" CALL ME, I HOLD THE KEY ! "
Sorry folks but Bounty Hunters and Bounty Hunting is 100 % ILLEGAL in the state of Florida! Florida outlawed it many years ago so if anyone claims to be a Bounty Hunter, they do not do it in Florida. It is kidnapping. I know most of you have seen the T.V. shows like Dog the Bounty Hunter, but chasing down people is only a very small part of the Bail Bond Business. In order for someone to arrest a fugitive they must be a licensed bail bond agent period.
Collateral is not always necessary, it depends on the charge and defendant's history. Collateral is used to secure a bond. Lets say an individual has a $1000 bond and collateral is required. That means you pay the premium of $100 and put up something worth $1000+ with the bondsman and it is held for the length of their case. Once the case is finished and the bond is discharged and released, the collateral will be returned to the Indemnitor ONLY. If the defendant should miss any court date, the bond becomes forfeited, and the defendant does not attempt to work with the bondsman (See: What if I miss a court date), then you, the Indemnitor, must surrender the defendant to the bondsman, jail, or law enforcement. If that cannot be done, you may swap out the collateral with cash. If not the bondsman will liquidate the collateral into cash to pay and satisfy the court. Please remember there are many options as long as you work with the bondsman. Rest assure that when putting up collateral any reputable bonding company cannot do as he pleases with it. There are laws we must follow in order to convert your collateral and that is why we do contracts to protect you. Also, most bondsman's will do everything possible to get the collateral returned to you and would rather try every other avenue or put the defendant in jail rather than you lose your collateral. It is very rare that we have to liquidate collateral. Collateral is determined on a case by case basis.
With each bond we must by (State law) and charge a 10% premium for bonds $1000 or over and minimum of $100 for any bond under $1000. Most people do not have the full amount to post cash for bail so they use a bonding service and the service puts up the full amount in the form of a surety bond for the Defendants release and guarantees their appearance in court. By doing so we must charge a fee. Sometimes even this can be difficult so many bonding agents will sometimes do a seperate Promissory Note for premium, but remember the full amount of the 10% will have to be paid no matter the outcome or the length of the case. For instance, you bond someone out and make payment arrangements with the bondsman, and their case gets dropped or they get rearrested and cannot bond out. The premium still has to be paid, by state law. By not charging the full amount of the premium will violate florida law and can be charged criminally. Premium is non-refundable.
Sometimes it is difficult to come up with the full 10 % of the premium, payment plans are available at no interest and are not based on your credit. You will be required to sign a separate contract and no matter the outcome of the case, it MUST be fulfilled. Again, they are on a case by case basis.
This is a contract that must be signed for every defendant for any bond posted and is required by law. It is an agreement between you and the bondsman that you will fulfill the contract and either make the person go to court or promise to pay the full amount of the bond along with any other costs involved in returning the defendant to jail. By signing, you assume legal and financial responsibility for this person. Once the defendant has been sentenced and the bond is discharged, you are no longer responsible for that person. For instance, they get sentenced to probation, must pay fines and complete classes. The bond does not guarantee that so do not think just because you bond them out, you are also responsible for those costs too.
Don't Panic! It happens and there are several different options you have. First thing to do is contact the bondsman. Do not worry, we are not going to come and get you and throw you in jail immediately and the Police are not going to be at your door right then. We can usually get you a new court date scheduled to address the failure to appear without you going back to jail. Remember, we know the right people to contact to help you. If all else fails, we can turn you in and bond you back out in a walkthrough. I think it is good business to work with you rather than put you back in jail. Our job is to get you out and try to keep you out. As long as you keep in contact with us, we will exhaust every resource we have helping you.
If you think you have a warrant, possible VOP (Violation of Probation) or anything else for that matter, we can help. All you need to do is call us, give us as much information as possible and we will find out if you have a warrant and come up with a solution to help with the process. It gives you time to come up with the bond money, collateral, if needed, and Indemnitor to sign for you bond. Our position is to help you get everything in order and when you are ready, we turn you in and post your bond right away. Most of the time you never leave the holding cell at the jail except to leave.