A bail bondsman legal rights can land you back in jail. A lot of people do not realize that a bail bondsman has the right to put you back in jail if you violate the bond agreement. Many people that are arrested depend on bail bond service to get them out. A bail bond can be required even if it is your first offense and the offense seems rather minor.
Typically the offender’s relationship with the bail bondsman is a symbiotic relationship and the bail bondsman legal rights never really come into play, but you should know what you are facing when you pick up the phone and call that bond agent.
What You Need To Know About a Bail Bondsman Legal Rights
Most people that have been arrested and are sitting in jail trying to figure out how they will make bail, do not really consider all the other terms of the bail bond. For example, let’s say you were charged with trespassing because you had a fight with your girlfriend and she called the police. In all likelihood, she has been advised about filing a restraining order.
As part of your bond agreement you may be ordered to stay away from the premises. Even if they are your premises too. Even if your clothing is there. If you have been banned from going to the premises and you go anyway, you can be rearrested and the bail bondsman legal rights are to nullify your bond and refuse to write another one.
The bail bondsman legal rights include:
- The ability to void your bond and return you to jail if you are involved in any suspicious activities. The bail bondsman legal rights include putting you back in jail if you are suspected of a crime, wanted for a new crime, or rearrested on a different charge.
- If you lose contact with the bail bondsman. Let’s say you move, and change your phone number and forget to notify the bail agent. The bail bondsman legal rights include requiring you to remain in contact with them and for them to have a way to reach you at all times. If you lose contact they will look for you and they will return you to jail it is their legal right to do so.
- If you miss a payment. Let’s say that your bail agent is allowing you to pay off the fees for your bail bond, and let’s say you miss a payment or two, the bail bondsman legal rights in this scenario is to void your bond and return you to jail.
Bail agents take a tremendous risk when they bail someone out of jail. They are putting their good name on the line and when a client skips out, they are charged the full amount of the bond. The bail bondsman legal rights are in place to help protect these men and women from dealing with tremendous losses.
Of course, your attorney can always step in on your behalf if you run into problems with your bail agent. One of the best ways to ensure that your bail bondsman legal rights to have you arrested are not enacted is to always try to follow the rules.
Conditions of Your Bond
There are no laws that prevent a judge or a magistrate from adding conditions to your bond. For example, let’s say you have been charged with a DWI after a car accident that requires car accident injuries treatment for the other party, the judge may ban you from any type of alcohol consumption while you wait for your trial.
Other conditions of your bond release can be:
- Maintaining employment or school attendance. If your lawyer makes the argument that bail is is the only fair solution because you need to support your family or because you are in school. The judge can add your continued employment or school attendance as a criteria.
- You may be required to wear a GPS tracking device. In some cases, the judge can mandate that you wear a GPS tracking device so that law enforcement knows where you are at all times. In some cases, an alcohol detection device may be required if you have been charged multiple times with an alcohol violation.
- Other pre-trial release conditions can be focused on keeping the victim in the case safe. For example, you are charged with fighting a security guard at your local big-box discount store, even if you only have been charged, in the interest of business security, you will likely be ordered to stay away from the business.
It is completely at the judge’s discretion in conjunction with input from the prosecutor’s office that decides what you have to do to stay out of jail as the condition of your bond. Part of the bail bondsmen legal rights is to uphold the conditions of your bail.
Clearly there is no bigger threat than going back to jail if you are out on bail. The bail agent is like the overseer of those conditions. The bail bondsman legal rights are conveyed by the legal system for the specific purpose of upholding the pre-trial conditions.
How You Can Form a Good Relationship With Your Bond Agent
There are a few things that you can do to ensure that you never have to learn what the bail bondsman legal rights are when it comes to revoking your bond. A little self-responsibility can go a long way in making sure that you are able to stay out of jail and keep your bond in good standing.
Here are some things you should do:
- Follow each condition to the letter of the law. No matter how absurd the conditions seem to you, follow them. No matter whether you are annoyed because you know you are innocent follow the conditions.
