What Private Information are Required by Bail Bond Agents?

When you contact a bail bondsman for assistance in providing bail for a loved one who may be detained in jail, you will need to be able to provide relevant information to the bail bondsman as quickly as possible. This would help them to facilitate the posting of the surety bond on the defendant’s behalf and to initiate the processing of the defendant’s release from prison. It is, therefore, a good idea to have the relevant information ready at hand when you meet with a bail bondsman.

Some of the personal information they may require from you include:

  • Information about the defendant, including the full name and the booking number. These are mainly for identification purposes so that a bail bondsman can identify the right person to bail out of jail. After all, he and the defendant are as yet complete strangers to each other.
  • The jail where the defendant is being detained. By providing the bail bondsman the location or the name of the jail where the defendant is being held, the bail bondsman will know where to go and what paperwork to fill out to post bail and help facilitate the defendant’s release.
  • The amount of the bail. This is, of course, important because the bail bondsman will need to have the financial capacity to afford the bail amount set for the defendant and to prepare the proper paperwork to post sufficient surety for that amount. This will also be the basis for the fee that you will be paying the bail bondsman.

Based on the personal information above, a bail bondsman determines whether or not to accept a person as a client. If the bail bondsman does decide to accept the defendant as a client, discussions can then proceed on the specific terms of the bail bond agreement.

Does the Right of Privacy Apply to a Person Released on Bail?

Just because a person is made a defendant in a criminal proceeding does not mean that he relinquishes all of his rights, including the right to privacy. However, the right to privacy of a defendant in a criminal action may become limited in several ways.

For one thing, courts have a right to inquire into any aspect of the defendant’s life as long as it is relevant to the issue at hand. And while he does retain the right against self-incrimination, agents of the court may gather evidence about relevant facts of the defendant’s life from other sources. And a defendant cannot validly argue that he has the right to privacy and to be protected against any perceived invasion of his privacy, simply because making the issue a question in a criminal proceeding lends the issue, and the facts pertaining to it, a level of public interest. The key here is that there must be a sufficient showing of relevance to the issue at hand for evidence to be accepted by the courts, and anything made part of a criminal case becomes a matter of public record unless otherwise determined by the judge.

For a person released on bail, he may also retain his right to privacy, subject to certain limitations. A person released on bail is given his freedom upon certain conditions which he is expected to adhere to. These include not to skip bail, to remain in the local jurisdiction, and to adhere to all the other bail conditions that may be imposed by the court, which may include checking in regularly to local authorities or joining treatment programs for certain addictions. To the extent that these conditions limit a defendant’s right to privacy, a person out on bail only has a limited enjoyment of his right to privacy.

Why Bail Bond Companies Have a Privacy Policy

privacy signA privacy policy is designed to protect the privacy of the clients or customers of a particular business establishment.

While the specific terms of privacy policies may vary depending on the particular needs of a party and the governing laws or statutes in their respective jurisdictions, privacy policies usually provide or enumerate the ways or methods by which a person gathers, stores, and utilizes client or customer information and data.

For bail bond companies, the kind of information they collect would be those that are relevant to the details of a client’s personal information and any and all information relevant to the criminal proceeding he is currently undergoing. Required information may also include financial information that was necessary for the bail bondsman and his client to come to a feasible working agreement.

That information may include the client’s name, address, marital status, number of children, date of birth, ID numbers, credit information, his financial capacity, the nature of the charges against him and the evidence that was gathered to substantiate those charges. Of course, there may be a lot more information collected by a bail bondsman, and these would have been collected during their business dealings with the defendant.

There is usually a statement in the Privacy Policy of a bail bondsman that assures the client that their personal information will be kept confidential, and these will not be used indiscriminately by the bail bondsman or shared to third persons.

There may also be a statement regarding how and when the information that was collected may be utilized by a bail bondsman. For instance, if a defendant skips bail, the bail bondsman may share the personal information of defendant with a hired bail bond recovery agent to enable him to locate, apprehend and bring back the defendant to the court’s jurisdiction.