Our Mission

Since the inception of this project, it has been our goal to develop a constantly evolving space where we could offer a bit of education about the world of bail bond which, in turn, would lead to a bit more enlightenment about the legal world that’s steadily encroaching upon many of the adjoining environments we occupy and, ultimately, a healthy dose of the empowerment that we believe you’ll need to sustain that special place that’s uniquely and individually all yours in this universe. Finally, it is our sincere hope that, along the way, we’ll have a chance to amuse, dazzle, and delight you. This offering is dedicated to you.

Basics of The Bail Bonding Process

BAIL BOND FROM A CONSUMER’S PERSPECTIVE

Once you’ve been arrested, the most common means of attaining your prompt release from custody involves the posting of a “criminal court appearance bond” secured through a surety bonding agency.

Now, if all this sounds a bit foreign to you, fear not, for you are certainly among the majority.

But, instead, if that sentence had read, “I’ve been arrested! I need to get bailed out of jail as quickly as possible,” and you could have pictured yourself in that exact predicament, I’ll bet you would have known exactly what was said.

The terms “Bail” and “Bail Bond,” which are almost interchangeable with “Surety” and “Appearance Bond,” can be used in several distinct forms:

[1] As nouns, they reference the security, cash or collateral, paid or pledged to assure the appearance of a defendant in a court of law.

[2] They also refer to bondsmen, the individuals who act as surety or signers on a bail bond, guaranteeing the defendant’s appearance and into whose custody defendants are often released.

[3] As verbs, they can depict the process of a defendant’s release, as in the expression “He was bailed out [bonded out] of jail yesterday.”

In current vernacular, it’s the first use of this terminology that is most widely applied on the street today, and it is this definition that we will reference on this website.

BAIL BOND FROM THE BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE

Admission to bail is an order from a competent court that a particular defendant be discharged from actual custody upon bail. The discharge on bail is accomplished by the taking of bail, i.e., the acceptance by the court or magistrate of security, either an undertaking or a deposit, for the appearance of the defendant before a court for some part of the criminal proceeding.

Bail is evidenced by a bond or recognizance, which as a rule becomes a record of the court. The bond actually represents the compensatory component of a contract between a court of law on one side and a defendant charged by that court and his sureties on the other. The arrangement formalized in the agreement confirms that the court of jurisdiction will release the defendant from custody if the sureties will guarantee, by the pledging of a bail bond in an amount determined by the court, that the defendant will appear at a specified time(s) and place to answer the charge(s) levied against him. If the defendant fails to appear, the sureties become the absolute debtor of the court for the full amount of the bond.

The defendant, or one or more co-signors, signs a bail agreement with the bail agent which provides for reimbursement of expenses to the bail agent if the defendant fails to appear in court. These expenses include the full amount of the bond forfeited, reasonable expenses incurred by the bail agent to locate and surrender the defendant, and related court costs incurred.

Under this agreement, the bondsman collects a bail bond premium which the agent earns upon the defendant’s release from custody. The amount of the premium usually depends upon the nature and risk of the bond involved. As a general rule of thumb, the premium on “cash only” bonds is 20% of the face amount of the bond, while the premium on “cash or surety” bonds is 10% of the bond’s face amount.

From this premium collected, the bail agent makes two payments to the surety company–one for bond costs and the second for the agency’s reserve account, commonly known as a “Build up Fund” or BUF account. This fund is held in trust for the bonding agent by the surety company in a separate account in a local or regional financial institution. The purpose of this BUF account is to provide funds to cover any potential liabilities incurred as a result of any forfeiture of bonds written by that specific agent. The bail agent usually has no access to these funds, and the surety company can make withdrawals from the account without permission from the agent.

In addition to the bail bond premium, the bonding agent may also demand collateral from the defendant, based upon the bondsman’s assessment of risk involved in the transaction. Stability and liquidity are characteristic traits of this collateral, which may come in the form of cash or stocks and bonds, or other, more tangible property, such as jewelry, automobile titles, or real estate deeds of trust.

When a bail agent contracts with a surety company, he or she is contracting to write bail bonds for the surety company as its agent. The surety company is ultimately liable for all bonds written by the bail agent on its behalf. The contract specifies premium rates, bond costs, and BUF payments, and contains an indemnity agreement. Other areas that are usually addressed include treatment of collateral, weekly reporting requirements, and terms for the return of the BUFaccount balance. The contract may also limit the amount of bail that the bail agent is permitted to write per bond. The indemnity agreement specifies that the bail agent is responsible for any expenses relating to bonds written by the bail agent. These include the apprehension, movement, or surrender of the defendant, as well as any expenses relating to bond forfeitures.

In this relationship, a surety company contracts to support a particular bondsman who, in turn, promises to indemnify this bond underwriter for forfeitures and related costs on bail bonds that default when the defendant fails to make scheduled, court-ordered appearances. In a worst-case example of this scenario, when all previous attempts to coerce a reluctant defendant into court have failed, a Notice of Forfeiture is filed against the bondsman. The severity of the Court’s demand for action to cure an existing “breach of contract” within a prescribed deadline cannot be ignored. If the “defaulting” defendant is not surrendered to the court before the deadline expires, a Summary Judgment requiring immediate payment equal to the full face value of the bond will be levied against the bondsman. The bonding agency’s failure to comply with the judgment order could result in revocation of the surety company’s surety bonding license. .

In general, any individual who transacts “criminal court appearance bonds” for a fee must be licensed by that state’s department of insurance. Most state regulators currently enforce equally exacting underwriting standards for all forms and variations of risk-based insurance, and surety bonding is no exception. It is nearly impossible for an individual operator to comply with the vast array of stringent performance and solvency requirements most regulators demand from their licensees and applicants alike. As a result, the majority of bondsmen serving America’s bail bond business today do so as licensed representatives for the major regional or national surety companies that ultimately “underwrite” the actual bail bonds and thereby assume total liability on the full amount of the bond. This liability position, and the deferral of much of the financial responsibility back to the bondsman who originally initiated the surety instrument in the first place, has been a driving force in the expansion of the agent’s focus upon the bail bond enforcement operations, glorified in part by the 21st Century bounty hunter.

Q
What are the various bail bond solutions?
AOnce an individual [who proclaims innocence] has been charged with a criminal offense and ordered to stand trial on those charges, there are four “pre-verdict” solutions available to facilitate the accused release. Once the appropriate solution has been implemented, the defendant’s freedom will be restored until and unless a guilty verdict in the case is declared.
These four primary bond solutions include [A] Cash Only Bond, [B] Secured Bond, [C] Unsecured Bond, and [D] Signature Bond or Release on One’s Own Recognizance [aka “ROR Bond”].

The essential differences between these four basic bond variations are [1] the amount or [2] the type or structure of financing required to secure the defendant’s freedom, as highlighted below:

Cash Only: The defendant, a co-signer, and/or a bondsman must pay a designated amount of money directly to the Court. The defendant and/or a co-signer, where applicable, must also sign a bond order guaranteeing the appearance of the defendant at all further Court hearings.

