While researching bail bonds or in general conversation, you may have heard the term “bail bondsman” being used. But what is a bail bondsman, really, and what do they do without any of the confusing legal jargon?
A bail bondsman, otherwise known as a bail bond agent, is a person or business that can act as a surety, pledging either money or property as bail for the attendance of persons accused of a crime in court. Boiling it down, a bondsman will pay for the bail of a defendant in the circumstance that they cannot. Keep in mind that by posting bail, the defendant is essentially guaranteeing that they will be present at their scheduling court day. This way, those accused do not have to spend time in jail awaiting court. Unlike other scenarios where you would need money, such as a personal loan, banks and insurances companies are general hesitant to post bail bonds. As such, if you are in desperate need to post bail, a bondsman is your best bet. They have the knowledge and funds to help you, often allowing release in a few hours.
Things to Remember
There are certain things to remember when using a bondsman, however. Think of your bail being paid as a sign of good faith; paying it means you are promising that you will attend your court date in a timely manner. There can be consequences if you do not. If the defendant does not show up to court, the bondsman is allowed by law or contractual agreement to bring the defendant to jurisdiction of the court to recover the money paid out under the bond. Essentially, if you do not show up to court or refuse to pay the bondsman back for their services, they can use outside means to bring you in, such as a bounty hunter. It’s best that a you honor your bail and attend your court date. No need to get in additional trouble. You will also have to pay the bondsman back eventually, though terms and conditions a variable from agency to agency. As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. If you use a bail bond agent’s services, do the right thing and pay them in a timely manner.
No one ever plans on getting in trouble with the law. Sometimes it’s a bad decision or two. Sometimes you get caught up in unfortunate circumstances. Regardless, it’s good to know what your options are. If you or your family is unable to make your bail, a professional bondsman will be able to assist you.