You’re looking for a career. You want to be involved in law, but you don’t want to subject yourself to years of expensive college classes. So, you’re considering becoming a bail bondsman.
But you’re wondering: are you even qualified? Who can become a bail bondsman in the state of Virginia?
Below, we’re going to answer that very question. Then, we’re going to tell you exactly how to break into the career, covering every step of the process.
Who Can Become a Bail Bondsman in Virginia?
Just about anyone can become a bail bondsman in the state of Virginia. As long as you meet a few prerequisites, you can start pursuing the career right away.
The first prerequisite is to be at least 18 years of age. In addition, you must have either a high school diploma or a GED.
The only other requirements are that you have no criminal record and that you’re either a United States citizen or an alien resident who is in the country legally.
Skills Required to Be a Bail Bondsman
There are a number of skills and qualities that are required in order for someone to be an effective bail bondsman. While most of these skills and qualities can be forged, some of them are inherent to an individual and are difficult to develop over time.
In terms of your personality, you need to be patient and empathetic, yet assertive and firm. Your clients are bound to be in less-the-perfect moods and you need to be able to handle them without losing your cool.
As far as technical skills go, you need an understanding of the law, an eye for detail, and an ability to market yourself.
Becoming a Bail Bondsman in Virginia
You meet the above-reviewed qualifications. So now, you’re looking to pursue the career seriously. But how do you do so? By following the steps below.
Complete a Relevant Training Course
The first step in becoming a bail bondsman in Virginia is to complete a relevant training course. This course is known as the Bail Bondsmen Entry-level Training Course and it’s provided in a variety of locations throughout Virginia. 240 hours in length, it occurs over the span of a few weeks.
In this course, you’ll learn about everything from ethics to fugitive recovery to Virginia bail bondsmen regulations to relevant laws and more. Note, while this course will provide you with much of the knowledge needed to be a bail bondsman in the state of Virginia, it doesn’t cover everything. Further education is recommended.
You can find more information about this course at the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services website.
Consider Further Education
As was noted above, the state training course alone is unlikely to provide you with all of the information you need. As such, you’re highly advised to pursue further education on the matter.
While you could study the subject online by yourself, your best bet would be to enroll in a university program. This way, you’ll receive guided instruction, and will be able to ask any questions you might have.
There are a few different degrees that can accommodate budding bail bondsmen. These include an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration, an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, or a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Services with a focus on Criminal Justice.
Whereas an associate’s degree can be completed in 2 years, a bachelor’s degree is likely to take you 4 years.
Pass the Licensing Exam
Once you’ve completed your education, you’ll need to pass the state licensing exam. This exam will cover many of the ideas that you learned in your training course and will demonstrate your knowledge of bail bondsman-related information.
In the majority of cases, this exam is administered at the end of the training course. As such, you likely won’t have to seek it out.
That said, in the event that you do, you’re advised to call the VDCJS (Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services). They’ll provide you with all of the information you need.
Apply for Your License
You’ve passed the state licensing exam. Now, it’s time to apply for your license. This is done through the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services and costs $900 in addition to miscellaneous fees.
You’ll receive your license within a few days, after which you’ll be allowed to start working as a bail bondsman full-time. Note, Virginia bail bondsmen licenses expire every 2 years. To stay official, you’ll need to get your license renewed at the end of each 2-year period.
Once you’ve obtained your license, you can start looking for employment. There are two general options when it comes to finding employment as a bail bondsman. One option is to become a contractor with a bail bondsman agency; the other option is to strike out on your own and open your own business.
For those who are new to the profession, it’s generally wise to work under the direction of an agency. This way, you won’t have to seek out clients and will be able to get acclimated with the help of experienced individuals.
Then, once you have a few years of experience under your belt, you can strike out on your own, finding your own clients and doing things the way that you want to do them.
Looking to Start Your Career as a Bail Bondsman in Virginia?
Now that you know who can become a bail bondsman in Virginia, you might be ready to break into the career yourself. All you have to do is follow the steps above, and you’ll be a qualified bail bondsman in no time.
If you’re, by chance, looking to join a bail bondsmen agency, you needn’t look any further. Amistad Bailbonds & Associates is the agency you seek.
Contact us now to discuss arrangements!