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How to Choose a Bail Bondsman

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 there are lots of bail bond companies out there, not all of them are right for everyone.

Bail Bondsman Defined

A bail bond, which is sometimes called a surety bond, is a type of bail that is paid to the courts by an individual or entity referred to as a bail bondsman on behalf of the suspected offender. In case the defendant does not show up in court as dictated by the judge, the bail agent will pay a predetermined amount. This bond is an assurance of the release of the defendant, who otherwise may be unable to pay the bail amount set by the court.

The 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. High-risk defendants though are usually refused bail bonds by surety companies.

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. Some companies seek a collateral, such as a car or any property title, while others don’t. In any case, a good bail agent will be able to provide answers to all of your questions related to the process, whether they’re about the bail hearing, the repayment schedule, etc. Of course, they need to be able to provide documentation as evidence that they can legally work in your jurisdiction. Don’t hesitate to ask for a prospective bondsman’s licensing information before making any arrangements. Agents normally obtain their licenses from the state Department of Insurance.

Additionally, a competent bail bondsman can work 24/7 with the jails and courts so that arrangements can soon be made for a bail hearing. This is why you should choose a bondsman with a long local history. A good relationship with the local jail and sheriff makes it easier to negotiate a quick release and favorable terms for the defendant. As with any legal resource, the bondsman of your choice should be the one most suitable for your specific circumstances.

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