Bail Bondsmen

While a Gulfport man recovers from a gunshot wound to the back, the bail bondsman who allegedly shot him is out of jail. Bondsman James Scott bailed out of the Harrison County Jail Tuesday night. Police say earlier that day Scott shot Jon Michael Daniels. The altercation erupted as the bondsman tried to arrest Daniels for not showing up in court.

Bondsmen often have to track down people who either skip town or miss a court date. But violence isn't usually part of a bail bondsman's job. Many people who are arrested and granted bond must turn to a bail bondsman to put up the money to get out of jail. The bondsman guarantees the suspect will show up for court. And takes responsibility if the person doesn't.

The court will issue a judgment against the bonding company and also a warrant for that person's arrest. The bondsman at that time, it's his duty and obligation to produce that person. The bondsman has 90 days to do that or else he has to pay the bond to the state.

Tuesday while a bondsmen tried to serve a warrant on a Gulfport man, and police surrounded the house, the suspect shot himself to death. Bail Bondsman Don Bear wasn't at that scene, but he says situations like that are rare. Bear says over the years, the bail bonding business has cleaned up its act. Bondsmen are active in legislative issues and the industry is better regulated.

There are regulations a bondsman and the agents that work for him must follow.

  • A state license is required.
  • The bondsman must complete eight hours of continuing education before the license is renewed each year.
  • And the license authorizes the bondsman to carry a weapon and to arrest someone who skips bail.

It's come a long way but it's just like any profession whether it be law enforcement, or attorneys or cooks, you're gonna have some people who maybe shouldn't be doin' what they're doin' and we've kinda had a bad reputation. Bear says there is always room for improvement.. but he and his colleagues are shedding the image that they're less than reputable.