- Stay in touch with your bond agent. If you move, if you switch jobs, change your phone number, or make any life changes that will affect the agent’s ability to get in touch with you, be proactive. Call the bondsman and let them know about any changes before they have to look for you.
- Make sure you show up for every single court date. A bail bond is a guarantee more or less that you will be in court if you do not show up in court without a very good reason, like “I am in the hospital and here is proof” the judge will revoke your bond.
The fact is that even if you are innocent if you are out of jail on bail, you will lose some of your rights. The bail bondsman legal rights give them the power to restrict your travel. For example, you have a beach house on the coast that is in a bordering state. Even if it is only two hours away, you will need permission to go visit it. Almost every condition of the bond is that you keep in touch with your bonds person. Some bond agents do not feel comfortable with their clients leaving town. A bond agent can even add some of their own restrictions to getting you out of jail like having to check in with them every Friday or another day of the week.
The best way to manage your freedom while you await trial is, to be honest with your bail bond agent, let them know where you are, answer their calls or texts, and stick to all the conditions of your release.
In almost every case, if you do the right thing, then the only time you will hear from your bail agent is when you have an upcoming court date. Most agents will text clients to remind them they have a court date coming up.
When You Break the Rules
Perhaps, this article has colored the bail bondsman legal rights in a light that is a little intimidating. The fact is if you do not break the rules, your time on bail will largely be uneventful, however, if you do break the rules, you can be in a world of trouble.
When you fill out your paperwork for the bail bonds person you will likely have to list a few references. The agent wants phone numbers and addresses for close family members and friends because they will use that information should you decide to skip out on bail.
Absconding is a term used to describe when someone does not show up in court and is unable to be found by the bail bond agent. The court will put in an order with a specific time frame where the bail will be forfeited. That typically will kick the bail agent into high gear to find you. They will leave no stone unturned especially in the case of a high dollar bond. They will contact everyone that they can connect to you. It can turn into a full-blown manhunt (or woman hunt).
They will dig deep into your past to contact people that you may have not even been in touch with for years like accident lawyers that are waiting to settle your accident claim. Old associates, teammates, the people you used to drink with at the local bar, ex-wives, ex-husbands, ex inlaws, you name it they will contact everyone and anyone to find you.
What is within a bail bondsman legal rights when they are trying to catch a person that jumped bail? They can:
- Pursue a defendant into any type of dwelling including private residences.
- They do not need the warrant to search for a fugitive.
- They have the right to detain a fugitive for as long as it takes to get them to the authorities.
Many bond agents are certified as bounty hunters as well as being bail bond certified. Depending on where you live will dictate whether the agent can carry a gun or not. Some states allow it and others do not.
In the states that do not allow bounty hunters to carry a weapon they typically can carry mace and other non-lethal weapons. In other words, if you break the rules, and decide just not to show up, the bail bondsman legal rights include coming after you and basically harassing family and friends to find you.
The bail bondsman legal rights include seizing any property that you used as collateral for your bail bond. For example, you put up the title to your car. If you abscond and do not show up in court the bail agent will immediately put a lien on your car and have it towed out of the yard if you leave it behind.
The point is unless you have a very good provable reason like you were in a horrific accident and have been fitted for lower extremity prosthetic devices and have not been able to call from the physical rehab location and your family members all lost their phones in a fire, you do not want to test the waters when it comes to the powers of the bail bondsman legal rights.
Most people use a bail bond service because they cannot afford the bail amount outright, but that does not mean you are not going to have to pay. Typically a bail agent fee is 10%-15% of the total bond. If your bond is $10,000 then you may have to pay an agent between $1000 and $1500 to get out of jail.
The fee is non-refundable. You are paying for the bail agent’s services. You do not get the money back when your case ends. Many bondsmen will accept a down payment than weekly payments. In some cases, you will have to put up collateral like a car title or a title to the property to assure the bond agent that you will make the payments.
Bail agents are usually very helpful in a time of crisis like a loved one being arrested. They are usually willing to work with the families to secure the loved one’s release, of course, bail bondsmen legal rights put them in a powerful position, so you do want to be sure to follow all the rules.