Bail Bond Agent Job Profile

A bail bond agent is a person who helps a suspect, someone who faces criminal charges (a defendant), obtain a release from the custody of a law enforcement agency. The agent prepares a document with a promise to surrender the amount of money set by the court (based on the severity of the criminal charge[s]) on behalf of the defendant.

A Bail Bond Agent's Responsibilities

If the defendant is not able to pay the correct amount, the bail agents pay the money on the behalf of the defendant after the defendant relinquishes any asset he or she has as collateral. This collateral could be, for example, jewelry or a car. In such cases, the bail agent may lose the amount of money paid on behalf of the defendant if the defendant fails to appear in court on the trial date. If this occurs, the agent can file a case against the defendant to recover the loss incurred.

Legally, the bail bond agent has the right to arrest the fleeing defendant and forcefully escort him or her to the magistrate. To sum this up, a bail bond agent acts as a money lender for a short duration and with a high interest rate.

An agent generally files bail bonds for those who have had steady incomes, have been residents of the locality for a reasonable time and have no previous criminal record.

Bail bonds are usually released by insurance companies. Once a case is concluded, the bail bond is absolved and is returned to the insurance company. Bail bond agents work throughout the country and are always open. A license is compulsory for a bail bond agent. In a few states, the license can be obtained by applying to the state's insurance department. As per the insurance regulations, courses or training has to be completed to finish the licensing procedure. 

Daily Tasks

  • Meet the defendant and explain the bail procedures.
  • Obtain the necessary collateral from the defendant's family members with the pertinent signed documents.
  • Collect the bail bond from the insurance firm and pay the court.
  • Make sure that defendants comply with the terms and conditions of the bail bonds. 

Types of Bail Bond Agents

Bail bond agents can work either in a professional bonding company or simply as bail agents in a surety company. A bail agent in a surety company can practice in all counties, whereas the professional agent has to get licensed for each county. 

Training Requirements

There are many colleges offering the prospective bail bondsman strategic training. Such training courses will provide the necessary knowledge on all the vital legal aspects. But the legal procedures may vary with each state, and hence bail bond agents or prospective agents should also be aware of the local legal bindings and proceedings. In most states, a bail bondsman insurance license is enough to initiate the practice.

Income

They are not paid in a salary method but in the form of commission. They can start in this field with an average of $10 to $15 an hour, but the experienced agent can expect an income of around $50,000 annually. 

Career Advancement

After working in a bail bond agency for a few years, you can initiate your own bail bond agency. Before stepping through this door, however, you should be prepared to face all types of risks involved in this career. Facing competition and taxes are some of the difficulties.