Being the northernmost state in New England, and because of the unique characteristics of its geography, terrain and ties to the fishing industry, the state of Maine and its residents have a unique character. So, while Maine features some very beautiful, though admittedly rugged countryside and sea coast, Maine also has had the lowest rate of violent crime per 100,000 people. And while some of the lowest numbers in terms of incarceration and police presence are also consistently found in Maine, bail bonds agencies did exist in the state, and they conducted a reasonable business. However, this was only true until 2012, when the state of Maine began to prohibit private bail bond operations.
The following is a brief historical reference on how any person became a bail bondsman in Maine before this prohibition took effect.
The State required bail bondsmen to be duly licensed, and to adhere to some of the legal requirements set by local regulations. These requirements include basic personal requirements such as age, residence, education, and suitable background attesting to the lack of a record and sufficient financial capacity. Thus:
- Must be over the age of 18
- At least a high school graduate
- Of good moral character
- A citizen or resident alien of the United States
- No convictions for felony or domestic violence
- No record of reckless driving or the failure to pay child support
- No dishonorable discharge from the military
Gaining a degree in appropriate courses that enable one to be familiar with the court and police procedures are also recommended, but not necessarily required. Actually, a kind of apprenticeship is also recommended, where one can work and gain necessary knowledge and experience in an established bail bonds industry before setting up their own agency. Again, this is not precisely a requirement, however, and can only be said to be strongly recommended.
Before actually working as a bail bondsman, you are required to fill up and submit an application with the Maine Department of Public Safety.
The average rate of salary or income that one can get as a bail bondsman in Maine varies greatly depending on where you hold your offices, in which region you operate and offer your services, and of course, the state of the criminal system. It’s probably pretty obvious that you can expect a comparatively lower return to their business when compared to the kind of practice that bail bondsmen have in other states. This typically happens when you are working offering bail bonds to criminal defendants in a state that has consistently had the lowest numbers of incarcerations and the lowest violent crime rate.
But of course, if you are a resident of Maine and have a natural interest in the bail bonds industry, then this is a natural avenue to explore.
And last but not the least, in order to practice a profession as a bail bondsman in Maine, you are required to hold a contract surety bond license, which is not very different from the kind of license required by most states of private investigators, to guarantee that you will be operating and conducting your business within the ambit of the law. These types of bonds are designed to protect the public from fraudulent practices and to ensure a defendant’s compliance with local rules and regulations.