It can be hard and time-consuming to find the right bail bondsman. Usually, to decide on a company to go with and put your trust in, all you need is a good sense of judgment.
If you’re walking up to a parking lot with used cars scattered and the sales guy immediately comes flying out of his office spewing some nonsense about the best deals in town, you’ve probably judged the situation correctly and have decided to move on to a different auto dealer.
But how can you make a decision on a bail bond company when most of the time you will only be speaking with them on the phone, emailing them, or faxing them?
Here’s how to find a bail bondsman in Daytona.
Bail Bondsman Explained
A bail bondsman is any individual or agency that will act as a guarantor and pledge money or assets as bail for the appearance of an accused criminal defendant in court.
The bail bondsmen will assume the bail responsibilities of an individual, in exchange for collateral and fees, to offer a guarantee to a specific court system that an alleged individual will show up for his or her trial or court dates. In addition to this guarantee, the ability to be released from jail prior to the individual’s court date enables the court system to operate their jails without facing severe overcrowding. The withholding of these individuals from jail enables the court system to cut back on costs.
Bail bondsmen are almost exclusive to the United States; although financial institutions or insurance companies act like the typical guarantor for other types of contracts, these entities are reticent to put their funds at the specific risks involved with posting a bail bond.
All bail bondsmen have a standing agreement with local court systems, where they will agree to post an irrevocable bond, which pays the court system if the defendants for whom the bail bondsmen represent does not show up to their specific court dates. In turn, the bail bondsmen also has an agreement with an insurance company or credit provider to draw on such security; this relationship eliminates the need for a bail bondsman to deposit cash or assets with the underlying court every time a new defendant is bailed out.
Advantages of a Bail Bondsman
Bail bondsmen have access to certain securities that are required to furnish the bond to the court; these securities are available 24/7, even if the creditor is closed. This availability is made possible due to securing special arrangements with credit providers; these arrangements are used to access a line of credit outside of a business operating hours.
The ability to access a line of credit enables the defendant to be released within hours of presenting the bond to the court. That being said, the primary advantage of a bail bondsman is that the agency or individual saves the defendant and his or her family from having to post the entire bail on their own.
A bail bondsman will typically charge a fee of 10-15% of the total bail with a minimum of a $100 required; these numbers will fluctuate based on state law and the operating bail bondsman’s own agenda.
If the accused individual does not show up to their court date, the bail bondsman is allowed, by law or contractual agreement, to physically bring the defendant to the court in order to recover the money paid out under the bond – this practice is usually expedited through the inclusion of a bounty hunter.
Bail Bondsman Qualifications
When it comes to needing a bail bondsman, the process can be stressful. Someone you know is in jail, and you want to get them out as soon as you can. It is important to know that the person handling the bail bond process is someone who is qualified to do so.
So what does it take to be the one behind the desk helping get a loved one out of jail for you? It takes a good bit more than just making out an application.
- The bail bondsman must be at least 18 years of age, and have a high school diploma or equivalent.
- They must be a United States citizen or be a legal alien, and a resident of that state.
- Three reputable citizens who are residents of the same counties as the bail bondsman will be working for must vouch for him or her.
- The applicant was never convicted of a felony, or a crime involving turpitude (Depravity, wickedness), or a crime punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or more.
- They must pass the required examination and a required background check.
- Law enforcement officers can not be a bail bondsman, neither can jailers, attorneys, or anyone employed by someone with custody or control over prisoners.
- The applicant will receive a temporary bail bond license and must complete the provisions of that license before applying for a limited surety agent, the official title of the license required to be a bail bondsman.
These are the requirements for being a bail bondsman in the state of Florida. The requirements come with very few exceptions.
How to find a Bail Bondsman
Now that you know what a Bailbondsman does, and their qualifications, here’s how to find a bail bondsman in Daytona Beach. It can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. First, get someone on the phone. Amazingly enough, this is the easiest part when contacting a bail bonds company, because bail bond companies know that answering the phone is key to their success.
1. Is your bail company listed with BBB, what is your rating and where can I find the information?
You will find that not all bail bonds bondsmen are with the Better Business Bureau. Normally a company gets listed on the BBB to appeal to the public. BBB is an organization created to protect the rights of consumers where consumers can satisfy their need for finding a trustworthy company.
2. What percentage do you charge for a bail bond and why?
A reputable, licensed bail company will usually charge 10%. If the bondsman you are on the phone with starts mentioning discounted bail at 5% and they are overselling this aspect of the deal, beware. If they are cutting corners here, they’re probably cutting corners in other important places as well.
3. Will you help me understand the bail bond process?
The agent should reply with a quick, “Yes.” If the company knows their industry, they will understand that most of their potential clients will know nothing about the bail bond industry and therefore education is needed for a few reasons. One, to make the sale of course, and two, bail bonds companies need their clients to understand the process as much as possible, this helps when dealing with expectations throughout the entire process. The more the clients know and understand, the smoother the process with go and both the client and bail bond company benefit.
4. Are you licensed?
This quite an obvious question but this wouldn’t be a great article if I didn’t put it in. Dealing with a bail bondsman that does not have a license is like getting a heart transplant from a gardener. Enough said.
5. How fast can you get my friend (or family member) out of jail?
Any bail bond company that gives you an exact time-frame for a defendant’s release is probably giving you a line to close the deal. A bondsman can control when they get their portion of the release process complete, but cannot control the jail system. Jails operate on a safety-first basis. The flow of people and processes is often slow and unpredictable at best. That said, an experienced bondsman should know the individuals jail’ normal processing times.
Now that you know how to find a bail bondsman in Daytona and their qualifications, it’s time to talk to a bail bondsman. If you have any other questions please contact us or give us call at 386-257-5116. Here at Alliance Bail Bonds, we can help.