Bail bondsmen are people and corporations that pledge money and/or property as bail for the appearance of a criminal defendant in court. This is known as a bail bond or bail bondsman insurance. If the defendant shows up to his or her trial on the scheduled date, the bondmen get their bail bond back. However, if the defendant doesn't show up, the court gets the money. Bail bondman can try to recover the money by bringing the defendant back to the court's jurisdiction within a certain span of time.
Making a Bail Bond
When a person is imprisoned and awaiting trial, he or she can get out of jail until the trial begins so long the defendant (or someone representing him or her) pays bail to the court. The defendant can hire a bail bondsman in order to save on the bail costs. The defendant can also have someone else hire a bail bondman on his or her behalf. The defendant pays 10% of the cost of the bail and the bail bondsman covers the rest. Depending on the nature of the crime the defendant is accused of and the value of the boil, the bondsman may ask for collateral - a house, a car, a valuable piece of furniture, etc. Once the bail bond is paid, the defendant is free to leave jail.
Enforcing the Bail Bond
Since it is in bail bondsman's best interest to make sure that the defendant will appear in court is scheduled, the bail bondsman will constantly check on the defendant and keep him or her up to date should the court date be moved for any reason. If the defendant shows up to trial on the scheduled trial date, the bail bondsman gets the bail bond back and the collateral is returned to the defendant.
If the defendant doesn't show up on the scheduled date, the bail bondsman gets to keep the collateral and the court gets to keep the bail bond. If bail bondsman can deliver the defendant to the court jurisdiction by a certain deadline, the court will return the bail bond. The time period varies depending on the state.
In most cases, bail bondmen hire bounty hunters to handle the actual apprehension of the fugitive defendant. Different states have different laws regarding what bounty hunters are allowed to do in order to capture a fugitive. In Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon and Wisconsin, commercial bail bonding is banned. Bounty hunters that try to capture fugitives will be arrested for kidnapping. The same is true every country other than USA and Philippines.
Choosing a Bail Bondsman
Defendants can choose from a number of bail bondmen operating throughout United States. They are listed in phone books and other business directories. Bail bondsmen must be licensed with the state government, and the state government reserves a right to revoke the license of a bail bondman violates any state rules and regulations. Therefore, defendants should try to consult the latest phone books or, failing that, check with whatever section of the state government is responsible for regulating insurance.
When hiring a bondsman, a defendant must present his or her name, address, phone number, social security number and three references. If another party hires a bail bondsman on defendant's behalf, that party must provide that information for both him or her self and the defendant.