Securing your freedom following an arrest is usually the first priority for many people. Staying in jail while awaiting trial is a tough prospect for most people. To ensure that a person will show up to court when they're required to, courts will usually require that a certain amount of money if posted as bail.
However, bail amounts are often set so high that most people can't afford to pay. In such cases, the defendant can turn to a bail bond lawyer service. So, what exactly is the role of a bail bondsman?
Securing Your Release
The primary role of a bail bondsman is to help you to secure your release. When you've been arrested and bail has been set, your friend or family member can go to a bail bondsman and ask them to secure your release. They'll need detail such as where you're being held, your full name and booking number.
Before the bail bondsman can secure your release, the person who co-signs the bail bond will have to pay them a certain amount, usually 10% of the bail that was set. This is a non-refundable fee that is paid to the agency for their services.
Assessing the Bond
Before a bail bondsman secures your release or agrees to do so, they must first assess what they have to gain and what their risks are. If the suspect is a flight risk, they could end up costing the agency a lot of money. Some people may not be able to pay the bond fee all at once, therefore, the bail bondsman must assess whether they'll be able to complete the payments within a certain period of time. Many bail bondsmen won't agree to provide a surety bond unless they're confident that the defendant will appear in court.
Ensuring the Suspect Appears in Court
A bail agency must deposit 10% of the bail amount with the court and this is only returned if the defendant shows up to court. If they fail to do so, the bail bondsman will be on the hook for the whole bail amount. Therefore, an important part of the bail bondsman's job is ensuring the defendant is present in court when they are required to.
Sometimes, a suspect will attempt to skip bail. Because of the amount of money that the agency stands to lose, bail bondsmen will hire bounty hunters to track down the suspect in such situations.