Secured: The defendant must pay a designated amount of money or provide the Court or the bonding agent with security, such as title to property, stock certificates, etc., with a value equivalent to the prescribed bond amount. In addition, the defendant, and/or the co-signer, or the bonding agent, as applicable, must then sign a bond order guaranteeing the defendant’s appearance for all further Court proceedings.

Unsecured: Defendants sign a bond, quite often with bonding agents, guaranteeing their appearance at all further Court hearings, subject to the understanding that if the accused don’t appear, they will be responsible for paying the Court a designated amount of money. In certain instances, a hearing officer may require a responsible third party, such as a defendant’s relative; sign the bond on behalf of the accused.

Signature Bond or Release on the Defendants’ Own Recognizance [“ROR”]: The defendants sign bond orders personally guaranteeing their appearances at all proceedings. Signature Bonds are typically issued in lower risk situations, where:

[1] The defendant’s established reputation and stature in the community strongly suggest reliability,

[2] The charges are relatively unsubstantiated, especially in light of the defendant’s ability to mount an aggressive defense,

[3] Even the consequences of a conviction can’t justify the destructive impact certain to result from fugitive flight to avoid prosecution.

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Q
Is bail refundable after the case is finished?
AThe percentage of the total bond amount that you pay to the bail bond agency, technically referred to as the premium, represents the fee the bondsman charges to pay or pledge the full bond amount to the court. Like a premium payment on any insurance policy, the premium on a surety bond is non-refundable. This fee is what allowed the defendant to get out of jail and is fully earned once the defendant is released from custody.

The Price of Freedom

A-2-Z Bail Bonds of Des Moines Iowa provides the following links as a source of information only. As such, we cannot make any guarantees of accuracy, and under no circumstances will we or our affiliates be responsible for (1) any information contained in or omitted from this site, (2) any person’s reliance on any information contained in this site (3) the consequences of any action you or any other person takes or fails to take based on the information provided by, or obtained as the result of the use of this site. If you feel you may require legal assistance and you are unfamiliar with the residents of your local legal community, you may contact this website’s management for our recommendation of reputable attorneys in the area.

What is Bail Bond?

The term Bail Bond has several distinct definitions: (1) it may indicate the security-cash or bond-given for the appearance of the defendant. These instruments are formally referred to as “Court Appearance Guaranty Bonds.” (2) it may also mean the bondsman [i.e., the person who acts as surety (signer on the bail bond) for the defendant’s appearance, and into whose custody the defendant is released]. (3) As a verb, it may refer to the release of the defendant [he was bailed out]. The first meaning is the most common and, for all intent and purposes, this definition will be employed on this website.

Admission to bail bond is an order from a competent court that the defendant be discharged from actual custody upon bail. The discharge on bail is accomplished by the taking of bail [i.e., the acceptance by the court or magistrate of security-either an undertaking or deposit-for the appearance of the defendant before a court for some part of the criminal proceeding].

Bail is evidenced by a bond or recognizance, which as a rule becomes a record of the court. The bond is in the nature of a contract between the jurisdiction [a municipality, county, state, or country (the United States)] on one side and the defendant and his surety on the other. The agreement recognizes that the jurisdiction will release the defendant from custody if the surety [the bail bond company] will guarantee that the defendant will appear at a specified time and place to answer the charges made against him. If the defendant fails to appear, the surety becomes the absolute debtor of the jurisdiction for the full amount of the bond.

What is the purpose of Bail?

The purpose of bail is to assure the attendance of the defendant, when his or her appearance is required in court, whether before or after conviction. Bail is not a means of punishing a defendant, nor should there be a suggestion of revenue to the government.

Is bail a matter of right?

Although the right to bail has constitutional recognition in the prohibition against excessive bail, bail is not always a matter of right. However, with certain exceptions a defendant charged with a criminal offense shall be released on bail. Persons charged with capital crimes when the facts are evident or the presumption of guilt great, are excepted from the right to release on bail. However, a defendant charged with a capital crime is entitled to a bail hearing in the trial court to determine whether the facts are evident or the presumption great. A capital crime is an offense that a statute makes it potentially punishable by death or life imprisonment, even if the prosecutor / government has agreed not to seek the death penalty. It is presumed that the risk of flight of the defendant is too great when he or she is facing death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

How is the cost bail determined by the court?

The amount of the bail is first and foremost within the scope and discretion of the judge or magistrate, with only two general limitations: First: The purpose of bail is not to penalize or punish the defendant, but only to secure the appearance of the accused, and it should be set with that in mind. Second: Excessive bail, not warranted by the circumstances or the evidence at hand. Is not only improper but a violation of constitutional rights. In fixing the amount of the bail, the court takes into consideration the seriousness of the charge, the defendant’s previous criminal record, and the probability of the defendant appearing at the trial or hearing.

Additionally, if public safety is an issue, the court may make an inquiry where it may consider allegations of injury to the victim, danger to the public and/or to the defendant him/her self, threats to the victim or a witness, the use of a deadly weapon, and the defendant’s use or possession of controlled substances. A judge or magistrate setting bail in other than a scheduled or usual amount must state on the record the reasons and address the issue of threats made against a victim or a witness. The court must also consider evidence offered by the detained person regarding ties to the community and ability to post bond. The bail amount set by the court must be within the minimum range amount of bail that would reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance. NOT the Maximum!

How is the cost bail determined by the court?

The amount of the bail is first and foremost within the scope and discretion of the judge or magistrate, with only two general limitations: First: The purpose of bail is not to penalize or punish the defendant, but only to secure the appearance of the accused, and it should be set with that in mind. Second: Excessive bail, not warranted by the circumstances or the evidence at hand. Is not only improper but a violation of constitutional rights. In fixing the amount of the bail, the court takes into consideration the seriousness of the charge, the defendant’s previous criminal record, and the probability of the defendant appearing at the trial or hearing.

Additionally, if public safety is an issue, the court may make an inquiry where it may consider allegations of injury to the victim, danger to the public and/or to the defendant him/her self, threats to the victim or a witness, the use of a deadly weapon, and the defendant’s use or possession of controlled substances. A judge or magistrate setting bail in other than a scheduled or usual amount must state on the record the reasons and address the issue of threats made against a victim or a witness. The court must also consider evidence offered by the detained person regarding ties to the community and ability to post bond. The bail amount set by the court must be within the minimum range amount of bail that would reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance. NOT the Maximum!

Is the bond refundable after the case is finished?

The percentage of the total bond amount that you pay to the bail bond agency, technically referred to as the premium, represents the fee the bondsman charges to pay or pledge the full bond amount to the court. Like a premium payment on any insurance policy, the premium on a surety bond is non-refundable. This fee is what allowed the defendant to get out of jail and is fully earned once the defendant is released from custody.

How can bonds be posted?

Cash Only: The defendant and/or a co-signer must pay a designated amount of money to the Court. The defendant and a co-signer, if any, must also sign a bond order guaranteeing the appearance of the defendant at further Court hearings.

Secured: The defendant must pay a designated amount of money or provide the Court with security such as a title to property worth at least as much as the ordered bond amount. The co-signer and defendant must then sign a bond order guaranteeing the defendant’s appearance for further Court proceedings.

