Bail bonds are a complex thing in some ways. And for many, just understanding the processes a bondsman will use can be confusing. Making things worse is that some bondsmen will actually abuse their power and the public’s general misunderstanding of bonds. A perfect example of this is when a defendant is surrendered back to the authorities.
In most situations, you’ll give a bondsman a premium that’s about 15% of the total bail cost set by the court and they’ll post the rest on your behalf, helping you or your loved one get out of jail. That premium is their fee, and you won’t usually get that back. However, if the bondsman surrenders the defendants back to authorities, you should receive that bond premium amount back.
Under the current laws, any time the defendant is surrendered back to the authorities without certain defendant actions occurring, the premium must be returned in full within 72 hours of the surrender. There are some exceptions, and if the defendant does any of the following things, the bondsman may keep the premium amount.
- Leaves the state without permission
- Violates any court order
- Physically hides from the surety in any way
- Willfully fails to pay the full premium
- Fails to make a premium payment as agreed
- Changes their address without notifying the surety prior to the move
- Provides any false information about failure to appear in court, past convictions, or pending charges – or fails to provide the information at all
- Provides a false name or alias or provides incorrect identification of any kind
One of these occurrences must exist, or the bondsman will have to return your premium. They can’t simply surrender the defendant because they get a ‘feeling’ that they’re going to flee, or they’ll need to give you back your money.
This is important to remember because many bondsman aren’t honest, and may try to take advantage of the situation by keeping your premium down payment. We won’t do that, and we strive for maximum honesty during all of our interactions. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help you.