Bail Bondsman Law and Legal Definition

A bail bondsman is an agent for an insurance company who specializes in providing bail bonds for people charged with crimes. By posting bail, the bail bondman guarantees to the court that the defendant will appear in court each and every time the judge requires them to. Bail bondsmen are usually found close to the local courthouse and jail. If a bail bondsman has reason to believe a person he bailed out is about to flee, he may revoke the bond and surrender his client to jail.

If the defendant disappears and fails to appear in court (skips bail), the bond money will be forfeited unless the defendant is found and returned. If the defendant is located and arrested by the bail agent the cosigner is responsible for all expenses the bail agent incurs while looking for the defendant.

By common law, the bondsman may arrest the defendant who has failed to appear at any time and in any place. This arrest is legally considered a continuation of the original custody similar to the rearrest of an escaped prisoner by the Sheriff. The Bail Agent may use forcible entry and is not required to have a warrant or court order. State laws governing bail bondsmen vary, so local laws should be consulted.