Unsecured: The defendant signs a bond guaranteeing appearance for further hearings with the understanding that if the defendant does not appear, he/she will be responsible for paying the Court a designated amount of money. In these instances a hearing officer may require that a responsible third party, such as a relative, sign the bond.

Signature/Own Recognizance “OR”: The defendant signs a bond order guaranteeing appearance for further proceedings.

What type of bonds are there?

There are four primary types of bonds: Cash Only, Secured, Unsecured, and Signature or Own Recognizance sometimes called “OR”).

Cash Only: The defendant, a co-signer, and/or a bondsman must pay a designated amount of money directly to the Court. The defendant and/or a co-signer, where applicable, must also sign a bond order guaranteeing the appearance of the defendant at all further Court hearings.

Secured: The defendant must pay a designated amount of money or provide the Court or the bonding agent with security, such as title to property, stock certificates, etc., with a value equivalent to the prescribed bond amount. In addition, the defendant, and/or the co-signer, or the bonding agent, as applicable, must then sign a bond order guaranteeing the defendant’s appearance for all further Court proceedings.

Unsecured: Defendants sign a bond, quite often with bonding agents, guaranteeing their appearance at all further Court hearings, subject to the understanding that if the accused don’t appear, they will be responsible for paying the Court a designated amount of money. In certain instances, a hearing officer may require a responsible third party, such as a defendant’s relative; sign the bond on behalf of the accused.

Signature Bond or Release on the Defendants’ Own Recognizance [“ROR”]: The defendants sign bond orders personally guaranteeing their appearances at all proceedings. Signature Bonds are typically issued in lower risk situations, where

[1] The defendant’s established reputation and stature in the community strongly suggest reliability,

[2] The charges are relatively unsubstantiated, especially in light of the defendant’s ability to mount an aggressive defense,

[3] Even the consequences of a conviction can’t justify the destructive impact certain to result from fugitive flight to avoid prosecution.

Is bail refundable after the case is finished?

The percentage of the total bond amount that you pay to the bail bond agency, technically referred to as the premium, represents the fee the bondsman charges to pay or pledge the full bond amount to the court. Like a premium payment on any insurance policy, the premium on a surety bond is non-refundable. This fee is what allowed the defendant to get out of jail and is fully earned once the defendant is released from custody.

How do I begin the bail process?

It is important to note that only a person holding a bail license may solicit the negotiation of a bail bond. A-2-Z Bail Bonds of Des Moines Iowa is a licensed bail provider for the State of Iowa. If you require bail bond services, please CONTACT US to begin the process. It’s easy, fast and effective.

Remember, A-2-Z is here to help you through this process.

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How is the cost bail determined by the court?

The amount of the bail is first and foremost within the scope and discretion of the judge or magistrate, with only two general limitations: First: The purpose of bail is not to penalize or punish the defendant, but only to secure the appearance of the accused, and it should be set with that in mind. Second: Excessive bail, not warranted by the circumstances or the evidence at hand. Is not only improper but a violation of constitutional rights. In fixing the amount of the bail, the court takes into consideration the seriousness of the charge, the defendant’s previous criminal record, and the probability of the defendant appearing at the trial or hearing.

Additionally, if public safety is an issue, the court may make an inquiry where it may consider allegations of injury to the victim, danger to the public and/or to the defendant him/her self, threats to the victim or a witness, the use of a deadly weapon, and the defendant’s use or possession of controlled substances. A judge or magistrate setting bail in other than a scheduled or usual amount must state on the record the reasons and address the issue of threats made against a victim or a witness. The court must also consider evidence offered by the detained person regarding ties to the community and ability to post bond. The bail amount set by the court must be within the minimum range amount of bail that would reasonably assure the defendant’s appearance. NOT the Maximum!

Examples of Recent Bond Amounts Levied for Polk County, IA Offenses.

MONETARY PARAMETERS OF BAIL BONDS IN IOWA
In theory, the specific monetary amount of a Bail Bond directly reflects a court’s determination of the amount of cash or surety necessary to insure that a particular defendant will appear before that court at a predetermined date and time to face the all applicable indictments. Although there is a certain amount of flexibility in the court’s determination of the appropriate bond amount for a particular individual in a specific case, courts in Iowa tend to follow an established bail bond fee schedule that conforms to the class of criminal code of conduct severity scale. In accordance with this fee schedule, the basic bond amounts coincide with the criminal code structure, as follows:

Felony, Class A Murder No Bond
Felony, Class A Arson, Kidnapping $32,500 – $130,000
Felony, Class C Willful Injury, Burglary-2nd $13,000
Felony, Class D Forgery $9,750
Aggravated Misdemeanor OWI, Harassment $6,500
Serious Misdemeanor Arson, Kidnapping $1,950
Simple Misdemeanor Public Intoxication $325
Domestic Violence No Bond
Probation Violation No Bond

Typical Iowa Bond Amounts
We have compiled a roster of the criminal offenses most frequently charged against those booked into the Polk County, Iowa jail along with the corresponding bond amounts and types determined by the County courts to be appropriate for the offenses in question. This roster has been sequenced by bond amount.

Manufacture/delivery of Narcotics $130,000.00 cash/surety
Manufacture/delivery of Narcotics $95,000.00 cash/surety
Manufacture/delivery of Narcotics $65,000.00 cash/surety
Attempt to Commit Murder $50,000.00 cash/surety
Sex Abuse, 2nd degree $32,500.00 cash/surety
Sex Abuse, 3rd degree $13,000.00 cash/surety
Possession of Explosives $13,000.00  cash bond
Assault while participating in a C felony $13,000.00  cash bond
Burglary, 2nd degree $13,000.00 cash/surety
Intimidation with a Weapon $13,000.00 cash bond
Willful Injury $13,000.00 cash/surety
Possession of Weapon by a Felon $9,750.00 cash/surety
Assault causing serious injury $9,750.00 cash/surety
Going Armed with intent $9,750.00 cash/surety
Possession of an Offensive Weapon $9,750.00 cash/surety
Domestic Assault causing serious injury $9,750.00 cash/surety
Assault on a Public Safety Officer $9,750.00 cash/surety
Possession of Precursors for Drug Manufacture $9,750.00 cash/surety
OWI, 3rd offense $9,750.00 cash/surety
Tax Stamp Violation $9,750.00 cash/surety
Domestic Assault with intent or weapon $6,500.00 cash/surety
Assault with a dangerous weapon $6,500.00 cash/surety
Driving while License Barred $6,500.00 cash/surety
Prostitution $6,500.00 cash/surety
Harassment, 1st degree $6,500.00 cash/surety
OWI, 1st offense $1,950.00 cash/surety
Domestic Assault causing Injury $1,950.00 cash/surety
Possession of Marijuana $1,950.00 cash/surety
Possession of Narcotics $1,950.00 cash/surety
Possession of Cocaine $1,950.00 cash/surety
Indecent Exposure $1,950.00 surety bond
Driving while License Revoked $1,950.00 cash/surety
Criminal Mischief, 4th degree $1,950.00 cash/surety
Assault with Intent to do Injury. $1,000.000 cash bond
Driving while License Suspended $500.00 cash/surety
Criminal Mischief, 5th degree $325.00 cash/surety
Interference~Resisting Arrest $325.00 cash/surety
Public Intoxication~Consumption in Public $325.00 cash/surety
Carrying Weapons $325.00  cash  bond
Domestic Abuse without Injury $325.00  cash  bond
Possession of Paraphernalia $325.00  cash  bond
Discharging Weapon in the City $325.00  cash  bond

Is bail refundable after the case is finished?

