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Become a Bail Bondsman

Bail Bonds

A career as a bail bondsman requires time, money, and training. Bail bondsmen provide services for and to defendants, who can be dangerous. Thus they must be trained to keep themselves free from harm and be knowledgeable concerning the various offenses and what to expect. A bail bondsman also assumes a huge responsibility when bonding a client. They are guaranteeing the defendant will appear in court as required, or that they will surrender the entire amount of the bail money and enlist the services of a bounty hunter to find the accused within the time frame allowed by the courts.

The requirements for becoming a bail bondsman will vary from state to state. Some commonalities across all states are that a person must be of legal age, though the legal age to become a bail bondsman varies from 18 to 21 years of age. In addition, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen, have no violent criminal felony convictions, and free of any misdemeanor convictions, or warrants. A local sheriff must approve one’s application. Thus, a criminal background check is run, and any falsifications will result in denial of the application. Bail bondsman licenses typically require renewal, and may require additional coursework, in some cases annually. Bail bondsman training should also include self defense training in the use of such tools as weapons, tasers, batons, “pepper spray”, etc. In addition, bail bondsmen should have solid business skills, as these will be required to build a successful company. Once training has been secured, bail bondsman applicants will require insurance for the security of bail funds, prior to the issuance of licensing.

Although each state will basically offer the same general information for bail bondsmen, the student must become familiar with the laws specific to his/her state. The extent and length of training time required varies as well, and some states have residency requirements. It can be as brief as a two day training class, followed by the licensing exam, or a lengthy as criminal justice coursework taken at a college or through continuing education, along with a year-long internship under the supervision of a licensed bail bondsman. Most states will also require a set minimum amount of money for each bail bondsman to have secured. In addition, there is typically an annual fee attached with bondsman licensure.

A career as a bail bondsman can be characterized as unpredictable, at best. It can be dangerous, as well as mentally and physically exhausting when bail is jumped and a defendant must be found. The life of a bail bondsman can be exciting, but may not be for everyone.

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