Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 9.1. Commonwealth Public Safety
Chapter 1. Department of Criminal Justice Services

§ 9.1-185.8. Professional conduct standards; grounds for disciplinary actions.

A. Any violations of the restrictions or standards under this statute shall be grounds for placing on probation, refusal to issue or renew, sanctioning, suspension or revocation of the bail bondsman's license. A licensed bail bondsman is responsible for ensuring that his employees, partners and individuals contracted to perform services for or on behalf of the bonding business comply with all of these provisions, and do not violate any of the restrictions that apply to bail bondsmen. Violations by a bondsman's employee, partner, or agent may be grounds for disciplinary action against the bondsman, including probation, suspension or revocation of license.

B. A licensed bail bondsman shall not:

1. Knowingly commit, or be a party to, any material fraud, misrepresentation, concealment, conspiracy, collusion, forgery, scheme or device whereby any other person lawfully relies upon the word, representation, or conduct of the bail bondsman.

2. Solicit sexual favors or extort additional consideration as a condition of obtaining, maintaining, or exonerating bail bond, regardless of the identity of the person who performs the favors.

3. Conduct a bail bond transaction that demonstrates bad faith, dishonesty, coercion, incompetence, extortion or untrustworthiness.

4. Coerce, suggest, aid and abet, offer promise of favor, or threaten any person on whose bond he is surety or offers to become surety, to induce that person to commit any crime.

5. Give or receive, directly or indirectly, any gift of any kind to any nonelected public official or any employee of a governmental agency involved with the administration of justice, including but not limited to law-enforcement personnel, magistrates, judges, and jail employees, as well as attorneys. De minimis gifts, not to exceed $50 per year per recipient, are acceptable, provided the purpose of the gift is not to directly solicit business, or would otherwise be a violation of Board regulations or the laws of the Commonwealth.

6. Fail to comply with any of the statutory or regulatory requirements governing licensed bail bondsmen.

7. Fail to cooperate with any investigation by the Department.

8. Fail to comply with any subpoena issued by the Department.

9. Provide materially incorrect, misleading, incomplete or untrue information in a license application, renewal application, or any other document filed with the Department.

10. Provide bail for any person if he is also an attorney representing that person.

11. Provide bail for any person if the bondsman was initially involved in the arrest of that person.

C. A licensed bail bondsman shall ensure that each recognizance on all bonds for which he signs shall contain the name and contact information for both the surety agent and the registered agent of the issuing company.

D. An administrative fee may be charged by a bail bondsman, not to exceed reasonable costs. Reasonable costs may include, but are not limited to, travel, court time, recovery fees, phone expenses, administrative overhead and postage.

E. A property bail bondsman shall not enter into any bond if the aggregate of the penalty of such bond and all other bonds, on which he has not been released from liability, is in excess of four times the true market value of the equity in his real estate, cash or certificates of deposit issued by a federally insured institution, or any combination thereof.

F. A property bail bondsman or his agent shall not refuse to cover any forfeiture of bond against him or refuse to pay such forfeiture after notice and final order of the court.

G. A surety bail bondsman shall not write bail bonds on any qualifying power of attorney for which a copy has not been filed with the Department.

H. A surety bail bondsman shall not violate any of the statutes or regulations that govern insurance agents.

I. A licensed bail bondsman shall not charge a bail bond premium less than 10 percent or more than 15 percent of the amount of the bond. A licensed bail bondsman shall not loan money with interest for the purpose of helping another obtain a bail bond.

For the purposes of this subsection, "bail bond premium" means the amount of money paid to a licensed bail bondsman for the execution of a bail bond.

J. A licensed bail bondsman who has been arrested for a felony offense shall not issue any new bonds pending the outcome of the investigation by the Department.

K. If a recognizance is forfeited pursuant to § 19.2-143 and such recognizance is not paid by 4:00 p.m. on the last day of the 150-day period from the finding of default, the clerk shall notify the Department of such default and the Department shall suspend the license of any bail bondsman on the bond in the forfeited recognizance until the forfeited recognizance is satisfied, unless suspended for another cause. If any employer of such bail bondsman receives notice pursuant to § 19.2-143 to pay a forfeited recognizance within 10 business days and such forfeiture is not paid within 10 business days of the notice to pay, the Department shall suspend the licenses of the employer of the bail bondsman and the agents thereof until the forfeited recognizance is satisfied, unless suspended for another cause.

2004, c. 460; 2007, c. 708; 2011, c. 623; 2015, c. 600; 2019, c. 200.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.