Are you interested in becoming a bail bondsman? Do you need more information on what a surety bond is? Are you looking for other information for bail bond agent success in South Carolina?
Knowing the proper terms to be a successful bail bond agent is extremely important. If you are looking for more information on the terms and concepts that you will face as a bail bond agent, then you came to the right place! We will go over pertinent information you will need to know in order to be successful and who you can contact for additional help!
What Is a Bail Bond?
If you are looking into becoming a bail bond agent in South Carolina, you must understand what a bail bond is. A bail bond is the money defendants pay to either a bail agent or the court in exchange for the defendant’s release. This bail amount depends on the severity of the defendant’s criminal charges.
A judge may set a defendant’s bail at around $500 for a non-violent misdemeanor. If the defendant faces a felony criminal charge, the court may set that person’s bail at approximately $20,000. The money paid to the court or the bail agent acts as collateral to ensure that the defendant appears in court.
What Is a Surety Bail Bond?
A surety bond is another name for a bail bond. Surety bail bonds in South Carolina are agreements signed by a person and a bail bond business. This agreement allows the defendant to pay a portion of the total amount of the bail money owed.
Once the court receives the bail, the defendant can stay out of jail until their upcoming court date. Most defendants pay about 10% of their total bail amount.
Cash Bond vs. Surety Bond
Cash bonds and surety bonds may sound the same, but they are both two different things. A cash bond is when someone bails the defendant out of jail by paying the entire bail amount. If someone wants to bail someone out using a cash bond, they will have to pay the total face value before the defendant is released.
South Carolina bail bond businesses offer surety bonds to those who cannot afford to front the entire amount of the posted bail. As mentioned earlier, most people put up about 10% of the total bond amount to release the arrested party.
This money is held as collateral until the final verdict of the defendant’s case. Most people opt to go through with surety bonds because they are unaware of how long their money will be tied up if they put up a cash bond.
What Is a Bail Bond Agent in South Carolina?
Bail bond agents, also known as bail bondsmen, provide written agreements to the courts to pay the entirety of the defendant’s bail if they fail to appear in court. Before drafting up these agreements, most bail bond agents will ask for a statement of creditworthiness. These agents may also accept cars, houses, bonds, or jewelry in place of that statement.
What Is an Indemnitor?
An Indemnitor is someone who would be held responsible for the entire bail amount in the event that the defendant does not show up. The defendant must find a co-signer to act as the Indemnitor for the bail bond agent to release the bail. This guarantees that if the defendant does not show up, the bail bond agent has the right to go after the Indemnitor for the cost of the bail and any other fees.
What Is Forfeiture?
As we now know, if a defendant does not show up for court, someone else will be held responsible for the bail. When defendants miss their court date, they forfeit their bail, and the court will not return the bail. To ensure that a bail bond company receives their money, they may hire a fugitive recovery agent. These recovery agents are also known as bounty hunters.
Bounty hunters are skilled professionals who many bail bond agents hire to find and capture fugitives in exchange for a reward. Many bail bond agents will offer between 10% to 20% of the bail amount as a reward for capturing these fugitives. Not everyone can just sign up to be a bounty hunter; you must meet specific state requirements.
Bounty hunters must be a South Carolina resident and at least 18 years old. In addition to that, they must also not have any felony convictions or other convictions within the last ten years.
How to Become a Bail Bondsman
In the state of South Carolina, you will need to complete a 30-hour pre-licensing course explicitly created for bail bond agents. Once you complete this course, you will need to pass the state bondsman test administered by the PSI. Almost immediately after passing your exam, you will need to go to IdentoGo to record your bondsman fingerprints before you are officially a bondsman.
It is essential to know that you will need to renew your bail bonds license once a year in June to keep your license up to date. Before you can renew your license, you will need eight hours of continuing education.
Successful Surety Bondsman
Now that you know more about what a surety bond is and the process of handling bail bonds, it is time to get started on your bail bondsman journey. Once you complete the steps needed for licensure, you just need to familiarize yourself with the standard concepts of bail bonds.
If you are looking for more information about becoming a bail bondsman, contact us now. We also have a fantastic group of bail bond agents, and we are looking to bring more to our team!