What Is a Bail Bondsman?

What Is a Bail Bondsman?

There are currently almost 15,000 bail bondsmen across the United States. Their $14 billion annual revenue is significant and there are a variety of ways to specialize in the business, like becoming a bail agent. The most commonly recognized differentiation is that most of the public recognizes it, but many state governments may still categorize it together. In some states, bounty hunters and bail recovery agents are the same things. But no, they are still two different roles with different responsibilities. Bail Trust Agents are people whose job is to provide the money necessary to get a criminal offender out of jail. They usually do this through property collateral or by co-signers. Jail Recovery Agents usually track down, find and return the criminal offenders.

Within the bail bondsman profession, most financial managers specialize in one of four types of bonds: cash-bond, bank-at-risk, surety bond, or mortgage. It can be hard to tell one from the other because they all provide similar services. There are many different types of bonds that individuals or businesses can use to facilitate release before the trial. Surety bonds, federal bonds, and immigration bonds are just some examples.

There are different levels of financial risk in bail bonds & bail bondsmen may handle them differently. Typically, the most common types of bonds are those that do not involve higher risk or benefit from political affiliation.

General Bail Bondsman

An alternative bail bondsman is a surety bail company that is licensed by the state. They provide a variety of different options to help get defendants out of jail before trial and can be for a type of crime, including driving. Most states allow surety bail bondsmen to charge a percentage of the bail amount as their fee. In exchange for the assurance that an offender will appear in court, these professionals put up the money upfront. This percentage can range from 10-20%, depending on state laws.

Criminal defense attorneys responsible for the rehabilitation of defendants who have been convicted often rely on bail bondsmen to help them decide if a criminal should receive a bond or not. One potential reason is to prevent a defendant from escaping prison and potentially causing harm, financial distress, and/or disaster. The most common way to get paid a bail bond is to provide some security, like real estate or valuable property, or to have someone co-sign who will guarantee the defendant will show up for their court date.

The risk in this profession is low but not non-existent. In most states, bail bondsmen are required to forfeit the full amount of a bond in cases where a defendant fails to show up for trial. However, there are exceptions to this rule. In states like Utah and elsewhere, bail bondsmen only have to forfeit five percent or part of a bond if the defendant does not show up for their trial.

Federal Bonds

Bail bonds issued from a federal court guarantee that the defendant will appear for the trial and are much more expensive than those from a state court. The bail conditions of the defendant are often determined by a judge. These may be simple terms like requiring regular drug testing or prohibited travel. More severe restrictions like restricted business activities might suspend your release too.

Some bail bondsmen will only issue federal bonds if the criminal meets specific conditions like not having a criminal record or being cooperative with the court. There is an added risk that a defendant may fail to meet these terms of their pre-trial release and get sent back to jail. Even though the fee may be higher for a bond in federal court, you will save money in the long run. If you read up on the federal court system, you will likely find attorneys who would charge much cheaper fees.

Immigration Bonds

Immigration bonds may be required to hold someone in a county detention center or ICE detention facility before releasing them from the facility. They are the outcome of a difficult negotiation and require federal funds that are provided through tax-exempt bonds. Immigration bonds are riskier than other bonds because they have fewer ties to their community and are more likely to flee. This makes funding bail agents difficult nowadays. Bail bond companies may choose to pass these increased risks on to consumers through higher prices, in some cases up to five times as much

Originally posted 2022-10-29 15:57:00.