Bail bondsman, or bail agents, are professionals who provide bail bond services to defendants who are unable to pay their cash bail fee up front.
What is a Bail Bond?
A bail bonds Scranton PA is a financially-backed guarantee that is given to a court to insure that a released defendant will return for future court dates as ordered.
After taking into consideration the seriousness of a crime, potential danger to the community and the risk of flight, a judge has the choice of whether to set or deny bail. In general, defendants accused of violent or more serious defenses will have a higher bail amount.
If the defendant is unable to pay the entire amount of cash bail from his own funds, he may instead use the services of a bail bondsman to secure his release until trial.
What Does a Bail Bondsman Do?
A bail bondsman is the professional who secures a bail bond for a defendant. These bonds are a financial agreement in which the bondsman takes a set percentage of the total cash bail amount in exchange for remitting bail to the court. The standard fee for services is 10% of the set bail. For example, if the amount of bail is set at $10,000, the defendant would pay $1,000 for the bondsman’s service.
A bail bondsman will require collateral for the rest of the bail total. This collateral must be in the form of real property. Land, buildings, a home and vehicles are often used for this purpose.
What are the Requirements to Become a Bail Bondsman?
In all states, bail bondsman are licensed professionals who must meet certain legal, educational and testing requirements. However, each state has its own specific qualifications.
Bail bondsman must be over the age of eighteen to be able to enter into legal contracts, have a GED or a high school diploma, and fulfill the bondsman-specific coursework required by his or her state. Following coursework, a bondsman must pass the licensing exam.
In order to set up a bond business, the agent must have sufficient monetary resources to pay bail for clients as he or she will not get this money back until the defendant has finished legal proceedings.
Although some bail bondsman do attend college, there is no specific degree for this occupation. Classes in finances, marketing, business and criminal justice will can all be applied practically and applicants with college education may find it easier to secure loans or other business startup financing.