Understanding the Role of a Bail Bondsman

If you are contacting a bail bondsman Scranton PA on behalf of yourself or another party for the first time, you might find yourself at a loss for what to expect. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The criminal justice system is complex and relies on many players at every level, and for those who haven’t had a lot of contact with it, there are often misconceptions and gaps in knowledge that make it seem daunting when it’s not. A common point of frustration is misunderstanding the role that bondsmen play or expecting that contacting one will automatically fast-track a release process. While timely contact with someone who can provide bond will help get someone released as quickly as possible, there’s actually little that bail bond professionals can do to move things along if there hasn’t been an arraignment yet.

What a Bondsman Does

Bail bond providers simply furnish the funds needed to get someone released on bond in cases where it is either required or the only convenient solution. When someone is arraigned for a crime, judges have the ability to grant or deny bail, as well as to release someone without bail. When granting bail or bond, the judge can also stipulate whether cash bail is required, bond is required, or both are allowed. When you’re using a bond in lieu of putting up the full cash bail yourself or when it’s required, the bondsman draws up that contract and takes care of the direct financial transaction with the court that secures the release.

In the event that someone does not show for a proceeding, bondsmen are out the value of the bond, which is why many require collateral for high value bonds in addition to a nonrefundable fee. They can recoup their bond costs by guaranteeing a defendant shows up for court, and that is why many employ recovery professionals as part of their operation. In most cases, these professionals are not needed, but they are an important risk management strategy for the industry.

When To Contact Bond Professionals

While a bail bond agency can’t quote the exact terms of a bond contract before arraignment, they can begin preparing for the bail decision if they are contacted quickly. That means sometimes it is helpful to open the conversation before arraignment. At the same time, though, it can take 24 hours or so for the bond contract to be fully approved and the defendant released, and a lot of that timing is at the discretion of the court and the jail. In most cases, contacting a bond professional immediately after arraignment is just fine, and it will get you what you need as quickly as possible.