The percentage of the total bond amount that you pay to the bail bond agency, technically referred to as the premium, represents the fee the bondsman charges to pay or pledge the full bond amount to the court. Like a premium payment on any insurance policy, the premium on a surety bond is non-refundable. This fee is what allowed the defendant to get out of jail and is fully earned once the defendant is released from custody.

The History Of Surety Bonds

Through the pages of history, you can find “surety.”

Surety is a person who takes on responsibility for another OR surety is something that gives assurance against loss, damage, or default.

You can still hear that term in modern courts, where bail is known as a surety bond.

From Bible to Babylon to the USA
It seems societies have long struggled to ensure the good behavior of their citizens – from the Bible (Old Testament times) through the laws of the Babylonian King Hammurabi (1700 B.C.), and through English common law to the late 20th Century in the United States of America, one can read about a surety.

The Code of Hammurabi and old English law were similar. Entire communities, including their governors in the kingdom of Babylon, pledged to find and execute an offender or be responsible to the victim. In England, everyone over 14 was responsible to his community for general good behavior. The English community was called a “tithing” and consisted of 10 freeholders and their families, knit together as a unit of society, and bound to the king for the peaceable behavior of each other.

The Bible sometimes warns against becoming a surety for a stranger and may provide the basis for the term “losing one’s shirt” in Proverbs 20:16, which says “Take this garment that is surety for a stranger.”

It has always been difficult for any one person to be another’s surety, for that person could face disasters ranging from death to financial suicide if he failed. And, just as today, a person asked to post a bond was faced with the possibility of financial ruin or refusing the request of a friend or relative who needed bond and often had no other alternative.

The next development was the surety company, first formed in London in 1840. The first corporate surety in the United States came into being in 1876. It was the Fidelity and Casualty Company.

Contract Law to Procedural Rules
Throughout the 19th Century and most of the 20th Century, American courts basically saw actions undertaken to assure the appearance of a defendant in court or payment of a bond as a contractual matter between the bail company agent and the defendant. Agents of the state would rarely interfere.

In the late 1900s, courts in the United States began to place some limits on a bondsman’s activities in capturing a fugitive. In earlier court cases, there had been no requirement for due process or equal protection of the law because the private contract between bail and the principal was beyond the boundaries of constitutional requirements. After all, the principal had agreed to the bail terms already! Bond agents could pursue their principals anywhere in the Unites States and return them without extradition proceedings.

In the late 1960s and into the 1970s, a few key court cases indicated a trend toward tighter controls on bail agents. A Pennsylvania case in 1971 (Smith vs. Rosenbaum, 333 F Supp 35 E.D. PA 1971) set a precedent that brought activities of bail agents under “state action.” This decision increased the possibility that bail agents would face claims against them for abridging the civil rights of their principals.

Conclusion
Many in the bail industry invite greater protection against an abusive surety or bail agent. But, as the court stated in Nicolls vs. Ingersoll, restricting bail agents too severely could impair their right to protect their bonds. Deprived of their enforcement remedies, few bondsmen might be willing to write (uncollateralized) bonds, making it more difficult for an accused person to obtain bail.

© 2004 Copyright Arkansas Professional Bail Association. All Rights Reserved
http://www.catchafugitive.com/arkansas/calendar.cfm

Glossary of Vernaculars for the Criminal Justice Verticals

All of a sudden, you’re living your worst nightmare. You’ve been busted! Now you’re facing a set of complex challenges as frighteningly foreign as any you’ve ever experienced, for stakes as enormous as years of your freedom. You need every advantage you can possibly muster just to survive the overwhelm of this grueling ordeal. First, you faced the shockingly brutal reality of your arrest, booking, and lock-up. As that horrible shockwave began to subside, leaving you nothing but numb, the second shockwave engulfed you. While apologizing profusely to family and friends for your gross imposition, you repeatedly recall your embarrassing tale, while you plead for bail money and a signer’s support to spring you from jail. Your impatience is mounting, you’ve got to get out, they’ve all got their questions, a story with no fault is bound to cast doubt. After numerous recastings, your long tale’s told right, breathing fresh air you realize, victory’s in persuasion — words win this fight. With that lesson in hand, take some time to review the specialized vernacular of the legal system’s verticals that for centuries has sustained the elitists’ control of justice’s hallowed hall while continuing to maintain the status quo of the educated over the masses. Boil a royal stew, Magna Carta, stir in concepts called divine, and the justice that you’ve cooked up, even eight wise ones can’t define. As you can concentrate on retaining the most effective counsel possible and then work to build the strongest case possible for your upcoming day in court, pay special attention to the crucially careful selection of words chosen to portray your actions and intentions, for your future just may depend upon it.

