There are competing views bail reform in the state of Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott recently threw his support behind the Damon Allen Act, named for the Texas Department of Public Safety State Trooper, who was killed in the line of duty in November 2017.
Abbott’s support for the bail reform measure states a goal of keeping the most violent felons from being released. But critics have argued it could go too far and end up keeping nonviolent persons in jail longer than the current system.
While considerations are still underway — you can read more about the Abbott measure here — it highlights a growing desire to see the process changed. This desire stems from some in our industry who work to take advantage of underprivileged individuals who find themselves under arrest and facing charges.
Pay to Play Is Driving Bail Reform Efforts
Too often, bail bondsmen are in it solely for the money. This is something we’ve actively fought against at Doc’s Bail Bonds. But the reason we have to fight against it is that the threat is real. Bondsmen don’t act in the best interests of their clients.
They place heavy scrutiny on credit reports before agreeing to help anyone. If they do go ahead with a perceived credit risk, they charge exorbitant interest rates on the back-end payment plan. They also require an exorbitant amount upfront — something that can cripple an already-strapped family’s budget.
Essentially, they have a pay-to-play attitude focused on how much the client is worth to them rather than actually helping the person. To help you avoid these types of characters, here are a couple of tips.
Firstly, Look for Flexibility in Payment Terms
Bail bondsmen know the people who come to their offices may not be in a financial position to afford costly upfront payments. They should understand it could take some time to settle the debt. They also should be willing to work with the person’s pay periods and the probability their schedule could be disrupted depending on what happens with the future hearing date and final sentencing.
Secondly, Focus on Their Sense of Urgency
How much of a priority are you to the bail bonds service? Do they make you wait for attention? This is a sign of two possible probabilities, and neither of them is good: 1) they don’t have the knowledge, connections, or drive to track your booking status in real-time and be ready with bail immediately after arraignment; or 2) they don’t care.
A bail bonds service should make your freedom their priority no matter which part of the city you’re from. In the DFW Metroplex, Doc’s Bail Bonds is that service. If we can help you with your case, don’t hesitate to give us a call or drop by the office. We’re always available and ready to respond.