How Bail Works
If you have never needed a bondsman you may not know what to do or where to call. Lets look at what it means to post bail and answer some questions about the bail industry. OBA member bondsmen are only a phone call away and can be located at Find A Bondsman.
WHAT IS BAIL?
Bail is a civil contract that obtains the release of a person arrested or charged with a crime. Bail gives a person the freedom to wait for their day in court, from home, instead of remaining in custody. The Eighth Amendment protects our right to bail, without interference from the state. The Oklahoma constitution also protects that right.
WHAT DOES A BAIL BONDSMAN DO?
When a bondsman obtains a release for a client, they are posting an appearance bond to the court. It is a guarantee to the court that the client will appear each time the court sets a new court date. If the client fails to appear in court as ordered, the bondsman receives notice from the court to either return the client to the custody of the court or pay the full amount of the bond. Is short, the bond is an IOU between the Bondsman and the Court, with the client being the subject and the cosigners being the responsible parties.
USEFUL TIPS WHEN POSTING BAIL
Only deal with a licensed bail bondsman. Ask to see the Bondsman’s license and identification prior to any transaction. Check the Oklahoma Insurance Department website if there is any question if someone is a Licensed Bondsman. Click here to check for licensure.
Make sure that you understand exactly what you are paying for. The cost of posting bail varies from state to state and even from different municipalities, some charge posting fees that must be paid.
Get copies of any contracts or agreements that you sign.
Get an itemized receipt for any money that you pay.
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, 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. The Oklahoma Insurance Department will accept and follow up on any complaints that are submitted in writing.