Normally when you visit a city for a vacation, you would learn about the history and culture of the place, but my last trip to Rancho Cucamonga just taught me about something a bit more unique. After arriving in the city, the relative who invited me got a phone call, he picked me up from the airport and was supposed to show me around, but unfortunately, he had to tend to business. He asked if I wanted to go with him or pay for my cab fare; I chose to go with him, as his business has always been a mystery to the family.
Upon arriving our destination, I was finally given an explanation on what he actually does; to which explained to me what a bail bondsman does. The technicalities of the inner working of the company or group were something that I decided to be beyond me and somewhat unimportant, what I recalled though was what they bail bonds were and what his company does.
I have never gone to jail before (except maybe in monopoly). The only thing I know about the justice system is as simple as “break the law you go to jail, or pay a fine,” I was certain that the “get out of jail free card” was not real, and it wasn’t, to some degree at least. Apparently, some offenses are “Bailable,” which means you can pay to not stay in jail while you await trial, but more often than not only rich guys can actually pay this amount, with it usually amounting to a couple of thousand dollars at minimum. My relative’s job is to help those that can’t pay the whole amount; he’s the owner of the Bail Bondsman Rancho Cucamonga agency.
When someone goes to jail and can’t afford to pay bail, they can call a bail bondsman to help them out. What they do is negotiate the price of the bail for you if they can, and pay it for you, in return you pay them a percentage of the amount, typically around 10%, and you are free until the day of your hearing, where the amount the bail bondsman paid will be returned to him, allowing him to keep the profit of 10%. Certain safeguards are in place just in case someone might not be planning to come back to face their hearing though; such as being chased down by bounty hunters or the bail bonds company’s agents. Some companies even require collateral of equal value to the amount they paid for your bail, in order to secure their investment.
This system is not exclusive to Rancho Cucamonga; there are many bail bonds companies throughout the country in every state. And though this is a good way to make money, bail bondsman exist to help those in need, ensuring that the freedom bail can bring is not solely for the enjoyment of those who are wealthy. It might seem like they are taking advantage of the system, but they are actually a type of fix to it that gives a sense of fairness.