The role of the bail bondsman services provider in the U.S. legal system is one that many people are only vaguely familiar with from watching television. Knowing that someone can post a surety on your behalf after you've been arrested, however, can be a massive relief. You may be surprised to learn, though, that a bail bondsman can do a lot more for you.
They Can Make Counsel Affordable
The reality is that paying for a lawyer to mount a defense once you've been charged with a crime can be a costly proposition. Having to post bail and also pay for an attorney is likely to put a serious damper on your finances, even under the absolute best of circumstances. A bail bond is a loan, so you can focus on paying it to the bond company in installments rather than trying to shell out everything at once. Instead, you can focus on paying for a lawyer. This is also especially helpful for folks who might not have hundreds or thousands of dollars laying around.
They Know the System
Hoping that your friend or a family member will show up to post bail for you can be a tricky proposition, even if they absolutely intend to get you released. A bail bondsman will know where all the jails and courts are in your region, and they'll also be thoroughly familiar with how the system works. If there's a hold up over some minor detail, they can often provide advice for clients on how to get things moving again.
The people in the bonds industry know a lot of lawyers and police, too. If you're searching for counsel, for example, they may be able to put you in touch with an attorney who practices in the field of law covered by the charges you're up against. Should you have questions about legal procedures, they may even shed some light on some of the specifics of your case.
They Can Help You Remember Your Court Dates
The bail bondsman firm that posts money for your release has a stake in seeing that you make all your appointed court dates. If you're at all worried about making a date, let them know. They'll gladly act as your alarm clock. If faced with the possibility of forfeiting their money, some bondsmen will even go to the length of taking a client to court, as it tends to be cheaper than hunting the person down to make them appear.
I'll be up front: I have a criminal record. As someone who's spent lots--and lots--of time looking for a job in my life, I've gotten used to being up front with this fact. It's difficult to get hired with this on my record, and frankly, it never gets less scary to have to tell an interviewer about it. But that doesn't mean I'm unemployable. I'm a hard worker who can bring a lot to any company. And I also know what an employer needs to do for me. I know my rights. There's no federal law protecting me from discrimination due to my record, but there are plenty of state laws that make it a little easier for me. If you're looking for a job and you have a criminal record, read through this information. Protect yourself during a job search. Know your rights.