 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 why you should choose a bondsman with a long local history. 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 with any legal resource, the bondsman of your choice should be the one most suitable for your specific circumstances.