You’ve probably heard time and again that an offender has been pre-released on bail. And genuinely speaking, you’ve done your maths and wondered how they afforded that lump sum.
Well, the answer to your puzzle is a bail bondsman.
Read on to learn more about who is a bail bondsman, the different types of bail agents, and how they operate.
What is a bail bondsman?
Bail bondsmen, also known as bounty hunters in some states, provide the required amount to release an offender before their trial. A co-signer or collateral secures the bail amount offered.
Bail recovery agents are responsible for tracking down, arresting, and making sure the fugitive avails themselves on their court day.
There are currently around 15000 bail bondsmen in the USA, earning more than $14 billion annually. There is, therefore, still room in this profession.
Although bail recovery agents and bailbondsman are classified under bail agents, they all offer different services. With the bail agent profession, the best way to categorize them is by examining the different types of bonds they offer.
Just like the court has a variety of crimes that a person can be charged with, different bonds facilitate the pre-trial release. These may range from federal bonds, surety bonds to immigration bonds.
These categories come at a higher financial risk, which the regular bondsmen may not be willing to cover.
Different Types of Bail bondsmen
As mentioned before, the categories of bail bond dealers are determined by the type of crime they are ready to cover.
Here are the common types of bail agents in many states.
General Bail Bondsman
The most commonly known bail agent is the surety bail bondsman. They are licensed by the government to provide bail bonds to individuals who commit certain types of crimes. The crimes range from driving records to murder.
To assure the court that the suspect will appear in court, they pay the full bail amount. Depending on the rules of the state, a bail bondsman can request a certain percentage amount of the bail money as a fee for providing it. This can range from 10% to 20% of the entire amount.
Just like other financial organizations that provide loans, the bailbondsman’s first task is to assess whether an offender is worth providing bail or not. The best way to do this is by getting a co-signer who ensures the individual will show up in court, or get some collateral such as real estate.
Many people think the bail bondsman professional is risky, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. If an individual doesn’t show up, the bailbondsman doesn’t lose all the money. He will be penalized for a small amount, like 5% depending on the state.
These are bail bonds that are provided to defendants with federal crimes. Unlike the general bonds, where the condition is only making sure the defendant appears in court, in federal bail bonds, there is more.
The defendant also has to comply with particular pre-trial instructions as well. The conditions may include limited business activities, drug testing, and restricted movement.
If the defendant doesn’t adhere to any of these restrictions, all the bail money could be lost. Very few bail bondsmen issue federal bonds because of these added risks.
For the few who agree to offer this type of bond, they demand the defendant to provide collateral as security.
Given the risks, the fee of the bail bondsmen who issue federal bonds is higher than those who offer surety bail bonds.
The bail agents in this line of business must have both the state laws and federal system knowledge.
These fall under the federal bonds. They are required to release an individual from an immigration detention facility.
Bond receipts are either held in county jails or the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency.
Immigration bonds are considered higher risks than other bonds since the defendant may decide to flee instead of risking imprisonment. Besides, most of them aren’t that attached to the country.
Only a few bail bondsmen are willing to offer immigration bonds, and for the few who do, they charge 5% more than general bail agents to cover the risk.
How Bails and Bondsmen Work
When a bail agent puts up a fee for a pre-release of an offender, they charge 10% of the total bail money required. This deposit/initial fee is not refundable even if the case is dissolved before the court date.
Additionally, the bail bondsman will take some properties of the suspect as security. If the individual doesn’t have enough money, they can use their friends and relative’s money as collateral.
The bail agent will require the 10% in cash plus the mortgage of a person’s home, equating to the full amount of the bail money.
In the case where the defendant doesn’t show up in court, the bail agent can hire a bounty hunter to track the suspect down, as well as sue them for the money they paid for as bail bond money.
The bail bondsmen also recover any extra costs by selling the property the individual signed as security.
Even good people commit crimes accidentally and end up in compromising situations.
In such cases, it is crucial that as family and loved ones, you do everything you can to ease the time for them, and that includes paying bail bonds for them to qualify for a pre-release.
If you’re struggling financially, you can seek bail bondsmen services to cater to the bail amount of money.
If you need help with bail bonds in Las Vegas, feel free to reach out to us!