Did you know around two million Americans are held in prison or similar facilities of the justice system?
That’s a significant number of potential people in need of a bail bonds service. This essential service can allow you to have a lasting and fruitful career. However, there are plenty of things you need to know before you can get the ball rolling.
Are you wondering what it takes? Keep reading to learn how to become a bail bond agent by familiarizing yourself with bail bonds rules and regulations.
Can Anyone Get Out on Bail?
You may be wondering if anyone in prison has the option of getting out on bail. In general, this is true of almost anyone who has been arrested. However, there are some differences in the laws and regulations depending on what state you’re in.
For instance, the time at which a person can get out on bail can vary depending on what stage they’re in. They may have to wait until their court hearing or at another time.
There are cases in which bail is not possible because the person is a high-flight risk or a danger to the public. In some cases, even a high-flight risk can go on bail as long as they pay more. Whether or not you’d like to take on that kind of bail bond client is up to your discretion.
What Are the Different Types of Bail Bonds?
A successful bail bond agent should know the various types of bonds that are available. This can allow you to file the proper paperwork and act accordingly.
The simplest type of bail bond is a cash one. This involves paying the court directly with cash, a credit card, or a check. Not all courts in all states accept these three types of payments so it’s worth finding out the preferences in your local area ahead of time.
Aside from cash, there’s also the option of a property bond. This involves putting up one or more pieces of property. The court can end up seizing these if the accused doesn’t appear for their court date and breaks the bail laws.
If a third-party agent is involved and promises to pay the bond in the event of a court absence, then this is what’s known as a surety bond.
It’s possible to have clients who have been arrested for immigration reasons. The process of the situation works like a surety bond but is called an immigration bail bond. Since the crime of overstaying a visa is a serious one, for instance, you can expect a higher bail amount.
Anytime a federal or interstate crime occurs, a federal bail bond is what you’d have to work under. Like with an immigration bail bond, the bonding out amount is almost always higher than average.
What About Release Forms?
There are also two kinds of release forms a bail bond agent should know about. The first is as a citation release. The relevant police officer is the one to write out this notice and give permission for the offender to go home and come back later for their court date.
The other release form is a personal recognizance release. This applies to anyone who isn’t a danger to others or a high-flight risk. Money is often not involved in either of these release forms because they only come into play for minor crimes.
After you receive payment at the beginning of the bail bond process, you may have clients who want their loved one released with a snap of their fingers. The reality is that sometimes it can take a bit longer. This depends on the time of day, the day of the week, and the nature of the crime.
How Payments Work in Virginia’s Bail Bond Industry
As a bail bond agent, you could get in trouble if you force your clients to pay their bail bond back in one lump sum. Instead, you need to offer clients the ability to pay it off in installments over a set period of time. The exact percentage can vary, but you’re limited by Virginian law.
The range starts at as low as 10% and can go as high as 15%. It’s worth emphasizing that you can’t set this percentage any lower or higher. The last thing you’d want is to find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
If a client tries to negotiate with you, then it’s a good idea to explain to them the law and that you’re not allowed to offer special deals. However, the client will need to pay the full bail bond amount if the defendant doesn’t show up for one or more court dates.
In this serious situation, it’s within your right as a bail bond agent to hire a bounty hunter. This is someone who will track down the wanted individual and ensure that they’re arrested and show up at a later court date. You can add the cost of hiring a bounty hunter to the total of what your client owes you.
Are You Ready to Follow Bail Bonds Rules and Regulations?
Now that you’ve learned about general bail bonds rules and regulations, you’re that much closer to becoming the best bail bond agent around. Once you get in the swing of things, you’ll see how rewarding this career can be.
If you’d like to become a bail bond agent in Virginia, North Carolina, or South Carolina, look no further than our reliable services. We can help you every step of the way so that your business is up and running as soon as possible.
Feel free to book an appointment at your convenience. We look forward to talking soon.