ROLE OF THE OBA
The OBA was created and continues today to support and promote the bail industry for the members of the Oklahoma Bondsman Association.
The Oklahoma Bondsman Association is the premier educational provider for Oklahoma bondsmen. The association provides annual training and legislative updates that meet the educational requirements required by the Oklahoma Insurance Department. All bondsmen in the state of Oklahoma who are members of OBA adhere to the higher ethical standards put forth by the association.
All licensed bondsmen in the state of Oklahoma are required to complete 16 hours of pre-licensing courses and are required to complete eight hours of continuing education annual to renew. Continuing education requirements are required each year to accumulate 16 hours to renew license biennially. Pre-licensing education courses are offered through the OBA headquarters in Oklahoma City. Continuing Education courses are offered offsite, via lie stream and video playback at the association office.
In addition to updating members regarding state legislative changes that affect the bail industry, OBA has and will continuously work with both judicial and legislative branches of the government to ensure that proposed criminal justice reform efforts best serve Oklahoma and its residents. Our priority always has been and always will be the safety and security of our communities and neighbors.
Because of the complex nature of the work of a bail agent, it is of the utmost importance that all members of OBA adhere to the association’s code of ethics. Bail bondsmen interact daily with law enforcement officials, community members and other bail agents. This profession comes with great responsibility, and OBA members uphold the highest moral and ethical standards.
OKLAHOMA BONDSMAN ASSOCIATION CODE OF ETHICS
SECTION 1: RELATIONS WITH THE CLIENT
Article 1. Every Bail Agent should comply in full, with the laws and regulations governing the transaction of bail in the State of Oklahoma. Such compliance must necessarily include those matters dealing with the trust and fiduciary relationship as it relates to monies and properties that may secure an undertaking. The highest moral and ethical practice should be maintained when entering a trust or fiduciary relationship.
Article 2. In justice to those who place their faith, confidence and interest in us, Bail Agents should endeavor constantly to be informed of current laws, proposed legislation, Governmental orders or regulations, and other significant information and public policies that may affect the interests of the client.
Article 3. Bail Agents should make a constant practice of full and complete disclosure to all parties, be they principal or indemnitor, of any and all possible liabilities, penalties, or detriments that may arise from their involvement in that particular undertaking which secures the release from custody of a person who is charged with a criminal offense.
Article 4. Bail Agents should not, prior to forfeiture or breach, arrest or surrender any principal unless the Agent can materially show good cause for such action. Such good cause should reasonably take the form of actions outlined in Title 59 of the Oklahoma Statutes.
Article 5. Bail Agents should supply all indemnitors to an undertaking with a true copy of any document representing a binding legal contract to which he or she is being committed.
Article 6. When an examination of the material factors of a potential undertaking reasonably convinces a Bail Agent that he or she will be unable to undertake that bail relationship, the Bail Agent should immediately inform all involved parties that he or she will not be able to secure the release of the defendant so that the defendant or his or her affiliates may promptly seek his or her release by other means.
SECTION 2: RELATIONS WITH THE GENERAL PUBLIC
Article 7. Bail Agents should keep themselves informed as to the movements affecting the criminal justice system in their communities and state so that they may be able to constructively contribute to the general public in matters of legislation, public safety and other questions dealing with effective means of fighting crime.
Article 8. It is the duty of Bail Agents to protect the general public against misrepresentations or unethical business practices in the Bail industry. They should maintain only the highest ethical practices to uplift the dignity and integrity of the Bail industry.
Article 9. Bail Agents should not engage in activities that constitute the practice of law and should refrain from making comments and representations which may lead the public to believe that the Bail Agent is practicing law.
SECTION 3: RELATIONS WITH THE GOVERNMENT SECTOR
Article 10. Bail Agents, with due regard for the special position of responsibility and trust that this profession places them in, should assist and cooperate with the judiciary, law enforcement agencies and public prosecutors in the orderly administration of justice. Bail Agents should make great efforts to verify and confirm any information that they may give to a court, law enforcement agency, or any other public agency. Failure to do so, or an intentional misrepresentation of a fact to any one of the entities, must be construed as a breach of the fundamental relationship of trust between the Bail Agent and the Government sector.
Article 11. Unless compelled to do so by law or by court order, Bail Agents should not divulge or disclose to any person or agency personal information regarding the principal or indemnitor of any undertaking that has not been forfeited or breached. The inherent right to privacy of the individual and the position of trust of the Bail Agent demand compliance with this concept.
SECTION 4: RELATIONS WITH FELLOW BAIL AGENTS
Article 12. Bail Agents shall conduct their business with fellow Bail Agents in an ethical manner, exhibiting a high degree of professionalism in all their actions. Specifically, Bail Agents shall:
(a) NOT attempt to regulate rates, restrict trade, or seek unfair advantage over fellow Bail Agents.
(b) NOT voluntarily disparage the business practices, actions, or transactions of fellow Bail Agents. In the event a Bail Agent is asked to render an opinion, he or she must do so in a professional and courteous manner.
(c) NOT withhold information regarding prospective clients if the information could cause harm or damage the business of a fellow Bail Agent.
Article 13. If a Bail Agent is charged with unethical business practices by a regulatory agency, the agent shall cooperate fully with the investigation, voluntarily providing all information necessary for investigation and judgment. The Bail Agent shall be provided adequate time to submit the requested information and is expected to comply within the allotted timeframe.
Bail Agents will strictly adhere to a code of ethics. No inducement, profit or instruction from clients, or any outside parties can ever justify departure from the principles established in a code of ethics. Bail Agents must maintain a moral reputation within the community they serve and amongst the law enforcement and judicial systems. Accepting the preceding as a true and correct statement of circumstance, every Oklahoma Bail Agent pledge to conduct his or her business in accordance with this Code of Ethics.