What 'Should' Your Oklahoma Bail Bondsman Do For You?
It happens when you least expect it. Someone you know and love gets arrested at the worst possible time. Perhaps it is in the middle of the night; perhaps they were arrested for a DUI, Possession of CDS or even worse an unexpected warrant. All that really matters is posting bail and getting them home.
As a Canadian County Bail Bonds Company we see this every day (and night).
In this scenario you may be panicking. Maybe they simply need not miss work the next day, or they have other loved ones to care for at home. So you begin searching for a ‘24 hour bail bondsman’ or ‘a bail bondsman near me’ and calling every number until someone answers the phone.
The first available bail bonds company gets your business and you feel a sigh of relief as the defendant is released from jail.
But then what?
What happens in the coming days after the defendant’s release is what separates good bondsmen apart from the rest. The general public believes that a bondsman’s job is only to post bail for people who have been arrested.
Unfortunately, some bondsmen believe that too and this is where they simply stop working. But that is far from the truth., or at least it should be.
So, what should your bail bondsman actually be doing for you after you or your loved one is released? In order to explain, we will have to dive into what a bondsman’s minimum legal responsibilities are.
A Bondsman’s responsibility to the court
Generally speaking, the bondsman (or agent) is responsible for ensuring that the defendant or Principal makes all court appearances. This means that when a defendant fails to appear in court after posting bond, also known as a bond forfeiture, it is the bondsman’s responsibility to rectify the issue through a handful of possible means.
This includes finding and re-arresting the defendant and returning them to custody thereby relieving the bondsman of his duty and obligation.
Further, under certain conditions a Bail Agent may rearrest the defendant and return them to court prior to any failure to appear. Basically, the bondsman is to monitor the defendant and, if necessary, return them to custody if to prevent the failure to appear. This is known as ‘prior to breech.’
Many bondsmen will use this to their advantage, and unfortunately, the defendant’s disadvantage.
We believe that it is unethical to surrender a defendant without a real violation of the conditions of bail, a subsequent offense, a threat to public safety or themselves, or an imminent flight risk. Surrendering a defendant should not be used as an opportunity to exploit the right of an agent to surrender for any other reason that does not fall into those categories.
If a defendant is returned to custody by a bail bondsman, they immediately seem too risky to every other bondsman.
What happens after the bail is posted?
Assuming the arrest is a new charge, also known as Probable Cause or P.C., the P.C Affidavit along with any evidence, statements and police reports will be sent to the District Attorney’s office for review. There the District Attorney, or Assistant District Attorney, will decide if the crime has actually been committed and if the evidence rises to the level of a prosecutable offense.
If the offense is not prosecutable the District Attorney’s office will decline the charges by filing a “Declination Letter’. Should they decide to file the charges the Defendant will be required to appear in court.
Sometimes, this means it could be months before the defendant ever goes to court.
Many counties, such as Oklahoma County, will require a defendant to appear in court whether charges have been filed or not. But here in Canadian County that is not the case. The Defendant is required to stay in contact with the bondsman pending the outcome of the investigation. This is one of those situations where a poor choice in bondsman can really hurt.
A good bondsman will check periodically to see if charges are filed and make sure the client knows when a court appearance is scheduled.
Unfortunately, a bad one may not, often resulting in a failure to appear warrant caused by their lack of diligence. We often see this with bail companies who have a large volume of clients (more cases than their office is equipped to oversee) and with solitary bondsmen who don’t have a staff or an office.
What do the Best Bail Bondsmen Do For Their Clients?
The Best Bail Bonds Company will go even further by adopting a ‘keep them out of jail’ culture.
Granted, as mentioned a bondsman is responsible for surrendering the defendant to jail should they fail to comply with their obligations to the court.
Beyond that there should be a customer service focus and a desire to help people overcome their iniquities and become a better contributor to society, and their families. This is where most fall short, unfortunately.
A bail bond is not a means of punishment, but a means to ensure their day in court (and the victim’s.)
As one of Canadian County’s Best Bail Bonds companies, we go so far above and beyond the scope of not only our duties to the court, but also beyond that of any competitor. I would bet that if you researched bail bonds company in Canadian County, or even the State of Oklahoma, you would find that Good Guys Bail Bonds is the only company that actually offers other free services and classes to help clients get back on their feet.
Here are few of those that set the Good one(s) apart from the rest.
Resume writing assistance.
Job Search assistance
Money Management and personal finance
But wait… isn’t the bondsman’s job technically done when the bail is posted… you know, way back when you welcomed your loved one out of captivity and back into the free world? Normally, yes!
But here at Good Guys bail bonds in El Reno Oklahoma, we don’t stop at normal.
BAD BAIL BONDSMAN:
Usually a solitary bondsman or a small large volume company unable to oversee their own case load
Will get the defendant out of jail, usually at night and without gathering much information
Doesn’t require weekly check in which usually means they aren’t paying attention to their cases
Less likely to notify the client of upcoming court dates
Returns clients to jail to prevent having to do extra work
Often feels like you are bothering them when you call.
GOOD BAIL BONDSMAN:
Oversees the case until the initial appearance and then stops keeping up with the case
Makes some effort to keep in touch with their most important clients
Less likely to return a defendant to custody without a good reason
A good source of information pertaining to the case such as court dates and status updates
THE BEST BAIL BONDSMAN:
Maintains a ‘keep them out of jail’ mentality
Not likely to return a client to jail without a very good reason
Focus on customer service, friendly, compassionate and understanding
Always knows what is going on with every case or can find out anytime you call
Keeps up with every court date
Does not judge or assume guilt
Helps client’s overcome obstacles and turn their life around for the better
As you can see, any bail bondsman can get you out of jail. But, only the best bail bonds company will go the extra mile to keep them out.
If you are ever in need of a bail bondsman, it helps to know who to call prior to that shocking phone call in the middle of the night. We are inviting you to save our phone number. But before you do, take a few moments to read our bail bond blog and reviews so that when the time comes, or if it comes, you will already know what to do and who to call.