A Response to a Tweet
You don’t usually get responses on Twitter that are worth confronting, much less writing a whole blog post about, but this one needs a few words.
Let me say this about social media in general: when you are in conversation with someone who is looking for an argument, do not respond. This also goes for bad reviews; say nothing in a public online forum: take it to email instead. This is basic, basic, public relations in the world of social media.
Now, let me discuss what bothers me about that response. It isn’t that the person made the comment, but it does lead me to question a few things.
- Does this person understand our business?
- Did this person have an awful experience with a bail bondsman?
- What we see, and how we see it.
Let me go with #1 first.
Bail bonding allows for a suspect to have a pre-trial release. A judge offers a suspect bail, and we provide the full sum for a 10% fee. How is this the business of criminals? Bail bondsmen provide a service, integral to legal proceedings.
Does he mean that many of my peers have experienced the legal system first hand? Certainly, some of my colleagues have been in unfortunate positions for one reason or another, but that is not an indicator that they’re bad people. Even the most moral man can make mistakes, and end up facing criminal charges of one kind or another.
When you go to the doctor, do you want someone who hasn’t studied medicine to tell you what is wrong? Do you want that individual to have experience, and have had the opportunity to see your illness before? Yes, you do.
A bail bondsman who has been through the legal system understands it. He, or she, knows the importance of bail bonds from a personal perspective. That bondsman is qualified, and probably very motivated, to serve you.
Allow me to take the “criminal” issue from a different angle, for a moment.
Does bail offer a suspect the opportunity to commit another offense? Of course it does, but pre-trial release provides a chance for that person to make different choices. Bail is a challenge to the suspect: show the court that you are responsible, respectable, and capable of honoring your commitment to show up for your trial.
More than that, when someone is out on bail, they can choose to put their affairs in order, receive support from their loved ones, and truly make the most of their legal representation.
A bail bondsman is not responsible for the suspect’s behavior, and neither is his lawyer. The most we can do is advise against further negative choices.
If this individual has had a poor experience with a bondsman, or the legal system in general, I feel for him. I’m sorry for what he endured, and wish it could have been different. However, trying to pick a fight on Twitter doesn’t speak well of his feelings. There are better forums for it.
Last, but not least, #3.
We are in court every day, and we see both sides of crime. A compassionate individual can feel for the suspects and the victims. We do see them. Thanks to the news, we read about the suffering of people who have been on the receiving end of criminal activity. We are equally aware of other issues, like punitive bail, and lack of true rehabilitation during incarceration.
It makes me, and I’m sure many of my peers, incredibly sad, but It is not our job to judge guilt or innocence. That is the province of our legal system that guarantees innocence until judged guilty by a jury of your peers.
We provide a service that comes before that trial, judgement, and sentencing. We have to be as unbiased as possible if we want to provide actual customer service.
I can promise that there are suspects that I would have difficulty working with, if I knew they committed the crime they’re accused of. Any moral person would.
We are, I assure you, a part of the legal system, not apart from it. Our service allows a person better access to their attorney, as I mentioned earlier. Remember, the right to an attorney is guaranteed by law. Working with a lawyer while detained in jail is difficult, and privacy to discuss sensitive issues could be compromised.
Let me say this again: determining guilt is not the job of the bail bondsman. We exist to assist the due process of law, without judgment. We chose to be a customer service, not in support of guilt, innocence, or the choices a suspect makes.