AFFIDAVIT: An individual’s written statement, given voluntarily, under oath, before a notary public or official authorized to administer oaths.
ANSWER: A formal statement, generally written, stating the defense of a legal case.
APPEAL: A request to take a case to a higher court for review. No new evidence may be introduced during the appellate process; the reviewing court considers only whether errors occurred during prior proceedings.
APPEARANCE BOND: In a criminal proceeding, a document representing a commitment guaranteeing that an individual, accused of a crime, will appear in court whenever ordered to do so until the matter at hand is resolved.
APPELLATE COURT: A court having jurisdiction of appeals-not a trial court.
APPELLATE JURISDICTION: The power of a court to review a case that has already been tried by a lower court.
ARRAIGNMENT: The accused is brought before the court to plead to the charge against him.
ATTORNEY: A lawyer; one who is licensed to act as a representative for another in a legal proceeding; an individual licensed to practice law.
ACQUITTAL: A finding by a judge or jury that a person tried for committing a crime is not guilty.
BAIL: To set free a person arrested or imprisoned (pending trial or resolution of an appeal), in exchange for security such as cash. Bail is forfeited if the person fails to appear in court as directed.
BOND: A written instrument in which one party (principle) agrees to perform some act for the benefit of the second party (obliged) and the third party (surety) agrees to pay the sum of money that has been fixed as the penalty if the principle fails to perform. A surety bond assures the appearance of the defendant or the payment of the defendant’s bail if the defendant fails to appear.
BOND POSTER: Person who posts an appearance bond
BOND RECALL: The accused has been returned to custody after the bonding agent or other surety financially responsible on a previously set bond elected to be relieved of that obligation by the court.
BONDSMAN: One who gives surety for another
BRIEF: A written document presented to the court by a lawyer setting forth the facts of the case and the law which supports the lawyer’s case.
BURDEN OF PROOF: In the law of evidence, the necessity, or duty of affirmatively proving a fact or facts in a dispute.
CAPIAS: A writ commanding the arrest of a person so that he/she may be compelled to appear before the court.
CIVIL CASE: A matter or case pertaining to the private right of an individual.
CHARGES: A formal accusation of having committed a criminal offense.
CODE: A collection of laws arranged into chapters, table of contents, and index, and published by legislative authority. For example, the Iowa Code is a collection of laws approved by the Iowa legislature.
COLLATERAL SECURITY: Something of value given by, or on behalf of, the principal to protect the surety from loss.
COMMON LAW: Law based upon previous decisions of courts.
CONCURRENCE: An agreement.
CONTEMPT BOND: Given in civil contempt cases to guarantee the principal will obey court orders in the future.
CONTEMPT OF COURT: An act which shows disrespect for the court’s authority. Contempt usually means a person has failed to obey a court order. Contempt can be punished by a fine or imprisonment.
CONTRACT: A mutual agreement between two or more parties, in which each party gives up something of value but gains something else.
CONVERT: Use of the bond money to pay what the defendant was ordered by the court to pay. The order could include victim restitution, fines and surcharges, attorney fees, or jail fees
CONVICTION: Finding that a person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of committing a crime.
CRIMINAL CASE: A case concerning an act considered harmful to the general public that is forbidden by law and punishable by fine, imprisonment, or community service.
CUSTODY: THE STATE OF BEING DETAINED OR HELD UNDER GUARD, ESPECIALLY BY THE POLICE.
DAMAGES: An amount of money which may be recovered in the courts by any person who has suffered loss, detriment, or injury through the unlawful act or negligence of another.
DECREE: A decision or order of the court. A final decree is one which fully and finally disposes of litigation; an interlocutory decree is a preliminary decree which disposes of a particular issue within the litigation.
DEFAULT: A “default” in an action at law occurs when a defendant fails to appear at the trial or to plead within the time allowed. Typically, when a defendant defaults, the court enters an order in favor of the plaintiff.
DEFENDANT: A person sued in a civil suit or accused of a crime.
DEPOSITION: The testimony of a witness not taken in open court, but pursuant to authority given by statute or court rule to take testimony elsewhere. Deposition testimony may be introduced as evidence in a court proceeding.
DISSENT: A term denoting the disagreement of one or more judges of a court with the decision of the majority.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY: A lawyer elected or appointed to serve as a prosecutor for the state in criminal cases.
DOCKET: A list or index of cases and case events maintained by the clerk of court. A list of cases on a court calendar.
EVIDENCE: A fact presented before a court such as a statement of a witness, an object, etc., that bears on or establishes a point in question.
EXONERATE: To remove a burden or release from a duty.
EXTRADITION: The legal process by which a person who has committed a crime in one state and fled to another state may be returned to the state where the crime was committed
FELONY: A crime considered to be of a graver nature than a misdemeanor. Examples of felonies include murder, kidnapping, manslaughter, burglary, robbery, and certain types of sexual abuse.
FORFEITURE: To surrender something as a penalty for having failed to comply with a legally recognized obligation.
FUGITIVE: One who leaves the jurisdiction of a court or who hides within the jurisdiction to avoid prosecution.
GRAND JURY: A group of citizens whose duty it is to inquire into a crime to determine if an indictment against a suspected criminal is warranted.
GUARDIAN AD LITEM: Appointed by the court to represent an infant or child in a particular litigation.
HABEAS CORPUS: “You have the body.” A petition to bring a person before a court or a judge. In most common usage, it is directed to the official person detaining another, commanding that the person to produce the body of the prisoner or person detained so the court may determine if such a person had been denied his or her liberty without the process of law.
INCARCERATION: Confinement in a jail or prison.
INDICTMENT: An accusation in writing found and issued by a grand jury, charging that a person named has done some act, or is guilty of some omission, which by law is a crime.
INFORMATION: A formal accusation of crime, based on an affidavit of a person allegedly having knowledge of the offense.
INSTRUCTIONS: Directions given by the judge to the jury concerning the law of the case.
INTERLOCUTORY: Preliminary. An interlocutory appeal involves an appeal of a matter within a case before the case is concluded or final.
INTERROGATORIES: Written questions propounded by one party and served on an adversary, who must provide written answers under oath; a discovery procedure in preparation for a trial.
JURISDICTION: The right and power to interpret and apply the law. The extent of authority or control.
JURY: A number of people, selected according to law, sworn to inquire of certain matters of fact and declare the truth upon evidence laid before them.
JUVENILE CASES: Matters involving children (under 18 years old), including neglected or abused children or those accused of delinquent acts.
LIEN: An encumbrance upon property, usually as security for a debt or obligation.
MANDAMUS: The name of a writ which is issued from a court of superior jurisdiction, directed to a lower court or a public officer, commanding the performance of a particular act.
MISDEMEANOR: Offenses considered less serious than felonies. There are three classes of misdemeanors-simple, serious, and aggravated. Examples of misdemeanors include minor traffic violations, thefts of property not exceeding $500 in value, trespass, and disorderly conduct.
MOTION: An application to the court requesting action in a pending case. Usually, a motion concerns an issue with the court’s discretion.
NEGLIGENCE: The omission or neglect of reasonable precaution, care, or action.
NOTICE OF APPEAL: A filing made with an appellate court to appeal a ruling made by a lower court.
OPINION: A formal statement by a judge or justice of the law bearing on a case.
ORDINANCE: A law passed by a city, town, or county legislative body.
ORIGINAL JURISDICTION: The power of a court to hear a case for the first time instead of waiting for the case to be tried in a lower court.
ORIGINAL NOTICE: A document filed in court to begin a law suit. The notice of the filing of a lawsuit served on a defendant, stating a time in which a response must be filed.
PARTIES: The persons who are actively concerned in the prosecution or defense of a legal proceeding.
PETITION: Written application to a court requesting a remedy available under law.
PLAINTIFF: A person who brings an action; the party who complains or sues in a personal action and is so named on the record.
PLEADING: A formal statement, generally written, propounding the case of action or the defense of a legal case.
POWER OF ATTORNEY: A written instrument authorizing an agent to perform certain acts on behalf of the principle.
PRELIMINARY HEARING: Synonymous with preliminary examinations; the hearing given before a magistrate or a judge to determine whether a person charged with a crime should be held for trial.
PREMIUM:
PRESENTENCE INVESTIGATION REPORT: A report, generally prepared by a probation officer, which presents pertinent information needed by a judge to sentence a person convicted of a crime.
PRIMA FACIE: So far as can be judged; presumably; a fact presumed to be true unless disproved by some evidence to the contrary.
PROBABLE CAUSE: A constitutionally prescribed standard of proof; a reasonable ground for belief in the existence of certain facts. The burden of proof necessary for an indictment or trial information.
PROBATION: A type of criminal sentence in which an offender agrees to certain court imposed conditions rather than go to jail or prison.
PROSECUTE: To initiate legal or criminal court action against an accused.
PROSECUTOR: One who initiates an accusation against a party suspected of committing a crime; also one who takes charge of a case or performs the function of a trial lawyer in a criminal case on behalf of the state or the people.
PUBLIC DEFENDER: A lawyer employed by the government to represent a person accused of a crime but who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.
PUNITIVE DAMAGES: Damages in excess of actual damages that are assessed as a form of punishment. Typically, punitive damages apply when a defendant’s behavior is found to have been willful or malicious.
REBUTTAL EVIDENCE: Evidence given to explain or disprove facts given in evidence by the opposing party.
RECOGNIZANCE: An obligation of record that is entered into before a court or magistrate, containing a condition to perform a particular act, such as making a court appearance.
RESTITUTION: An equitable remedy under which a person is restored to his or her original position prior to loss or injury.
SCHEDULED VIOLATION: An offense, typically a traffic offense, in which the exact amount of fine is set by law. (See Uniform Citation)
SENTENCE: Judgment formally pronounced by a judge upon defendant after the defendant’s conviction in the criminal prosecution.
SERVICE OF PROCESS: The act of providing an opposing party with notice of a pleading or action to assure that the opposing party is aware of the action and is given an opportunity to appear.
STATUTE: A law adopted by the legislature.
STIPULATION: An agreement by attorneys on opposite sides of a case as to any manner pertaining to the proceedings or trial; stipulations must be in writing and agreed to by the parties.
SURETY: One who undertakes to pay an accused is delivered to the proper authorities.
TESTIMONY: Spoken evidence given by a confident witness, under oath, as distinguished by evidence derived by writings and other sources.
TORT: An injury or wrong committed against another person or another person’s property.
TRANSCRIPTS: A copy of the record of a trial, hearing, or other proceeding as prepared by a court reporter.
TRIAL INFORMATION: A document filed by the prosecutor, which states the charges and evidence against a defendant in a criminal case.
UNIFORM CITATION: A statutory procedure which allows a peace officer to issue a citation in lieu of arrest. Typically, uniform citations are authorized for traffic offenses and other types of violations that are considered less serious offenses.
VERDICT: The formal decision or finding made by a jury and accepted by the court.
VOIRE DIRE: An inquiry of prospective jurors, by the attorneys and by the judge, to determine if such jurors are fit for jury duty in a given case.
WARRANT: A writ or order authorizing a law enforcement officer to make an arrest, conduct a search, or to perform some other designated act.
WITNESS: One who testifies to what he or she has seen, heard, or otherwise observed or testifies to his or her opinion based on a hypothetical statement.
WRIT: An order issued from a court requiring the performance of a specified act, or giving authority and commission to having it done.

