Lehigh County Bail Bond Changes

Yet another law suit has been filed regarding the bail bond industry. This time the suit was filed by a group of bail bondsmen from Allentown. There are changes scheduled to go into effect in their county and they are fighting those changes.

The Lehigh County Court rules are changing to require bail bondsmen to put a dollar into an escrow account for every six dollars of bail money they put up for their clients. The escrow account will be monitored by the Court of Common Pleas. Prior to this change, there was no collateral required. In addition, any insurance company that insures local bail bond businesses must have a physical office in Lehigh County. Bail bond companies are also going to be required to provide detailed information on each contract they have with their clients. This information must be given to the court. It includes data like the amount of money made on each transaction.

Under the new regulations, anyone who has previously been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor is prohibited from operating a bail bond business.

The attorney for the plaintiffs, Robert B. Hoffman says, “The new bail rules will make it more difficult and more expensive for persons facing criminal charges in Lehigh County to receive bail.”

Under the current regulations, defendants can post bail on their own, post their bail via Lehigh County’s Pretrial Services, or they can engage a bail bondsman. Those who use the Pretrial Services have the opportunity to receive back the money they posted, providing they show up for all court hearings and follow all court orders.

Questions about the suit were referred to Lehigh County solicitor Matt Sorrentino, who said that his office expected the suit and also expects the new rules to be put into place.

 

Posted on August 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM