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Bail Bondsman Job Description

Dhanashree Patane
The bail bondsman profession dates back 4,000 years when it was practiced in Iraq. The job requires one to have good communication skills, familiarity with laws and court proceedings, and an ability to take risk. Find its description in this story.
In the legal world, court hearings, trials, bails, and proceedings are a daily cup of tea. There are many people who enable the functioning of these legal tasks. Apart from lawyers and other jobs, there are other people that help in the functioning too.
A bail bondsman is a person who is responsible for servicing bail bonds. He/she is an agent who makes the payment of the bail for an arrested criminal or defendant in the court. This is in the form of cash or other assets, that acts as the surety for the arrested suspect.
It is his/her (also known as bail bonding agent or bail agent) duty to make sure the suspect appears in court for further trials and proceedings.
In legal terms, as per the Section 6 VAC 20-250-10 of the Regulations Relating to Property and Surety Bail Bondsmen, a bail bondsman means any person who is licensed by the state to engage in the business of bail bonding, and is thereby authorized to conduct business in courts. This job exists only in the U.S. and the Philippines.

Education and Required Skills

A training course, certificate, and a license are essential requirements. The training differs according to states. The candidate should be minimum 18 years old and must have a high school diploma. A clean background with no prior criminal record is mandatory.
Good knowledge in subjects like mathematics, social sciences, geography, and accounting is preferred. Also, a good command over other languages like Spanish, etc., are considered as an advantage.
Because of the nature of the job, strong communication skills and good physical health is recommended. This job may be stressful at times, so the candidate must be able to stay cool in all situations.

Job Description

  • The key job is to arrange for the bail of the arrested suspect. The bail bondsman pays a certain amount for releasing the suspect until the next hearing. He is the surety agent for the suspect to attend the proceedings whenever required.
Usually, he/she will charge a fee of 10% of the total bail amount for state charge and 15% for federal, however, it varies according to states. Before taking over the case for any suspect, a thorough research is conducted about the same, because, if he opts as the surety agent and the suspect doesn't turn up, the money invested in the bail amount is lost.
  • He conducts complete research about the suspect for whom he would be the agent. If the suspect does not show up, the bail bondsman has to arrange to get the suspect in court, either by himself or with the help of bounty hunter or fugitive recovery agents. However, it should be noted that, bounty hunters are banned in some states.
  • The court then decides and gives time to find and get the suspect in the court. The number of days differs with every state.
  • This job is suited for risk takers, as there is a financial risk involved. Also, he/she has to check the criminal record of his client, along with other factors like community and family background, employment history, etc.
  • It is important to keep track of the suspect and verify the whereabouts, sometimes even on a regular basis.
  • Also, all related paperwork needs to be done very carefully and on time, since it is required to be submitted in the court.
These people are self-employed. They can also work for a firm in the beginning for experience. Usually, they will be hired by insurance companies as general agents. Many work in groups and partnerships. When talking about the earnings, it depends on the time and effort invested in this job.
It also depends on the state and city that the bail bondsman is employed in. Career opportunities are growing in this field. However, this is not a regular job, it requires a lot of traveling even at odd hours. This also invites risks if correct verifications of the suspect are not done.
It should be noted that four states in the U.S. namely, Wisconsin, Illinois, Oregon, and Kentucky have completely banned bail bonding practiced by bail agents.