Bail Bond Information – FOR A SUMMARY OF IOWA CODE APPLYING TO THE BUSINESS OF CRIMINAL COURT APPEARANCE BONDING AND ITS ENFORCEMENT

SUMMARY OF IOWA CODE APPLYING TO THE BUSINESS OF CRIMINAL COURT APPEARANCE BONDING AND ITS ENFORCEMENT

The following summation of Iowa code and statute as they apply to the business of bail bonding and bail bond enforcement, has been compiled by the American Bail Coalition, a national organization founded by America’s premier underwriters of criminal court appearance bonds. The Coalition was established to educate local government on the benefits of commercial bail bonding and to advance the interests of the founding underwriter’s retail bail bond agencies. Although the organization’s basic goals are commercially self-serving, we commend the Coalition for its tireless efforts in defend and enhance the viability of an independent bail bond industry. After all, this work ultimately results in the continued protection of the rights of the accused, The American bail bond industry is one of the important institutions that strives to insure that, in our free and democratic society, the accused always stands innocent until proven guilty.

1. Applicable Statutes.
A. IOWA CODE ANNOTATED TITLE III. PUBLIC SERVICES AND REGULATION SUBTITLE 1. PUBLIC SAFETY CHAPTER 80A. PRIVATE INVESTIGATIVE AGENCIES AND SECURITY AGENTS 80A.1 – .16A
B. IOWA CODE ANNOTATED TITLE XVI. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE SUBTITLE 2. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CHAPTER 811. PRETRIAL RELEASE-BAIL 811.3, .6 – .9

2. Licensing Requirements for Agents.
Iowa has numerous provisions regulating the licensing of the bail enforcement business and bail enforcement agents.
A. IOWA CODE ANNOTATED TITLE III. PUBLIC SERVICES AND REGULATION SUBTITLE 1. PUBLIC SAFETY CHAPTER 80A. PRIVATE INVESTIGATIVE AGENCIES AND SECURITY AGENTS 80A.3.
Requires a bail enforcement business to obtain the same license as that for a private detective. The license must be renewed every two years.
B. 80A.4. Sets forth the license requirements. Applications for a license or license renewal must be submitted to the commissioner and no license shall not be issued unless the applicant:
” Is eighteen years of age or older.
” Is not a peace officer.
” Has never been convicted of a felony or aggravated misdemeanor.
” Is not addicted to the use of alcohol or a controlled substance.
” Does not have a history of repeated acts of violence.
” Is of good moral character and has not been judged guilty of a crime involving moral turpitude.
” Has not been convicted of a crime described in sections 708.3, 708.4, 708.5, 708.6, 708.8, or 708.9.
” Has not been convicted of illegally using, carrying, or possessing a dangerous weapon.
” Has not been convicted of fraud.
” Complies with other qualifications and requirements the commissioner adopts by rule.
If the applicant is a corporation, these requirements apply to the president and to each officer, commissioner, or employee who is actively involved in the licensed business in Iowa. If the applicant is a partnership or association, these apply to each partner or association member.
Each employee of an applicant or licensee shall possess the same qualifications required by this section for a licensee.
C. 80A.5. Requires a licensee fee to be deposited with each application – to be applied if the application is granted and refunded if the application is denied.
The fee for a two-year license for a bail enforcement business is one hundred dollars.
D. 80A.10. Requires each license applicant to submit bond before receiving a license. The applicant must file a surety bond with the department with the Department of Public Safety, in a minimum amount as follows:
Five thousand dollars in the case of an agency licensed to conduct only a bail enforcement business, private security business, or a private investigation business.
Ten thousand dollars in the case of an agency licensed to conduct more than one type of business licensed under this chapter.
The bond shall be issued by a surety company authorized to do business in this state and shall be conditioned on the faithful, lawful, and honest conduct of the applicant and those employed by the applicant in carrying on the business licensed.
The bond provides that a person injured by a breach of the conditions of the bond may bring an action on the bond to recover legal damages suffered by reason of the breach. However, the aggregate liability of the surety for all damages shall not exceed the amount of the bond.
Bonds issued and filed with the department shall remain in force and effect until the surety has terminated future liability by a written thirty days’ notice to the department.
E. 80A.10A. Requires each potential licensee to submit proof of financial responsibility, notwithstanding the minimum bond amount that must be filed in accordance with section 80A.10.
A license shall not be issued unless the applicant furnishes proof acceptable to the commissioner of the applicant’s ability to pay for damages resulting from accidents or wrongdoing arising out of the ownership and operation of a bail enforcement business.
F. IOWA CODE ANNOTATED TITLE XV. JUDICIAL BRANCH AND JUDICIAL PROCEDURES SUBTITLE 4.PROBATE-FIDUCIARIES CHAPTER 636. SURETIES–FIDUCIARIES–TRUSTS-INVESTMENTS SURETY COMPANIES 636.11.
An agent for a company authorized to engage in the business of becoming surety upon bonds must be a resident of this state for the purpose of acting on behalf of the surety company with respect to any bond or bail in criminal cases.

