Safety Advice For Bail Agents
Bail Agents are in a line of work that certainly carries its risks. While there are definitely jobs that are more dangerous, Bail Agents need to always look out for their safety. Since a bail agent deals with alleged criminals of all sorts and posts the bail for them, there is certainly a risk, just like with all things money. As the bail agent posts the bail, the client is required to post a typically non- refundable fee that can be as high as ten percent. With the chance of the defendant never making it to his court date, the bail agent is at risk of losing the other 90% of the bail posted by him. That is why the collateral of the client plays an important role. In some cases it may depend on the possessions of a client whether a bail agent will post the bail or not. If the bail agent considers the risk of the defendant skipping bail as too high, while there is not enough collateral available to retrieve the money, the bail agent will likely turn away the potential client.
Since there is always a risk of not being able to retrieve all of the initial investment made by the bail agent, it is in his best interest to ensure that the client attends his trial so that the agent can retrieve his posted bail from the authorities. However, if a client would rather not attend the set court date and vanish, there will be a conflict of interest, one that both the agent and the defendant are aware of. This conflict of interest is mainly where the danger of being a bail agent stems from. Since the danger that different clients represent varies, different levels of protection are recommended for bail agents dealing with different types of clients.
The available protection
All body armor is different. Although different types may look similar to the eye of an inexperienced onlooker, different types of body armors fill different purposes. Not only are there different levels of protection, but also vests that are solely offering protection against a certain type of attack. Also, the size and other features of body armor make a significant difference and one that can be the deciding factor between safety and injury.
Body Armor for Ballistic threats
Depending on the client a bail agent is currently working with, ballistic protection may prove to be the most efficient type of protection. Ballistic protection means that the type of body armor in question is most effective against firearms of all sorts.
Body Armor for ballistic threats is separated into levels of protection. These so called NIJ Levels determine how much protection a vest is really able to provide.
Moderate Ballistic Threat
If a bail agent determines that his client is indeed a moderate ballistic threat, then a level II or IIIA vest will likely be the best choice. These levels of protection are sufficient for small to medium caliber handguns. The distinct advantage of level II body armor is that it is generally lighter and easier to conceal than a level IIIA vest. It enables the bail agent to wear the vest covert; that means underneath his clothing, without attracting much attention because of it. Level II body armor offers protection against 9mm rounds fired from handguns.
Level IIIA body armor is also a popular choice by bail agents who determine that the risk of being attacked with a firearm is moderate or maybe even high. These vests are typically larger than level II
vests and harder to conceal. On the other hand, they offer more protection against larger caliber rounds and rounds fired at higher velocities. A level IIIA vest will, for example, offer protection against 9mm rounds fired from a sub machine gun, as well as .44 Magnum rounds.
Body Armor for Edge Blade Threats
If, during the risk assessment, the bail agent determines that the client is most dangerous in regards to knives and other stabbing weapons, then an edge blade vest should be chosen. These offer much more protection against attacks from individuals with knives and other edge blade weapons. Just like with ballistic protection, different vests will offer a different amount of protection. The most chosen edge blade vests are level I and II. The main difference between these two levels is the force with which an individual can attack the vest, without being able to penetrate the vest and possibly cause injury to the wearer. Level II edge blade vests represent more protection in this case, although they may be a little larger and heavier.
The right choice matters
During the risk assessment, it is important that the bail agent correctly assesses the danger of the situation and the type of threat causing the danger. Whether it is a vest for Ballistic Protection, one for Edge Blade Protection, or for Spike protection, the right vest can save the life of the bail agent wearing the body armor.
This safety pack has been produced by body armor experts SafeGuard Clothing. SafeGuard manufacture body armor for the military, police and security companies.
You will notice in our video’s that some of them are very calm with no or little confrontation. Which is a far cry from what you see on television. As a bail agent you will have to remember these people you are arresting are your clients. Over the years I have bonded the same people out time and time again. Not to mention their friends and so on. That’s how you make a successful business. I have had people skip bond on me and leave the state and I bonded them back out. Now there are time’s where you have to scream and yell and get rough, you just have to know when. Alot of times I will try to get the co-signer off the bond and still keep the client on bond also. The co-signers will also use your servies again too if treated good.
The majority of bail agent’s salary come from commission made on writing bonds, not on capturing people. I can promise you there are NO FULL time bountyhunters who do nothing at all but hunt people. There simply is no money in that and it takes much too long to try. You will mainly work posting bond’s and collecting commissions and apprehending bond jumper’s as they come along.
Two things about this article. In this article you’ll notice the family talking about not having a million dollars in collateral. Well 99% of the time you should get collateral for a bond that large, in this case, with such a high profile client I would definetly post this bond WITHOUT collateral. I’ve dealt with a handful of very high profile clients but if/when someone like this (especially George Zimmerman) skips court, trust me you won’t have much to worry about because the U.S. Marshall’s will track him down like a rabid dog and catch him.
So not only do you have the luxury of hunting him you’ll also have law enforcement hunting him. He will not have time to breathe with all that heat on him. In a heartbeat I would take the 10% fee ($100,000) and just do a signature bond. Signature bonds are the lowest form of collateral and require no property to be put up. Basically the person signing is promising to stand good for the bond amount if the defendant skips court.
One quick side not about this article before you read it. In the article I noticed the family said “We are encouraged we can work this out. We paid $15,000 initially for the first bail fee so an additional fee of $85,000 would have to be paid to post this new bond assuming we can work out the collateral issue.”
