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What Are Bail Bonds?

Regardless of the popularity of many cable TV shows depicting the daily lives of those in the bail bonds industry, many people are unclear as to what they actually are. The term bail bond, also referred to as a bondsman, is the person or company that posts bail for a jail inmate for a price. This article describes the fascinating role of the bondsman.

It’s likely you have heard the term ‘bounty hunter’ and are somewhat familiar with who they are. A bounty hunter is the person hired by the bondsman to physically track down a person who has fled or failed to appear in court. Bonds companies will pay bounty hunters to find these people because they have posted this money for their release and will not get that money back until the person is returned to jail, or appears in court.

Bondsmen provide almost instant freedom to an inmate upon signing of a contract by a co-signer, then sometimes the actual inmate, declaring they will appear in court and they will pay the bondman’s fee. Most often, the company’s fee is due at the time of the inmate’s release. Normally, the fees are around 10% of the stated amount of bail, which is far easier for most people to afford than the entire amount necessary to be released, which is $1,000 for the least of charges to several hundred thousand for more serious crimes. This is why bondsmen are so important. Without them, a significantly larger number of people would have to stay in jail until their court date, sometimes a month or more from the date of the arrest. This applies to non-violent and traffic offenders as well.

Bondsmen are essential to those who have been put in jail for lesser crimes because having their help to be released means they can return to work and to their families instead of having to be incarcerated for weeks. Additionally, each state’s Department of Corrections saves taxpayer funds on inmate care when many can be released in the interim period.

Now that you understand the role a bondsman plays, you will be better able to protect yourself and loved ones in the event of any brushes with the law. For additional information on how bail bonds companies can help you during hard times, call your local bondsman or perform a search online for the companies in your area.

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