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Questions You Should Ask a Bondsman Before Deciding to Use Them

Questions to Ask Every Bail Bondsmen

Comparison shopping is something you do with cars or refrigerators or TVs. Not bail agents. Likewise, the idea of grilling someone before deciding to work with them is a process that’s reserved for contractors. Right? You sit down with the roofer or landscaper and ask some questions to determine whether they’re trustworthy and knowledgeable. You don’t do that with a bondsman. Or do you? The fact is that not all bail bond agents are created equal. And while most are hardworking, trustworthy individuals who always have the best interest of both defendants and society at heart others are motivated more by profit than anything else. So before you decide to hire a bail agent it’s a good idea to ask a few questions to try and figure out if you’re getting someone you can rely on or someone who’s going to treat you like a number.

6 Questions to Pose to the Bail Bonding Agent

First off, keep in mind that bail agents are busy people and don’t have the time or ability to come to your home like a landscaper might to discuss your situation. In fact, they’re restricted to conducting their business within the confines of their office. So you won’t get a “sit down” at your kitchen table. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pose your questions anyway. You’ll just have to use the phone. Just be sure to have questions prepared, because the agent doesn’t have all day to discuss things. Here are 6 questions you should consider posing to a bail agent before choosing them.

  1. How long have you been in business? - Believe it or not it makes a difference. After all, bail agents are a component of the criminal justice system and it can take years to learn the ins and outs of that system. The last thing you want is to be working with someone who has little experience navigating the back channels of the system and whose missteps might result in your loved on sitting in jail for longer than they have to.
  2. Can you tell me how the process works? - It’s in your interest to know what to expect as the legal system processes your loved one’s case. If the bail agent dismisses your desire to know something about the process or states they don’t have time to talk about it, that should tell you they are not necessarily invested in the well-being of their clients. The bondsman/defendant relationship is a vital one. If the bonding agent doesn’t care what shape the relationship takes it won’t bode well for your loved one.
  3. Is your company listed with the BBB? - Bail bond companies are just that; companies. As such they should have a BBB Page just like the roofer or landscaper. If they don’t you have to ask yourself why. If they do you need to go visit it if at all possible and see what others in Jefferson County, Arapahoe County, Denver County or elsewhere are saying about them. If the feedback on the BBB page is basically positive that’s a very good sign.
  4. Are you licensed? - All bonding agents in Colorado need to be licensed by the state to do business. No buts. No exceptions. Ask the prospective bail agent for their license number and then check it with the Colorado Division of Insurance. This is the agency responsible for licensing bail agents. Thanks to the miracle of the smartphone you can verify their license while you have them on the phone by going to the DOI website. If the agent does not have a verifiable license issued by the DOI then you should not do business with them under any circumstances.
  5. When will my loved one be released? - This is what it’s all about. So it’s important to ask the bail bonds agent how quickly they think they’ll be able to secure the release of your loved one. Keep in mind however, that the bonding agent does not have control over the actual mechanism of release. The best they can do is give you an estimate based on their experience. If an agent responds with a precise time you should be skeptical. They are likely just trying to seal the deal and get their commission.
  6. Speaking of commissions... - The final question to pose to the bail agent is how much they charge for their non-refundable commission. It’s a little known fact that in Colorado bonding agents are limited in how much they can ask for their services. The state imposes a 15% limit on what bondsmen can charge. Therefore, if you ask this question and the bail agent replies that they charge 20% you should thank them for their time and try someone else. You should also report that person to the Division of Insurance when you have a chance.

Bondsmen Help Your Loved One Return Home

The Bottom Line

While a bail bonding agent won’t be able to come to your home to discuss business there is nothing forbidding you from asking them relevant questions over the phone to determine if they are reputable. It’s a good idea to print out the questions we provided above and have them handy in case you ever need to enlist the services of a bonding agent on behalf of yourself or a loved one. A few questions can save you a lot of time, money and hassle in the long run.

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Tayler Made Bail Bonding is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

(303) 623-0399
3595 South Teller Street
Suite 300A
Lakewood, CO 80235