OBA announced its support of Senate Bill 1251 at the conclusion of the bill filing process for the Second Session of the 56th Legislature. SB 1251, authored by Sen. James Leewright (R-Bristow), amends previous legislation relating to bail bonds, including provisions relating to the exoneration of bond and forfeiture and requiring credit for certain premiums paid.
“In Oklahoma, there are adjustments that need to be made to create more efficient and effective bail bond processes. Senate Bill 1251 provides that a bond shall be exonerated by operation of law in any case in which there is an added charge, or an amended charge, that would result in a higher fine or longer term of sentence if convicted. If the same bondsman or insurer posts the appearance bond(s) on the added or amended charge, any premium paid by the defendant on the original charge shall be credited to the defendant.
Added charges with higher fines or longer sentences typically represent a much higher risk defendant. With this bill, bondsmen and our communities will realize increased cost and time savings as defendants are required to bear a greater burden of responsibility in reporting and returning to court. As a result, this bill acts as a safeguard for our bondsmen, our communities and our courts.
OBA encourages state legislators to consider the positive effects this bill could create, not just for our industry, but for our state and its residents. Senate Bill 1251 has the potential for not only improving the efficiency of bail bond processes, but also potentially creating cost savings for Oklahoma’s taxpayers.”
– Raymond Merrill, President of the Oklahoma Bondsman Association