A bail bondsman helps arrested defendants pay their bail in exchange for a fee. They do this when bail is set for the defendant; this happens if the court believes the defendant will attend their scheduled court dates and releases them but requires a payment (bail) in exchange for their release pending the outcome of their case.
How to Become a Bail Bondsman
Step 1: Research the Minimum Requirements
Each state sets the minimum requirements to meet to become a bail bondsman. Generally, there is an age requirement; typically, you must be at least 18 years old. Then, you’ll most likely be required to pass a background check and a credit check before seeking licensure. If your state requires that, you can find courses to help you study online or check with your local vocational or community college to see if they have training.
Step 2: Research your Competition
The Professional Bail Agents of the United States recommend you research how many bail bondsmen are in your area, as well established bail agents may be difficult to compete with when entering this career field. You can also talk to any law enforcement and attorneys you may know to give you some more insight on what you will be up against.
Step 3: Get licensed
Your state may require a license. Standard state requirements for licensure include paying a fee, passing an exam, completing education requirements, and submitting a criminal background check. Check out your state’s requirements to become a Bail Bond Agent on the National Conference of State Legislatures website.
Job Description of Bail Bondsman
A bail bondsman provides bail (funding) for a defendant that was arrested. This money becomes a security deposit in exchange for the defendant’s release from custody until their set court date. This bond promises the court that the defendant will appear for a hearing on the set date and time established. If the defendant does not show up for their scheduled appearance, the bail bondsman will lose the money they posted for bail.
Bail bondsmen take risks every day because they can never ensure that the defendant will appear in court. If the defendant does not show up, the bail bondsman can lose a large sum of money and are liable for any costs or fees incurred by the defendant in regard to their bond. To get their money back, they often hire a bounty hunter to find, capture, and return the person to avoid losing their money.
Not only can it be a financially risky, but it can also be dangerous since it involves working closely with criminal suspects. Therefore bail bondmen want to make sure they complete extensive background checks before posting bail for a defendant. They must know the laws and ensure compliance with bond regulations and state guidelines. Even so, the role of a bail bondsman has its advantages, including a flexible schedule and possible lucrative earnings.
IBISWorld. Bail Bond Services Industry in the US.