New Bail Bond Law Triggers Concern

Confusion and concern surrounds a new state law that rewrites a portion of the law on bail bonds by allowing bondsmen to avoid liability once a defendant is found guilty or pleads guilty. Bondsmen will no longer remain liable until a defendant is actually sentenced. Defense lawyers and prosecutors are calling it a nightmare, while bondsmen say the judges of Davidson County are extorting them and usurping the legislature’s power. The new law prompted judges of Davidson County’s criminal court to issue a rare emergency order, which remains in effect indefinitely, requiring that bondsmen at least notify their clients of plans to revoke the bonds. It sets different requirements for bonds in effect before the May 6 effective date of the new law. The Tennessean has the story.