New Bail Law May Increase Costs for Defendants

A recent change in bail bonding law, which took effect July 1, may mean that defendants have to pay a bail company twice for the same case, the Nashville City Paper reports. Prior to the change, state law required that bail agents stay on bonds they issue until clients are exonerated or sentenced. Now bonding agents are free from liability as soon as the client pleads guilty. John Zimmermann, an assistant district attorney in Davidson County, reacted saying, “Unsuspecting defendants will have their bonds summarily revoked before they are sentenced” which will allow “bonding companies the opportunity to charge even more money to defendants and their families for their freedom.” The Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents, however, applauded the change saying it was in line with the risk bondsmen face after a conviction or guilty plea.