WINSTON COUNTY, Miss.(WCBI)—You hear us talk about suspects having their bonds set by a judge.
But it’s a bail bondsman who helps them get out of jail.
If the suspect skips court, they’ll become very acquainted with a bail bondsmen.
Winston County Sheriff Jason Pugh says bail bondsmen are needed by his department.
“The bail bonding industry is necessary to law enforcement because it helps with jail over crowding while people are awaiting court. It’s a good working relationship we have,”said Pugh.
Stacey Spiva is a bail bonding agent in Louisville with more than 14 years experience.
“Once the defendant is arrested for a misdemeanor or a felony, they are taken into custody and they are given the option to post bond. They contact a bail bonding company and most of the times those names are posted at the jail. They are free to utilize whatever bonding company they want. Once we secure that bond with a jail, we issue the defendant a court date and they are required to appear back in court on that court day,”said Spiva.
If a defendant jumps bail, the bondsmen are required to get them and return the suspect to court within 90 days.
“You can always go into the court and ask the judge for a continuance before that takes place, to give you a little more time to find the defendant to get them back in court. If we fail to get that defendant back in court then, of course we have to pay off on the face value of that bond but they give us 24 months to find the defendant and get a refund,”said Spiva.
It’s a rigorous process to be able to write bonds in Winston County, Pugh says, but once they are approved they all have a great working relationship.
“They all have to be filed in circuit court before we can accept them as a bonding company. They work closely with us. For the vast majority of our bondsmen, they have my cell phone number. I have theirs if I run into a problem with one of there people that’s out on bond I contact them and they help us deal with it,”said Pugh.
All bail bondsman must be licensed through the Mississippi Department of Insurance.
Defendants have the option to post their own bail. If they don’t show up for court they forfeit the money and a warrant for their arrest is issued.
Once in custody, a defendant could face a higher bond or be denied bond.