Bail Bonds a Public Service
The Maryland bail bond industry has been under assault in the legislature. Apparently, lots of public servants have benefitted. It must be noted many people have been able to get out of jail while their cases are adjudicated.
The vast majority of bail bonds women and men are first class and, technically, are officers of the courts.
Public images of bonds professionals are often depicted negatively whether true or not. Considering some of the law breakers they deal with it's difficult and dangerous.
Among the first thing the bonds professionals learn is cash, no checks, get signatures from family members or employers, don't believe the stories and promises.
Those persons in jail want to get out. They swear on the lives of their children, mother or grandparents and the Lord Almighty that they will appear on their appointed day. Often bondees fail to appear. Judges don't like that and issue warrants. The bonds pros are given a few weeks to find the culprits.
If the person can't be located or arrested by dates certain, courts get the fees from the bond agents and judges say "pay the clerk."
The bonding business is not easy. Often good people make mistakes and are caught up in the court system. Don't think this is the majority because it's not.
Far more citizens, legal and otherwise, lie, cheat and steal in every violation of local, state and federal laws. Eventually they get caught, arrested and are jailed. The bonds are to guarantee court appearance.
Bonds agents take great chances. Often they have frequent flyer clients and their families.
A Virginia bondsman had this young client on $5,000 bond. The young drug dealer managed to get his four girlfriends and his mother to each contribute $100 from their welfare payments to come up with the $500 ten percent fee. True story.
On another occasion, a brother and sister were arrested for distributing cocaine and OxyContin. The brother was nabbed and given a $30,000 bond. His mother went digging in her backyard and came up with a $3,000 bond fee. The cash was smelly and in $5, $10 and $20 denominations.
An hour later the sister was driving down the highway. Low and behold a state trooper caught her driving without a license with all kinds of drugs in the car.
Yes, she got a $30,000 bond and the same mother went back digging in the backyard. She uncovered three more Mason jars with another three thousand.
Thankfully, for the bondsman, it was a nice cash flow day. The two siblings managed to remain free until they entered the state prison system called corrections.
They served some time but returned to their sales business for a few years until federal agents got in on the act. Mother's backyard bank couldn't help this time.
The bonding business is a service. Unless the state wants to chase bond jumpers, it should let bond companies keep doing the job. If bonds are ignored, no shows will grow and justice won't be served. And the public is threatened.
There are lots of humorous stories; lots more are sad ones. There are many cases where arrestees await their court day incarcerated. Because some can't post bonds is no reason to release them back to the streets.
One more story. Another young college student walked out of jail with a broad smile. He thanked the bondsman, then asked what would happen if he failed to appear.
The agent grinned and asked "How fast can you run?"
"l‘m fast, really fast."
Again the agent laughed, "but can you outrun a .38 Smith & Wesson?"
With that, the freed man said: "I'll be there on time." He was, too.
Bail bonding is serious and regulated. Hopefully the Maryland legislature hasn’t mess it up.