With the ever-present scourge of crime in our society, there are a number different businesses that play a role, as well as people fulfilling those roles. Of course, there are the police whose job it is to keep society as safe as possible by enforcing the laws of the land. There are prisons that house convicted inmates, many who have committed crimes against others. There are prison guards, wardens, lawyers, judges, etc. As one can see, the list is long, as crime involves many folks and not just the criminals and victims of those crimes. But one of the mysterious roles in the world of crime is that of the bail bondsman http://bailbondsnj.net.
What exactly is a bail bondsman? What do they do, and how do they operate? A bail bondsman is someone who actually puts up money when the accused is “let out on bail”. What is that specifically? A typical scenario is someone who is accused of committing a crime, a bank robber for instance. When and if the suspected person is caught or apprehended, he is placed in custody, perhaps a temporary jail cell until said person can contact his lawyer or is provided one from the state. That person must wait to go in front of the judge to find out what the next steps are, or what the future holds for the accused.
Assuming the prosecutors are gathering evidence against the suspect, or the accused bank robber, and the accused has consulted with his/her lawyer for their own evidence gathering duties, the judge may allow that person to be released “on bail”. There are a number of different circumstances that determine what those bail guidelines will be, and the amount of money for the guarantee is set by the judge. This monetary amount of bail falls into a broad range. For instance, if the accused has been convicted in the past of the same crime, bank robbery, then the judge might set the bail amount higher than if the accused has no criminal record. For the sake of argument, assume the judge sets the bail for one hundred thousand dollars. What this means is that the accused has to either put up his own money, find someone such as family or friends to come up with the money, or employ a bail bondsman to insure that the money is placed in something like escrow account. In other words, that money is insurance against the accused criminal “jumping bail”, or fleeing. If the accused runs, or skips out perhaps to another country where he might not be caught, then the money is forfeited.
The money is lost, and if the bail bondsman has put up that money, he or she is out a good deal. Has he lost the money for good? Maybe, but maybe not… Assuming the bail bondsman has put up the money, the hundred thousand dollars, and the accused doesn’t run, his fee is usually ten percent, or ten thousand dollars. However, if the accused runs, perhaps there is too much evidence against him, or he knows he robbed the bank and has hidden the money somewhere and needs to be free to access said money, then the bail bondsman might hire a bounty hunter to track down the criminal and return him to the police or the court. Of course, now the bounty hunter has to get paid as well As one can see, it can be a tricky business, and one not without its share of danger. Perhaps the criminal has a violent history, and has used force in the past.
Perhaps the escapee has fled out of the country, or has a great hiding place or a safe house where he can “hole up” for as long as it takes for the heat to die down. Then it is up to the bounty hunter to put his or her nose to the grindstone and employ every trick in the book to capture the criminal so he can be paid. Meanwhile the bail bondsman is in the risky position where he stands to either make a lot of money or lose the money he has put up as insurance against the accused from fleeing. In a nutshell, the role of the bail bondsman is really one of an insurance company. The role of the bail bondsman is one that is prevalent in the United States, as most other countries have different rules for criminal law and their court systems.