3. Notice of Forfeiture
A. IOWA CODE ANNOTATED TITLE XVI. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE SUBTITLE 2. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CHAPTER 811. PRETRIAL RELEASE-BAIL 811.6.
Sets forth provisions on bail forfeiture, including notice requirements.
If a defendant fails to appear at the time and place when the defendant’s personal appearance is lawfully required, the court must direct an entry of the failure to be made of record, and the undertaking of the defendant’s bail, or the money deposited, is thereupon forfeited.
As a part of the entry, the court shall direct the sheriff of the county to give ten days’ notice in writing to the defendant and the defendant’s sureties to appear and show cause, if any, why judgment should not be entered for the amount of bail.
If such appearance is not made, judgment shall be entered by the court. If appearance is made, the court shall set the case down for immediate hearing as an ordinary action.

4. Allotted Time between Forfeiture Declaration and Payment Due Date.
A. (See above, second paragraph)
B. State v. Costello, 1992, 489 N.W.2d 735.
Purpose of statutory ten-day notice requirement prior to entry of judgment for amount of bail upon forfeiture is to afford surety opportunity to resist entry of judgment, and not to locate and deliver defendant to sheriff.

5. Forfeiture Defenses.
A. IOWA CODE ANNOTATED TITLE XVI. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURESUBTITLE 2. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CHAPTER 811. PRETRIAL RELEASE-BAIL 811.8.
Sets forth a procedure for exonerating a surety through surrender of a defendant.
At any time before forfeiture of a bond, the surety may surrender the defendant, or the defendant may surrender, to the officer to whose custody the defendant was committed at the time of giving bail.
The officer shall then acknowledge the surrender by a certificate in writing.
Upon the filing the certificate of the officer, the court or clerk shall immediately order return of the money deposited to the surety, or order an exoneration of the surety.
B. 811.9. Establishes that the above section (811.8) does not apply in a case where a simple misdemeanor is charged (through a uniform citation) and where the defendant has submitted an unsecured appearance bond or has submitted bail in the form of cash, check, credit card. When a defendant fails to appear such cases, the court shall enter a judgment of forfeiture of the bond or bail, which shall be final upon entry.
C. A number of state cases also clarify a surety’s right to contest forfeiture, and exclude certain excuses.
State v. Costello, 1992, 489 N.W.2d 735. Forfeiture of bail may be avoided only when bondsman shows some reasonable excuse for failing to produce defendant, and, when satisfactory explanation for defendant’s failure to appear has been established, court may refuse to enter judgment and may set aside forfeiture.
State v. Shell, 1951, 45 N.W.2d 851, 242 Iowa 260.Forfeiture of bail may be avoided only where the bondsmen show some reasonable excuse for failure to produce defendant.
State v. Scott, 1866, 20 Iowa 63. The death of the principal two years after a bond was forfeited in a criminal action is no defense to an action against the security on the bond.

6. Remission.
A. IOWA CODE ANNOTATED TITLE XVI. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURESUBTITLE 2. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CHAPTER 811. PRETRIAL RELEASE-BAIL 811.6
Gives provisions for setting aside forfeiture judgments.
Where a forfeiture and judgment have been entered as provided in this section, and the amount of the judgment has been paid to the clerk, the clerk shall hold the money for a period of sixty days from the date of judgment.
The court may, upon application, set aside such judgment if, within sixty days from the date thereof, the defendant shall voluntarily surrender to the sheriff of the county, or the defendant’s sureties shall, at their own expense, deliver the defendant to the custody of the sheriff.
Such judgment shall not be set aside, however, unless as a condition precedent thereto, the defendant and the defendant’s sureties shall have paid all costs and expenses incurred in connection therewith.
B. Iowa case law establishes the remission is available, at the discretion of the court.
State v. Kraner, 1879, 50 Iowa 582.The court may, at its discretion, remit the whole or any part of the amount of a bail bond before judgment is entered, if the defendant be surrendered.

7. Bail Agent’s Arrest Authority.
A. IOWA CODE ANNOTATED TITLE XVI. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURESUBTITLE 2. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CHAPTER 811. PRETRIAL RELEASE-BAIL 811.8.
Establishes a bail agent’s arrest authority.
For the purpose of surrendering the defendant, the surety may at any time arrest the defendant, or, by written authority endorsed on a certified copy, empower a person (subject to meeting the criteria outlined in #2, licensing requirements) of suitable age and discretion to do so.
In making an arrest, the surety or any person empowered by the surety shall possess no more authority than a peace officer would possess in making a lawful arrest.

8. Other Noteworthy Provisions.
A. IOWA CODE ANNOTATED TITLE III. PUBLIC SERVICES AND REGULATION SUBTITLE 1. PUBLIC SAFETY CHAPTER 80A. PRIVATE INVESTIGATIVE AGENCIES AND SECURITY AGENTS
80A.7. Sets forth provisions requiring identification cards for persons receiving a license to operate in the bail enforcement business.
The department shall issue to each licensee and to each employee of the licensee an identification card in a form approved by the commissioner. The application for a permanent identification card shall include a temporary identification card valid for fourteen days from the date of receipt of the application by the applicant.
The fee for each identification card is ten dollars.
It is unlawful for an agency licensed under this chapter to employ a person to act in the bail enforcement business unless the person has in their immediate possession an identification card.
The licensee is responsible for the use of identification cards by the licensee’s employees and shall return an employee’s card to the department upon termination of the employee’s service. Identification cards remain the property of the department.
B. 80A.9. Gives regulations on the use of badges and uniforms by bail enforcement agents. A bail enforcement agent shall not do any of the following:
Use a badge or identification card other than one which is in accordance with the laws of the state of origin.
Wear a uniform or make a statement that gives the impression that the agent is a peace officer.
C. IOWA CODE ANNOTATED TITLE III. PUBLIC SERVICES AND REGULATION SUBTITLE 1. PUBLIC SAFETY CHAPTER 80A. PRIVATE INVESTIGATIVE AGENCIES AND SECURITY AGENTS 80A.1.
Provides definitions of important terms such as “bail enforcement agent” and “bail enforcement business.”
“Bail enforcement agent”: a person engaged in the bail enforcement business, including in-state licensees and persons whose principal place of business is in a state other than Iowa.
“Bail enforcement business”: means the business of taking or attempting to take into custody the principal on a bail bond issued in relation to a criminal proceeding to assure the presence of the defendant at trial, but does not include actions undertaken by a law enforcement officer in the course of official duties.
D. IOWA CODE ANNOTATED TITLE III. PUBLIC SERVICES AND REGULATION SUBTITLE 1. PUBLIC SAFETY CHAPTER 80A. PRIVATE INVESTIGATIVE AGENCIES AND SECURITY AGENTS 80A.3A.
Sets forth requirements for notification of and registration for out-of-state bail enforcement agents with local law enforcement when conducting an undertaking within the state of Iowa.
E. IOWA CODE ANNOTATED TITLE III. PUBLIC SERVICES AND REGULATION SUBTITLE 1. PUBLIC SAFETY CHAPTER 80A. PRIVATE INVESTIGATIVE AGENCIES AND SECURITY AGENTS 80A.16A.
Establishes the civil liability of bail enforcement agents to injured third parties.
A person other than a defendant who is injured in person or property by the actions of a bail enforcement agent in taking or attempting to take a defendant into custody may bring a civil action for damages against such agent and the bail enforcement business for breach of any applicable standard of care.
In such civil actions a judgment shall include an award of treble damages, and recovery of costs and reasonable attorney fees.
F. IOWA CODE ANNOTATED TITLE XVI. CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE SUBTITLE 2. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CHAPTER 811. PRETRIAL RELEASE-BAIL 811.3.
Establishes the right of a court, clerk, or magistrate to examine the qualifications of a surety, under oath, prior to releasing a prisoner on bail.

