Requirements, Roles, and Duties of a Bail Bondsman


The Roles And Duties Of The Bail Bondsman In The Criminal Justice Field

By Kenneth Echie

A bail bondsman (also known as a bail bonds agent) provides services to criminal defendants by guaranteeing payment of

the defendant’s bond to the court. Sometimes a court will release a defendant from jail if he or she can afford the requested bail amount set by the court.

However, many defendants cannot afford this amount so the defendant’s family contacts a bail bonds agent to assist with the payment. If the agent chooses to render services on the defendant’s behalf, the family usually pays a premium of the total bail amount and/or signs over a lien on personal property.

So, if you are considering becoming a bail bondsman in the criminal justice field, there are few roles and duties that you will have to perform. In this article I discuss those roles and duties.

The bail bonds agent’s primary duty is to guarantee full payment of the defendant’s bond to the court, if the defendant fails to show up for

court appearances and/or the trial. Since the agent can lose a lot of money if the defendant doesn’t show up to court, he or she usually requires the defendant’s family to pay 10% of the total bail amount, plus sign

over a lien on personal belongings. In addition to the 10 % premium, there may be an additional service fee (which can be several hundred dollars).

For example, if the court sets bail at $5,000, the defendant pays the agent $500 (10% of the total bail amount). And if the defendant appears in court on the scheduled court date, the agent does not pay the court anything.

The bail bonds agent verifies the defendant’s background and criminal record to determine if he or she is a risk of not showing up for court dates. Many bail agents companies have very strict rules and they will not provide a financial guarantee for everyone.

The bail bondsman may also request that the defendant’s family sign over a lien to personal property, just in case the defendant misses the court date. Items that usually qualify as personal property include houses, land, vehicles, jewelry or other assets.

The bail bonds agent completes paperwork on the bail bond and maintains a copy of the record in his or her office. It is important that the paperwork is accurate and complete because copies are submitted to the court and everything must be correct on each form.

The agent works extremely fast to get the defendant out of jail. However, it might actually take a few hours before the defendant is released on bond because of all of the paperwork and procedures that are involved in the process. After the judge releases the defendant, he or she is free to go, but the defendant must agree to return to court on the designated court date.

As you can see, a bail bondsman has very important roles in the criminal justice field. He or she is responsible for performing several main roles and duties for the defendants and for the courts as well. If you are interested in this career, I urge you to do more research online. You can do so by visiting websites which cover the profession in more detail.

Note: You are free to reprint or republish this article. The only condition is that the links should be clickable.

Copywrite Kenneth Echie. Kenneth writes for Criminal Justice Schools and Degrees. Get free scholarship report and learn to Become a Bail Bondsman by visiting.


  1. can i start under a bail bonds man and then go out on my own? what are the requirments on getting insured?