I’m a Florida bondsman. Unfortunetly for the family, the $15,000 they paid for his first $150,000 bond does not go towards the new $1,000,000 bond. It’s actually a felony for that to occur. If a judge revokes a bond and the bond amount changes whether it’s higher or lower, the bondsman must charge 10%. The bondsman pays a fee to his insurance company on the $15,000 and also must pay a fee on the $1,000,000 bond. If the judge would of let the bond remain at $150,000 it would also be illegal for the bondsman to charge the fee again. You can only charge the 10% ONCE for the same bond and same bond amount.
Here’s the article..enjoy- http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2012/07/06/zimmerman-posts-1-million-dollar-bond-hes-released-from-jail/
For bail agents and fugitive recovery agents, safety can take the form of reasoning, martial arts or use of weapons. Many of the defense mechanisms bail agents or fugitive recovery agents choose to use are largely based on personality, experience and intuition. When individuals were polled in the industry regarding the preferred form of self-defense, 40% chose the power of persuasion, 40% chose to carry a weapon and 20% said they rely on street smarts. Still, even the most sensible agent or best negotiator can run into a road block or two.
When necessary, agents within the bail industry have been known to apply everything from reasoning to martial arts training to a provoked use of weaponry to keep themselves safe. The importance of writing quality bail bonds with strong collateral may help to reduce the likelihood of a skip and also the dangers that are associated with recovering a skip. Good communication with clients and especially co-signers allows bail agents to maintain a constant connection.
Bail agents and recovery agents develop their ability to reason and rationalize situations for their clients through experience and confidence gained over the years. Often times, however, a skip is unavoidable. A keen eye trained to analyze each situation and exercising precaution will help keep a recovery agent and their team safe. No matter the level of experience an agent possesses, there are the occasional instances when even the most seasoned of veterans feels a little uncomfortable. While feelings of uncertainty vary on case by case, it is crucial to always take precautions.
For many recovery agents, compiling information from credible sources and creating a broad and ever expanding network of individuals within the industry is a crucial step in the recovery process. As well, completing research and surveillance on the skip and their location may help to eliminate hidden dangers when retrieving clients. By double and triple checking all matters and establishing the safety procedures for recovering skips, you increase your recovery rate, plain and simple. Establishing early diplomacy, acting thoroughly and sustaining a cautious mentality when apprehending individuals helps to ensure safety for the agent while on a job.
Despite the use of diplomacy and martial arts in fugitive apprehension, weapons are also prevalent in the bail industry. When bail bond companies were polled on the necessity to carry a weapon, 75% said they feel the need to carry one, while 25% said they do not. Both bail and recovery agents are known to carry weapons ranging from handcuffs to tasers to hand guns.
At any one moment an agent must be prepared to think rationally, reason through the situation at hand and provide enforcement while sustaining a safe environment for all parties involved. Preparation, determination and maintaining a level head are crucial to a successful day in the field. As it goes to show, when an agent is well versed in the many facets of defense tactics, safety is no longer a question but a discipline.
When all people search efforts have been exhausted and results still don’t turn up well, a skiptrace is the next best thing to do. This is a very effective process which is used for very hard-to-locate individuals or those on the run or who don’t want to be found. The individual is possibly using different techniques and methods as well to stay hidden from any search activities. Skiptracing will then look for more clues with more advanced methods and options.
Skiptracing or skip tracing refers to the entire procedure of trying to find a person and his or her whereabouts for any given purpose. “Skip” refers to the act of the missing person to depart or rush to a new location leaving only slight clues for others to follow. “Trace” refers to the act of following a missing person’s whereabouts or “skip” which may cover more than one new location. Some people are professional skiptracers while others use the same strategies and tactics such as detectives, debt collectors and bounty hunters. The difference from common search efforts is that skiptracers look for targets with very little or no current known info.
There are several strategies involving a skiptrace since searchers are trying to find real truths and facts from sources who or which may try to deceive. Any available data on the target is properly analyzed and evaluated and other people such as relatives and third parties may be contacted in order to gain more information and find more traces.
Data gathering should be carefully planned without compromising the whole effort. In some occasions, individuals close to subjects may mislead or deceive skiptracers causing search periods to extend. The good thing is that most skiptracing experts already have the right experience and tools to differentiate which details are accurate or not. Advanced programs and applications offered on the Web can help narrow down matches with available info.
All information that lead to the target will be accessed by skiptracers such as credit reports, debts, previous phone numbers, employment status, criminal background, utility bills, social security details, public tax data and other people whom he or she has lived with in the past. These are legitimately accessed by skiptracers since the databases are open for viewing because of the nature of the transaction. The acquired data will then be compared with other public databases to gain more leads. Other individuals related to the target may be skiptraced as well if it means getting closer to the missing person.
When hiring a professional or availing of a skiptrace service online, you can expect to pay a flat rate wherein all due efforts to locate the missing individual will be done with a turn around time of 1 to 20 days. A reasonable price would be around $135. Some reliable agencies will also only charge you once the case has presented viable results. Less than useful results may not be charged or total costs may be reduced.
Some agencies allow clients to indicate the full amount they are capable of paying then charges will be done by the hour until the person is found or until all resources are exhausted. Larger companies or legal authorities may opt for a third payment option wherein skiptracing efforts will not cease until the person is located.