Most people don’t want to be arrested, and when they are, they often cannot come up with the required amount of bail money to get themselves out of jail. Bail money is something that is paid to the court as an assurance that the accused person will show up for their court dates, as this money will be returned to them if they follow through. In most cases that’s incentive enough. But if they cannot provide that money themselves, they must either beg friends and family for assistance, or turn to a bail bondsman. In many cases, they end up going with the bondsman.
A bail bondsman is a person who works either individually or for an agency to provide the necessary money to post the bail for a person being held in prison. He or she will require a fee up front, typically 10% of the total bail cost (so if the bail cost is $1000, the bail bondsman will require $100 immediately), which is not refundable as it is essentially payment for their services. Many bondsmen will require payment in cash only, though there are those who have started to accept credit cards as well. Those who can accept a credit card payment may be a little easier to work with as a person may not even have the 10% fee to hand over in cash, but will likely have a line of credit large enough to make the payment. Many bondsmen will also require a cosigner—someone who is making the promise that the accused will show up for their court dates—and potentially something as collateral as well.
When the fee is paid, the bail bondsman then goes to the court and makes the full bail payment. In doing so, they are making the promise to the court that the accused will show up for their court dates, with the agreement that once that person has fulfilled their obligations to the court, the court will then return the bail monies paid to the bondsman. This process would be the same if the person arrested had paid the bail money on their own.
If the person whose bail was paid by a bondsman fails to show up for court, the bondsman is able to take legal recourse by suing said person, though they may have to hunt them down first. In some cases, they may utilize a bounty hunter, which is legal in most states, though not in some. The accused person may be considered a fugitive at that point, usually if they’ve fled the area, so they would then be facing additional charges on top of their original ones, and would also have an angry bail bondsman to deal with once caught.
In the end, a bail bondsman in CT is a great asset for the person who has been arrested and needs to be bailed out, and is someone that shouldn’t be abused for their services.
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