9. Noteworthy State Appellate Decisions.
A. STATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. HAWKEYE BAIL BONDS, SURETY, Appellant. No. 96-764. Supreme Court of Iowa. June 18, 1997.
Hawkeye Bail Bonds acted as surety on two bonds posted by Juan Jose Rojas- Cardona (the defendant) in two separate appeals from criminal convictions. After the convictions were affirmed on appeal, the defendant requested and obtained delays in the issuance of the mittimus in each case. When the extended time expired and the defendant did not appear, the court forfeited his bonds. The surety appealed.
Hawkeye raises three issues on appeal: (1) whether the court’s delays in the issuance of the mittimus were illegal, thus relieving the surety of its obligation; (2) whether extending the mittimus improperly modified Hawkeye’s obligation; and (3) whether the defendant’s appearance at the August 5, 1994 probation revocation hearing constituted an appearance that would satisfy Hawkeye’s obligation.
The court concludes that nothing in the statutes prohibited the extension of the time for issuance of the mittimus. The court further concludes that the court’s extension of the time for execution of the judgments did not modify the bail bonds so as to relieve Hawkeye of its liability. In the present case, however, the bond required that the defendant surrender himself in execution of the judgment. This never occurred. Although the defendant was in the presence of the court after the appeal on August 5, 1994, the actual execution of his judgment was not set until November 15, 1994. The defendant did not appear, and the terms of the bond were not fulfilled. The court agrees with the district court that the surety remains liable under these appeal bonds. The decision is affirmed.
B. STATE of Iowa, Appellee, v. Phillip McFARLAND, Appellant. No. 97-1928. Court of Appeals of Iowa. April 30, 1999.
Philip McFarland and Edward Green claimed to be bounty hunters. In March 1997, they allegedly received a tip that Maurecio Gomez had skipped bail and was staying at a mobile home park in Des Moines. On March 18, 1997, sometime between 1:30 and 2:30 a.m., McFarland and Green arrived at the mobile home of Wendell and Sandy Leach. The Leaches and three of their four children were home. McFarland began pounding on the front door of the Leach mobile home. When Wendell Jr. asked what was going on, McFarland broke the front door open and barged into the home. In the process, the door flew open and Wendell Jr. was knocked against a closet. McFarland said he was a bounty hunter and stated he was “looking for some Mexicans.” Sandy and Wendell argued with McFarland about his being in their home. McFarland threatened to “smack” Sandy if she did not “shut up.” When McFarland realized Gomez was not connected with the Leaches, he apologized, left the home, and went to the trailer next door. McFarland was charged with second-degree burglary.
At trial, McFarland’s request for a jury instruction on a citizen’s arrest, which he claimed encapsulated his defense, was denied. McFarland was convicted of second- degree burglary and sentenced to an indeterminate ten-year sentence. McFarland appeals.
The court holds the citizen’s arrest defense can not be used as an affirmative defense to burglary or assault when unlawful entry or force is used against neither an innocent third person, who is neither a felon nor a person interfering with the lawful arrest of a felon. Courts from several other states have held the same. The court finds that for these reasons, the trial court did not err in refusing to give the jury instruction.
C. Other Notable Cases.
State v. Sellers, 1977, 258 N.W.2d 292.
Fact that agent who executed bail bonds was not licensed by the State of Iowa did not preclude insurer from being held liable on the bonds.

10. Bond Enforcement Agency Provisions.
LEGAL PRECEDENT SUPPORTING BOND ENFORCEMENT AGENCY
“(The bondsmen or sureties) whenever they choose to do so may seize him and deliver him up to their discharge: and if this cannot be done at once, they may imprison him until it can be done. They may pursue him to another state; may arrest him on the Sabbath, and, if necessary, may break and enter his house for that purpose. The seizure is not made by virtue of new process. None is needed. It is likened to the rearrest by the sheriff of an escaping prisoner.” United States Supreme Court: Taylor v Taintor 16 Wall, 36
Bounty Hunters are termed “Bail Enforcement Agents” in Iowa’s statutes. Rules governing such are primarily given above under #2 – Licensing Requirements for Agents, as no separate regulations exist for “Bounty Hunters.”
The arrest of a defendant [aka “the accused” or “the principal”] by a surety [aka bail bondsman, bail bond agent, bail fugitive recovery agent, bail recovery agent, or bounty hunter] is always for purposes of surrendering the accused back to judicial authorities.
Bounty hunters must be licensed and notify local police of a defendant’s location before making an arrest. (IA CODE 80A.3). A victim can sue a bail bond agent as well as the bounty hunter for misconduct. (IA CODE 80A.16A) A bounty hunter cannot enter the home of or use force against an innocent third party. (State v McFarland, 598 N.W.2nd 318 (Iowa Ct. App. 1999)).
Many states require those performing the apprehension to be in possession of a certified copy of the undertaking. The purpose of this document is (1) to show they have the authority to arrest the defendant, and (2) the judicial or law enforcement officers to whom the defendant is surrendered will require it in order to protect them from a charge of false imprisonment. In Iowa, the surety, subject to the limitations of IA CODE 80A, may at any time arrest the defendant at any place in the state and by written authority on a certified copy of the undertaking may empower any person of suitable age and discretion to do so. (IA CODE 811.8)

The Uniform Criminal Extradition Act [UCEA] regulates the recovery of fugitives across state lines. It is a procedure whereby fugitives who have committed a crime in a state can be returned from their current state to that where the offense was committed. Provisions of the UCEA apply to all states except Missouri and South Carolina and two territories. Although extradition is a government function, the UCEA constrains the traditional practice of bail fugitive recovery across state lines. Under the UCEA, a private person can arrest a fugitive accused of a crime in another state for which the punishment is at least one year of confinement. But the accused must be brought before a judge or magistrate within 24 hours of arrest, whereupon he will be confined to allow for formal extradition process from the requesting state. Since the late 1980s, courts have said that UCEA also applies to bail fugitives.

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