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WEST VIRGINIA CODE 1966 CHAPTER 51. COURTS AND THEIR OFFICERS. ARTICLE 10A. BAIL BOND ENFORCERS.
WEST VIRGINIA CODE 1966 CHAPTER 62. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE. ARTICLE 1C. BAIL.
(a) “Bail bondsman” means any person, partnership or corporation engaged for profit in the business of furnishing bail, making bonds or entering into undertakings, as surety, for the appearance of persons charged with a criminal offense or violation of law punishable by fine or imprisonment before any court within or without this state. The term “bail bondsman” includes, but is not limited to, persons conducting a bonding business as defined in section one [§ 51-10-1], article ten of this chapter.
(b) “Bail bond enforcer” means a person who on behalf of a bail bondsman enters this state or is present in this state for the purposes of: (1) Assisting a bail bondsman in presenting the defendant in court when required; (2) assisting in the apprehension and surrender of the defendant to a court; (3) keeping a defendant under surveillance; or (4) executing bonds on behalf of a bail bondsman when a power of attorney has been duly recorded. The term “bail bond enforcer” does not include a duly licensed attorney-at-law or a law- enforcement officer assisting a bail bondsman.
(a) No person may act in the capacity of a bail bond enforcer within this state or perform any of the functions, duties, or powers prescribed for bail bond enforcers under section one [§ 51-10A-1] of this article unless duly registered with the West Virginia state police as provided in this section.
(b) The superintendent of the West Virginia state police shall design registration, authorization and notice forms, which, at minimum, shall require:
(1) Identifying information as to the registrant and at least one bail bondsman on whose behalf he or she is authorized to act as agent: Provided, That a registrant may not act on behalf of any bail bondsman until authorization to act is filed with the superintendent;
(2) A complete set of the registrant’s fingerprints, certified by an authorized law enforcement officer;
(3) A recent credential-sized, full-face photograph of the registrant;
(4) Certification, under penalties of perjury, that the registrant is at least twenty-one years of age, is a citizen of the United States, and has never been convicted of a felony in any state of the United States;
(5) Authorization in writing, as provided in subsection (b) or (c) of this section, from any bail bondsman on whose behalf the bail bond enforcer is authorized to enter this state or act within this state; and
(6) Other information as the superintendent determines is reasonable and necessary.
(c) A bail bondsman conducting a bonding business in this state may grant continuing authorization to a bail bond enforcer who is a citizen and resident of this state to act as his or her agent on a continuing basis, for a period of time not to exceed two years, either statewide or within named counties or judicial circuits of the state, with respect to all defendants for whom the bail bondsman acts as surety to secure an appearance. A continuing authorization shall state the expiration date of the authorization on the face of the document.
(d) A bail bondsman within or without this state may grant authorization to a bail bond enforcer within or without this state to act as his or her agent with respect to a named defendant or named defendants, for a period of time not to exceed sixty days, in which case notice in advance of any action to the West Virginia state police of the time and place of any proposed action within this state with respect to any defendant, and the date any bail bond enforcer who is not a resident of this state will enter the state, is required. An authorization shall state the expiration date of the authorization on the face of the document.
(e) The superintendent may require any reasonable interrogatories or examinations relating to a registrant’s qualifications or other matters which are reasonably necessary to protect the public.
(f) (1) The superintendent may establish and collect a reasonable registration fee not to exceed fifty dollars to accompany registration, and a filing fee not to exceed ten dollars to accompany the filing of any authorization, to be used for the purposes of defraying administrative and other expenses incurred due to the enactment of this article. No fee is authorized for the filing of notices required under this article.
(a) Enter an occupied residential structure without the consent of the occupants who are present at the time of the entry;
(b) Conduct a bail recovery arrest or apprehension without written authorization from a bail bondsman;
(c) Wear, carry or display any uniform, badge, shield or other insignia or emblem that implies that the bail bond enforcer is an employee, officer or agent of this state, a political subdivision of this state or the federal government. A bail bond enforcer may display identification that indicates his or her status as a bail bond enforcer only; or
(d) Conduct a bail bond apprehension or arrest without exercising due care to protect the safety of persons other than the defendant and the property of persons other than the defendant.
(a) A person who willfully violates any provision of section four [§ 51- 10A-4] of this article, or who acts as a bail bond enforcer within this state without filing a registration, authorization or notice required by this article, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than five hundred or more than ten thousand dollars, or imprisoned in the county jail not more than sixty days, or both fined and imprisoned.
(b) A bail bondsman who, without filing the authorization required in this article, employs or contracts with a bail bond enforcer who enters this state or acts on the bondsman’s behalf within this state; who authorizes an unregistered bail bond enforcer to act on his or her behalf; or whose agent acts in a manner prohibited in section four [§ 51-10A-4] of this article, is subject to a civil penalty of ten thousand dollars, enforceable by civil action in the circuit court of Kanawha County or the circuit court of any county in which the unauthorized action as a bail bond enforcer has occurred. The superintendent of the West Virginia state police is authorized to enforce payment of civil penalties through the courts of this state. Civil penalties pursuant to this section are payable one-half to the state police death, disability and retirement fund and one-half to the crime victims compensation fund.
(2) Setting aside. — The court may direct that a forfeiture be set aside, upon such conditions as the court may impose, if it appears that justice does not require the enforcement of the forfeiture.
(4) Remission. — After entry of such judgment, the court may remit it in whole or in part under the conditions applying to the setting aside of forfeiture in paragraph (2) of this subdivision.
(2) assisting in the apprehension and surrender of the defendant to a court.
Courts of record regularly exercising criminal jurisdiction in counties of more than two hundred thousand population shall, and in counties of two hundred thousand population or less such courts may, provide, under reasonable rules and regulations, the qualifications of persons and corporations applying for authority to engage in the bonding business in criminal cases in the State of West Virginia, and the terms and conditions upon which such business shall be carried on, and no person or corporation shall, either as principal, or as agent, clerk, or representative of another, engage in the bonding business in any court regularly exercising criminal jurisdiction until he shall by order of such court of record be authorized to do so.
Such courts of record, in making such rules and regulations, and in granting authority to persons to engage in the bonding business, shall take into consideration both the financial responsibility and the moral qualities of the person so applying, and no person shall be permitted to engage, either as principal or agent, in the business of becoming surety upon bonds for compensation in criminal cases, who has ever been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude, or who is not known to be a person of good moral character.
It shall be the duty of each of said courts of record to require every person qualifying to engage in the bonding business as principal to file with said court a list showing the name, age, and residence of each person employed by said bondsman as agent, clerk, or representative in the bonding business, and require an affidavit from each of said persons stating that said person shall abide by the terms and provisions of this article.
Each of said courts of record shall require the authority of each of said persons to be renewed from time to time at such periods as the said courts may by rule provide, and before said authority shall be renewed the said courts shall require from each of said persons an affidavit that since his previous qualifications to engage in the bonding business he has abided by the provisions of this article, and any person swearing falsely in any of said affidavits shall be guilty of false swearing.
Where the forfeiture has been declared by a justice [magistrate] or by a court of limited jurisdiction of bail in excess of the jurisdictional limit of justice [magistrate] or of the particular court, such forfeiture shall be certified to a court of the county having sufficient jurisdiction, which court shall thereupon proceed as if the forfeiture were originally declared in such court.
204 W.Va. 547, 514 S.E.2d 397
Feb 22, 1999
168 W.Va. 515, 285 S.E.2d 147
Dec 15, 1981
147 W.Va. 753, 131 S.E.2d 382
Jun 11, 1963