Bail Bondsman
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Basic Information

A bail bondsman is a person who makes a living by arranging the bailing of prisoners from the legal system. Primarily he accepts a fee from the accused (or their family) in return for providing either the cost of bail, or cognisance for their release from custody. The bondsman accepts the hazard for delivering the bailee to court for trial - obviously the more flight prone, or otherwise sketchy, the client, the bigger the fee (and probably the bigger the bail in the first place).

Part of the job, presumably, is for the bondsman to track down recalcitrant clients and compel them to attend court - this has its own legal aspects, but would need to be at least acceptable for the role to exist in the first place - this may well overlap with the role of the bounty hunter. It may well be that the bailees are signing some form of legal waiver on accepting their bail bond that permits the bondsman to physically restrain them for rendition.

Note that this is a relatively culturally restricted profession - many jurisdictions frown on the idea of such a thing (although a legal firm may fulfil the court facing end and then employ persons to deal with the remainder of the business on a semi-official basis). The modern US is probably the place where this is most viable as a profession, although even there it varies from state to state. In pre-modern societies, less official arrangements may exist to the same effect.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Useful as a contact for finding your way around the criminal underworld.
  • Also a decent source of work tracking down absconded clients or watching those currently bailed.
  • May need to be found themselves if things go badly wrong with a client - or someone who wants a client for one reason or another.
  • …and of course if your PCs need bailing out themselves…
  • Non-professional bail bonding is also a possibility as all sorts of bodies may volunteer to stand surety for a defendant under the correct circumstances and, subject to the judge's agreement, be permitted to do so.
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