What Does a Bondsman Do?
A bondsman is an agent for a surety company. The bondsman meets with the client to effectuate the contract between the surety company and the defendant or cosigner. The bondsman will also instruct the defendant of the cosigner to make sure the defendant appears at all scheduled court hearings and trials, else he may forfeit the bond.
When a defendant is arrested, he or she will contact a bondsman or a friend or relative who will then contact a bondsman. The bondsman will ask for all pertinent information, including: defendant’s name, social security number, the exact charge against the defendant, who the arresting agency is, how much the bond is, and what jail the defendant is being held it. He or she will also need the citation number if a citation was issued.
The bondsman then decides whether to take the case. If so, he or she meets with the family member or friend. The bondsman explains to the friend or family member what type of bond the defendant has and how the bond works (i.e. if it is a cash bond, surety bond, or property bond). The bondsman and the family member or friend sign a contract. The contract guarantees that the defendant will appear to all scheduled court dates. It also states that the person signing (cosigner) is responsible for making sure the defendant shows up in court and that if the defendant skips, that the cosigner will be responsible for the amount due on the bond.
Once the contract has been signed and the cosigner paid the required amount down, the bondsman will go to the holding facility. He or she presents the bond paperwork and the paperwork for the release of the defendant to the holding authority. Once the holding authority completes its paperwork, the defendant is released into the custody of the bondsman.
The bondsman can revoke a bail bond at any time he deems necessary. If the defendant has not skipped, but the bondsman has reason to believe that the defendant may skip, the bondsman will contact a bounty hunter to have the defendant picked up. If the defendant skips, the bondsman will have a bounty hunter find and apprehend the defendant. The bondsman must pay the surety company the amount of the bond should the defendant skip bail. The bondsman is responsible for collecting the funds from the cosigner or the defendant.