Here is a quick summary on what a bail bondsman is:

The bail bondsman that is commonly portrayed in the media is the surety bail bondsman. This type of bondsman is licensed by state governments to provide bail bonds for defendants who are accused of one of a wide variety of crimes ranging from driving citations up to capital murder. In return for a guarantee that the offender will appear in court, the surety bail bondsman puts up the money for the entire bail amount. In most states, surety bail bondsmen are allowed to ask for a percentage of the bail amount as the fee for issuing the bond. This percentage can range from ten to 20 percent depending on state laws.
Like other financial professionals who provide loans or bonds, bail bondsmen jobs involve ascertaining whether a potential client should be issued a bond. The most common way to earn a bail bond is to provide some sort of security like real estate or valuable property, or to have a co-signer who will guarantee the defendant will appear for their court date.

Although this may appear to be a risky financial profession, in some jurisdictions around the country, the risk to bail bondsmen is minimal. In these jurisdictions, if a defendant fails to appear for their trial, the bail bondsman does not forfeit the full bail amount, but may only be required to forfeit a small percentage—in some states as little as five percent.

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