Government and Law

What Does a Bail Bondsman Do?

Bail bondsmen help people arrested for suspected crimes secure release from jail while they wait for their trial date. This service provides a means for people without the financial ability to pay their full bail amount to obtain release from jail.

How Do Bail Bonds Work?

Bail bonds Berks County PA agents pay the bail amount required to get a person released from jail before their trial. They usually require the defendant to provide security for the funds, such as valuable property or a co-signer. If the client shows up for court, the bail bondsman will receive the bail amount paid back from the court. However, if the person does not show up for court, the court may retain all or a portion of the funds paid. Because of this, many bail bondsmen provide services intended to ensure clients make their court dates.

What Are the Types of Bail Bonds?

A surety bail bondsman is licensed by the state to provide bail bonds for defendants accused of a crime. In most states, the bail bondsman can charge a percentage of the bail as a fee for this service. 

Federal bonds are issued to defendants who have been charged with federal crimes. Federal bonds guarantee that the defendant will appear for their court date and that they will also comply with pre-trial conditions, such as drug testing, limited business activities and restricted travel. The entire bail amount may be forfeited if the client fails to meet the conditions. The fees for federal bonds are usually substantially higher than the fees for surety bonds, because of the added risk.

Immigration bonds are a type of federal bond required to obtain the release of a person in an immigration detention center. These bonds are considered a higher risk, because immigrants who have few ties to the community may be more likely to flee, rather than face deportation or imprisonment. 

What Do Bail Recovery Agents Do?

Bail recovery agents track down and arrest fugitives who do not show up for their court dates. These agents are also known as bounty hunters. They are usually hired by bail bonds services to locate clients who have skipped bail by interviewing friends and family and collecting evidence. They must adhere to the regulations of the state or states they work in.

The media often portrays the bail bonds industry as no holds barred; however, the industry is actually tightly regulated in all states. Bail bondsmen provide a valuable service to people who have been arrested who can not afford to pay their bail.