Do you need to make bail, but you’re concerned about the myths and stereotypes surrounding bail bonds? Don’t worry! Like any profession, there are many misconceptions surrounding this industry. Read on to learn more about five of the common myths and why they have been busted!
#1: Bail bond agents are bounty hunters.
When researching bail bond agents and/or bounty hunters, it isn’t uncommon to see both mentioned in the results. This is because the two professions do work closely together; however, they are not one and the same!
As you know, bail bond agents provide a loan specifically with the purpose of covering the bail amount of someone accused of a crime, so that they can be released from jail. As the bondsman takes a great financial risk in doing so, if the accused misses their court hearing, a bondsman may then employ a bounty hunter to find the accused and return them to jail in order to protect themselves from a major financial loss.
To summarize the difference between the two: a bail bonds agent provides the bail bond, a bounty hunter seeks out people who have skipped bail and returns them to incarceration.
#2: Bail bond agencies are cash-only establishments.
Although cash is obviously always welcome as payment, many bail bond agents offer other options! These can include credit cards or other forms of collateral. Most bail agents recognize that it can be hard to have cash on hand at the drop of a hat. Whether you only have so much available via an atm and this is outside bank hours, or you survive on a limited income, bail agencies often provide multiple options to make receiving a bond more attainable.
#3: Bail bond agents can negotiate the cost of bail.
A pretty common misconception comes in the form of how the bail amount is determined. A rumor is often passed around that your bail bond agent can negotiate the cost of bail…this simply isn’t true. Bail is set by a judge, and the only way to potentially adjust the cost is via a legal appeal from your lawyer. Unfortunately, your bail agent has no control over the cost. As much as they would like to help with that, it is out of their hands.
(While bail is set by the judge, the rate–or percentage and fees–we charge are monitored by the state Department of Insurance and the fee or premium must be what the insurance company has on file. If you think you have been charged too much, contact the Department of Insurance.)
#4: The fee you pay a bail agent will be refunded.
“Do I get my money back?” This is one that confuses people all the time, so if you weren’t sure, don’t feel bad! The short answer is: no.
The long answer is that, when utilizing a bail bond, there is a 10% nonrefundable fee that has been paid to the agent that you will not see returned. This was the guaranteed amount paid to the bond agency in order to obtain the bond, and regardless of how the court rules in your case, this amount has been paid to the bond agent as the Premium fee to reimburse them for their work on your behalf and the risk they took in providing the bond.
#5: You can’t afford bail.
Depending on the amount, finding a way to afford bail costs can be a little daunting. Don’t let the price tag deter you! We want you or your loved one to be home and free rather than sitting in a cell waiting for their trial.
At Teton Bail Bonds, our rate with the Department of Insurance allows us to offer 8% for bonds over $5,000 when the person in jail has a privately obtained attorney, and they or their co-signer is an active military servicemember or a member of a nationally recognized union.
Teton Bail Bonds is proud to offer low prices as well as payment plans for those in need, so make sure to ask your bondsman about all of your options!