UNDERSTANDING BAIL

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    We’ll help walk you through what it means to use a bondsman and answer all your questions about posting bail.


WHAT IS BAIL?

Bail is the temporary release of a person accused of a crime and awaiting trial on the condition that a sum of money be lodged to guarantee their appearance in court. Bail is guaranteed by the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution and ensures the Court that a criminal defendant will appear for trial.

WHAT DOES A BAIL AGENT/BAIL BONDSMAN DO?

A bail agent/bondsman puts forth money or property as bail for the release of an accused person. A bondsman does not directly release the accused from jail, but rather is paid a fee by an accused person or their family to post bail and ensure the accused appears for court. If the accused fails to appear for court, the bondsman works to locate and return them to court. A bondsman also functions as a small business owner, running their bail bond business within their own community and often using their own funds. All bondsmen in the state of Oklahoma are licensed and regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

USEFUL TIPS WHEN POSTING BAIL

  • Only deal with a licensed bail bondsman. Ask to see the bail bondsman’s license and identification prior to any bail transaction.
  • Ask the bail bondsman to explain the premium you are being charged. The premium charged for a bail bond varies from state to state. Additional charges above the allowed premium should be itemized and explained to your satisfaction.
  • Get an itemized receipt of all charges.
  • Ask for copies of all signed contracts and agreements.
  • If financing is provided, be sure you understand the terms of the financial agreement prior to signing and be sure you are given copies of anything you sign.
  • Make sure the bail bondsman you contract with will be available to you after the bond has been posted. Part of what you pay for is service. Any professional bail agent will be available for questions or concerns throughout the entire process.
In the State of Oklahoma, bail bondsmen are licensed and regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department (405-521-6610) and are required to attend yearly continuing education classes provided by the Oklahoma Bondsman Association. If you have any questions regarding bail or your bondsman, please do not hesitate to contact us at 405-524-5920 or send us an email.