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The War on Bail Continues and Bondsmen are Fighting Back.

For the last few months Government funded Pretrial release organizations have been taking shots at the private surety bail bond industry. Here is the first of many responses from Dr. Dennis Bartlett from the American Bail Coalition.


Becoming a Bail Bond Agent in California

In this tough economy, many people in California are turning to employment opportunities that they had never thought of or perhaps never even knew existed. A career as a bail bond agent may not have been your childhood dream, but it is a great and interesting way to make a living.  

What does a bail bond agent actually do?
The purpose of the bail bond industry is to help defendants post bail and be released from jail, while also helping the court system guarantee their appearance in court. As the middleman working for both sides, the bail bond agent is the glue that holds the judicial process together. Contrary to popular belief, bail bonds are actually a very important public service.  

bail bondsman   Premiere Bail BondsHow can I become a California bail bond agent?
There are some basic rules such as you must be at least 18 years old and have resided in California for two years or more. You cannot have any felony convictions and be deemed to have a good character. You must receive your license from the California Department of Insurance.  

To get your bail bond license, you must complete classes from the Department of Insurance that take about 12 hours to finish. Training centers exist across the state of California to make learning the trade convenient. After you complete your training, you need to send in the appropriate paperwork and application along with a fee of approximately $250 to get a test date.  

The exam to become a bail bond agent lasts two hours and contains 50 questions. You should be prepared from your training classes and a score of 70% is required to pass the test. If you fail the test you can retake it as often as you like, but there is a fee associated with taking the test. When you pass the test, it takes about six weeks to receive your license and begin your career as a bail bondsman.  

How should I choose which bail bond company to work for?
For starters, you want to work for a California bail bonds company that complies with California state law. A commitment to ethics is essential in being a good bail bond agent and the company you work for must reflect your values. Research opportunities with companies with high ethical standards such as Premiere Bail Bonds and you will be well on your way to starting your career in the bail bond industry.

Understanding the Bail and Bond Process

If you are arrested, you will be taken to a local police station for booking and arraignment. During the bail and bond process a bail amount will be set and you will have a few options to provide for your release. If you are not released on your own recognizance for free, you can use a bail bond, property bail or cash bail. In most cases, courts prefer bail bonds as they help guarantee your appearance in court, but it is also an effective means of securing release before your court date.  

Depending on the charges you are facing, your bail bond amount can be set beyond your financial means. To put it simply: the worse the crime is, the higher the bail bond amount. Judges use a variety of criteria to determine the amount of bail bonds as insurance that the defendant will appear at a later court date. Once the amount is set, the bail bond process begins.  

bail and bond   Premiere Bail BondsTypically a family member, a friend or your attorney will speak with a bail bond company on your behalf while you are still behind bars. The agent will conduct a phone consultation to collect all of the pertinent details regarding the arrest, your contact information and the financial record of the person who will sign the bail bond.  

At this point, you can choose to move forward with the bail bond process. To secure a bail bond someone must complete an application, agree to the Bail Indemnity Agreement and sign all of the legally binding documents. By signing a bail bond document, there is now collateral if you fail to appear in court.  

Bail bond companies charge a fee that is equivalent to ten percent of the bail bond amount and is dictated by California state law. Do not trust a company that offers a different rate for bail bonds. Upon receiving payment and all necessary signatures, the bail bond agent will post bail for you and you will be released from the detention facility or jail.  

The entire bail bond process usually takes about one or two hours to complete. The customer can complete these documents on-site or over email with a licensed bail bond agent. In a few short steps and hours, you can be released from jail. The responsibility of bail bonds is enormous and failure to pay or appear in court will lead to a myriad of legal troubles.  

If you are unsure of which bail bond company to use, ask your attorney for a suggestion. With years of experience dealing with clients who need to post bail, your attorney has probably encountered the entire gamut of bail bond issues. Another option is to research local bail bond agents on the Internet, but that may prove to be difficult if you are behind bars. Understanding the bail bond process and the different local bail bond agents in your area is the best preparation for dealing with an unexpected arrest situation.