Information from a Bail Bond Agent
If you are attempting to help someone you love by posting bail for him or her, but you will need the services of an experienced bail bondsman, it is understandable that you might be wondering about reliability and qualifications. All bondsmen must be licensed and certified by the State of Florida.
In order to earn this license, there are many different requirements that must be met. According to Florida Statute Chapter 648,
- The bail agent must be of high character and approved integrity. He or she must never have been convicted of, pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony, a crime involving moral turpitude, or any crime that is punishable by a year or more of imprisonment, in any state, whether or not a judgment or conviction was entered.
- A bondsman must complete a basic certification course in the criminal justice system with no less than 120 hours of classroom instruction and a final grade of 80% or higher. He or she must also complete a correspondence course for bail bond agents that has been approved by the Department of Justice.
- Prior to receiving his or her license, a bail agent must file with the Department of Justice three sworn statements from reputable citizens who reside in the counties in which he or she wishes to operate.
- Each potential bond agent must undergo a rigorous background check by the Department of Justice in order to affirm the applicant’s qualifications, character, experience, background and fitness.
- It is illegal for a bail bond agent to not charge a premium after execution of a bail bond; however, the premium rate may not exceed or be less than 10% of the bail amount.
- All licensed bail bond agents must maintain a record of all bail bonds he or she executes or countersigns for at least 3 years following the termination of liability. These records must be open to assessment by the Department of Justice and ready for examination, inspection, and reproduction at all times.