Generally speaking, a bondsman or bail bond agent is any company or person that will pledge money or property as bail to release a person from detention or jail. Bondsmen who are catering to criminal defendants are rather common and widely used. Such a bondsman helps them to get released on bail in the shortest possible time.
The way immigration bondsmen work is quite similar.
As opposed to posting bonds for persons in custody due to criminal offenses, and immigration bondsman will post bail for persons who are detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “ICE”, on grounds of immigration violations. Commonly, agencies specialized in immigration bail will be assuming the role of the immigration bondsman.
Immigration bondsmen are however far less common as compared to their colleagues catering to criminal offenders.
While it is possible that any person of legal status in the US can post bail for someone detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, using a bondsman can have several advantages.
Why is it advised to use an immigration bondsman or bail agent to get out of detention?
- A bondsman can help speed up the entire process which might help to get a detainee released in the shortest possible time. The legal experience and knowledge of all the procedures and paperwork required can help to speed up the process of a release on bail. This is especially important if non-citizens are not familiar with US law and procedures. Very often, a bondsman can get a detainee out of detention within hours.
- A bondsman can be of assistance if an ICE detainee or his/her family cannot immediately pay the sum of money required for the bail. The actual bail amount that has been determined by a judge can vary. It could be in the range of $1500 or even more. Not always can a detainee or his/her loved-ones come up with the sum right away to have the detained released fast. Agencies in the role of immigration bondsmen frequently offer flexible payment options. This makes it possible to obtain a release on bail even if the entire sum required cannot become up with right away. The agency/bondsman will pay the entire amount and the client will be able to pay back the amount to the bondsman in smaller, monthly installments.
How much does a bondsman cost?
The cost of using a bondsman to have bail posted can vary. Usually, a bondsman will take a certain percentage of the entire bail sum as a fee. This fee is often in the range of around 10% of the bail sum but can also be more. The amount that bail agents are allowed to charge can vary. There are state regulations in place setting the maximum allowed fees for a bondsman. Some states have a maximum allowed percentage or amount, while other states don’t have any such maximum limits in regards to those fees.