Bail bonds are big business. That may seem to be a strange sentence but the numbers do the talking.
There are approximately 14,000 bail bond agents in the U.S. The turnover of bail bonds is around $14 billion.
There may be many preconceived ideas as to what it means to be a bail bondsman. The most helpful view is to recognize that they are a form of financial management. If a bail bondsman is good at managing the finances and risk associated with posting bail, then it will be financially rewarding for them.
To operate in Virginia you will need a bail bondsman license from the Department of Criminal Justices. There are several steps and costs associated with this process. You can prepare for it here.
What Is a Bail Bondsman?
For clarity, when someone commits a crime and is caught, they will need to appear in court. That person can be released from police custody and go home if there is a guarantee they will appear in court at a later date.
That guarantee is usually financial. So the defendant has to pay a bond. In most cases, they do not have the cash so a bail bondsman will put up the money in exchange for some kind of financial security from the defendant, such as property. When the final transaction is complete, the bondsman will keep a percentage of the bond premium as payment for their services.
Bail Bondsman License – Basic Requirements
Given the financial risks and rewards associated with this job, it is not surprising there is a process that someone must go through in order to qualify. At a basic level, you must be at least 18 years old.
You must be a U.S citizen or legally recognized as an alien resident. You must have a basic education such as your high school diploma. You must complete the basic training requirements at a certified facility and then pass a licensing exam.
Complete Basic Training
Your basic training course will cover a wide range of subjects designed to prepare you for the work ahead and help you pass the state exam. Some of the subjects will be about ethical standards and conduct.
Other areas of study will include basic law as well as surety and property law. You will also study the court system, civil and criminal. You will learn much about how to recover a fugitive.
You can access a list of approved course providers from the website of the Department of Criminal Justices.
Sit the Exam & Apply for Your License
When you have completed your basic training course you will be eligible to take the exam. Once you have passed your state exam then you will be in a position to actually apply for your license.
You will need to submit your application form along with fees. By the time you have paid your application fee, any category fees, fingerprint fee, and firearm endorsement fee it will have cost you about $1100. It is important to understand the difference between a bail bondsman and a bounty hunter so check out this helpful article here.
Ready to Get Started?
In this article, you have read about the basics of getting a bail bondsman license. If you follow the basic steps outlined in this article and pass your exam you will have made excellent progress towards your goal.
That said, you must have more questions. Check out some common questions and helpful answers here.