Dealing with the criminal justice system has its realities. It’s true that there’s a higher likelihood that people who work in companies that are connected with the criminal justice system (outside the government agencies themselves that make up the system) may themselves have some kind of criminal history.
Why is that? Firstly, it’s because they have experienced elements of the system firsthand, and when you’re looking for a job or a career path, you need to look to the things that you have some expertise in, and for good or bad, such life experience builds expertise. Secondly, such organizations, more than others, are willing to employ people with criminal backgrounds.
That said, there’s nothing at all wrong with former felons having a job. In fact, as a society, we NEED to have employment and career opportunities available to people with a criminal background, since lack of employment opportunities are highly correlated with recidivism and a return to prison.
It’s also true to say that having a criminal record does not mean that a bail bondsman is poor at his job or will provide you with anything other than great service and support and the best experience possible.
So what should you look for if you need the services of a bail bondsman? What are the criteria that can help you discern whether you’re going to get the service and support you need as opposed to being taken advantage of or worse?
The number one predictor of a good experience with a bail bonds company is how long that company has been in business. More than almost any other industry, reputation in the bail bonds world counts. Bail bondsman deal on a daily basis with members of the criminal justice system that have a responsibility to keep communities safe from harm, which means that they put a very large premium on trust and the ability to follow through on promises and commitments. A company that has been around for a long time has earned that reputation through years of hard work, and they will protect that reputation fiercely. They will not allow for the possibility of poor service or a bad experience harming their reputation.
If it’s Too Good to be True …
Secondly, you need to be wary of services and offers that seem too good to be true. There has been a trend over the past few years for new bail bonds companies and bail bondsmen to enter the market with a promise of cheap, cheap bail bonds services. They may offer 5%, or even 1% bail bonds in order to entice people to consider them against the more established businesses. The problem with these offers is that they have historically been designed to hook clients into a commitment with the intent of having them on a payment plan for years, and in the worst cases, even leading them to default in the hope of foreclosing on the collateral that they have provided.
The best bail bonds companies do not wish you to lose your car or your home because of a default in the bond agreement. The worst companies assume that they will only be around for a few months, or a year or two at best, with a series of collections outcomes being their best case scenario.
Go Fast but Take the Time You Need
While there is always some urgency associated with setting up a bail bonds agreement, since the purpose of it is to provide an opportunity to get a loved one released from jail, a consumer should always take a moment to ask some probing questions to establish the reputation and quality of a bail bonds company before committing. And if your gut is telling you that something isn’t quite right, you should pay attention!
Fred Franks Bail Bonds is Maryland’s oldest and most trusted bail bonds company. Talk to us today at 410-367-2245.