How to Avoid Bail Bond Fraud Scams

How can you spot a fraudulent bail bondsman? Most people don’t know how to avoid bail fraud—they might not even know it exists. Unfortunately, some bad actors take advantage of vulnerable people in stressful situations, especially because bail bonds can require significant collateral or deposits.

Here’s a quick guide on how to avoid bail fraud in the event you find yourself dealing with a difficult bail bond situation.

Pay attention to who is issuing the bail bond

When you pay a bail bonds agent to issue a bail bond, make sure to note who they say they are. Some bail bonds scams involve “police officers” issuing bail bonds. That’s a giant red flag: Police do not issue bail bonds, ever. That’s because there’s a big conflict of interest.

Bail bonds guarantee that the defendant will show up in court when they’re obligated to—and if they don’t, they can be arrested. Then their bond is forfeited. If police officers actually issued bail bonds, they’d have a vested interest in arresting more people while they’re out on bail.

A bail bonds agent is always a separate entity from law enforcement and lawyers. When you research different bail bonds agents, make sure to confirm that they’re an independent company. If you meet with the bail bonds agent, it will likely be at the jail where your loved one is incarcerated.

Take note of timing

Generally, bail is set at the time of arrest, since each county has a fee schedule. That makes it very easy to predict how much the bail will be, depending on which crimes they’re accused of committing. The bail may go up or down depending on mitigating or enhancing circumstances. This helps cut down on the number of parties a judge must see before bail is set.

The bonds agent has access to court information, which tells them what your loved one was arrested for and how much bail should be. If your loved one doesn’t meet the criteria for setting bail right away, the amount will be determined at their arraignment.

Notice where the bond is signed

Bail bonds agents do not come to your home. Typically, bonds are signed either at the jail where the defendant is being held or at the bail bonds office. The paperwork often involves working with jail staff members, so it’s very easy to determine when a company is operating outside of the norm.

Reach out to bail bonds agents first

Finally, make sure that your bail bonds agent respects the process. Bail bonds agents don’t reach out to you—you should make the initial contact. Once you decide to work with a specific company, you will meet them at the jail to finalize the paperwork. Be sure to research their company first, so you are assured that their business practices are above board.

Following these guidelines will help you find reputable bail bonds agents. Now that you know how to avoid bail fraud, call the team at Brazoria County Bail Bonds to learn more about our services.

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