Bondsman Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Bondsman, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Bondsman?

(n) Bondsman is the person providing or functioning as the agent or dealer of the insurance companies which issues security bonds covering the risk involved in releasing a defendant in judicial custody until the conclusion of the trial.

History and Meaning of Bondsman

A bondsman is a person or company that acts as a surety and pledges money or property as bail to secure the release of a defendant from jail. The concept of using sureties as a form of collateral dates back to ancient Rome, where they were known as "bail bonds."

In the modern legal system, a bondsman usually charges a fee, usually 10% of the total bond amount, for posting bail on a defendant's behalf. The bondsman assumes the risk of the defendant's failure to appear in court, and is financially responsible for the full amount of the bond if the defendant fails to show up.

Examples of Bondsman

  1. John was arrested for DUI and couldn't afford the $2,500 bail. He contacted a bondsman who agreed to post bail for him in exchange for a $250 fee.

  2. Mary's son was arrested on drug charges and had a $50,000 bond. She contacted a bondsman who helped her post bail in exchange for a payment plan.

  3. After being arrested for assault charges, Jack was released from jail after his girlfriend posted his bail. Jack did not show up for his court hearing, and the court issued a warrant for his arrest. Jack's girlfriend had to pay the full amount of the bail to the bondsman.

Legal Terms Similar to Bondsman

  1. Bail - refers to the process in which a defendant deposits a sum of money with the court to secure his or her release from jail pending trail.

  2. Bail Bond - a contract between a bondsman and the court to ensure that a defendant will appear for all court dates.

  3. Surety - a person or company that guarantees the performance of another.