Bail bonds can be seen as a form of investment. However, unlike other investment options, although the rewards are great, the risks are even great. Before you put your money into a bail bond, make sure that you understand your responsibilities regarding that investment.
When someone is arrested, they have an initial hearing to ensure that there really is enough cause for the arrest. There may be other preliminary hearings as well. While awaiting trial, the accused must wait in jail. However, because of the unfortunate high number of criminal cases in the United States, it might be weeks or even months before the trail takes place. That means that an innocent man or women may wait in jail, missing work, losing touch with children, and otherwise having his or her life fall apart. The bail system is set in place to allow freedom for those not yet proven guilty.
The problem with allowing defendants to go free is that it gives them the opportunity to run. Of course, rarely will anyone who is innocent miss a court dates. However, someone who is guilty may run. That’s where bail comes into play. Bail is money that the accused give to the court that he or she will only get back. Sometimes, the accused is able to pay for the bail him- or herself, but depending on the crime, the likelihood that the defendant will run, and so forth, the bail may be quite high. That’s where a bail bond investor comes into play.
Sometimes the bail bondsman knows the defendant. Sometimes he or she does not. In any case, the bail bondsman is willing to put his or her money on the line for the accused. Why? Well, the bondsman can then charge a fee, usually 10%. So, if you put up $100,000 for bail, the accused will pay in $10,000 and, when he or she shows up for court, that $10,000 will be returned to you. That’s a pretty big payoff for just a few months of investing your money.
The danger here, of course, is that the accused will jump bail. That means that he or she does not show up at court dates or report in with his or her parole officer. You have two options – find the person or pay in the full bail amount. You can try to find the person using a bounty hunter, but this doesn’t always work. You may be stuck with the huge bail bill if the accused skips town, and in any case, you’ll have to pay the bounty hunter if he or she is caught, meaning that you’ll make little profit, if any at all.
Investing in bail bonds makes the most sense when you know the accused and trust that he or she will show up in court. You can work out a deal in order to pay for his or her bail so that you make a bit of profit. However, also beware. If you pay for the bail, it is never a guarantee that you will get your money back. Before you invest in this risky venture, make sure that you understand you responsibilities and are prepared to deal with the outcomes, whatever they may be.