Bail Bondsman

If you have been involved in the criminal justice system or would like to help people who have been arrested, you may be curious about bail bondsmen and what, exactly, they do. They are well-known entities in the criminal justice system, but they are not part of the system in the same way police officers or judges are. So what are bail bondsmen and what do they do?

Local Bail Bondsman Requirements and Their Role – Amazing Bail Bonds

A bail bondsman is someone who works within the legal system to help people get out of jail on bail after they’ve been arrested. Though they work within the legal system, they are not officially part of the court system. Instead, bail bondsmen are independent entities who work with the court system as well as with those who have been arrested, working with individual cases. In order to be recognized by the court, bail bondsmen must be licensed according to the regulations of the state in which they operate. This licensing ensures that the bail bondsman operates according to state statutes and adheres to ethical standards when providing surety for defendants.

What does a bail bondsman do?

There are two parts to bail bonds work. The first is to provide surety for people posting bail in order to be released from jail on bail. That is, the bail bondsman puts up the bail amount to facilitate releasing the defendant from jail, acting as a guarantor that the defendant will appear in court. The bail is then repaid to the bail bondsman by the defendant under whatever terms are determined between those two parties. Defendants may be required to provide collateral as part of the agreement.

In addition, a bail bondsman may ensure that a defendant appears in court. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail bondsman is permitted to bring the defendant to the appropriate jurisdiction. Some bail bondsmen outsource this portion of the job through contact with a licensed “bounty hunters,” who specialize in tracking down and returning defendants who have fled the jurisdiction or failed to appear in court.

How do you become a bail bondsman?

Though specific processes vary by state, there is a general process for becoming a bail agent. In order to become a bail bondsman:

Big Blue Law Key on Computer Keyboard for bail bondsman

Check eligibility requirements

Typically, bail bondsmen are expected to be at least 18 years old and hold a high school diploma or GED. They may also be required to show they have the financial ability to meet surety obligations once they become a bail bondsman, such as through the sponsorship of a surety company.

Complete educational/training requirements, including state licensing

While there is not a college program to become a bail bondsman, some states require that you undergo specific education or training programs prior to licensing. These programs usually provide the opportunity to sit for the licensing exam after completion.

Apply for a state license

After you have passed the exam, fulfill all requirements for your licensing application. Typically, applications require documentation showing that you have met all licensing requirements. Application and/or licensing fees may also be required. Once you obtain your state license, you can begin working as a bail bondsman either by starting your own company or joining an existing company.