If you’ve recently been arrested or used a bonding company to get a loved one out of jail, you may be concerned about how much of that information is available to the public. Bailing someone out of jail may be bad for your reputation or lead to uncomfortable conversations. Meanwhile, even more serious consequences could await the defendant. Depending on the nature and severity of the crime, they could lose their job or face eviction. In cases like these, it’s a good idea to be informed about what information is visible in public records so you can prepare for prying questions.
What Are Public Records?
A public record includes information that was recorded by a government agency. Public records were created as a part of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in 1966, to improve transparency between the American people and the United States government. Although, what can be and is included in public records is constantly evolving. Now, communications via email, text, body cams, and more are shared publicly.
Bond Information That is Included in Public Record
Most information that is public comes from the original arrest report, not ABC Bail Bonds in Houston. The arresting officer will record the alleged offender’s name, age, and crime. All of this information will then become public record unless the defendant is a minor.
ABC Bail Bonds will never share any of your private information publicly, and will only disclose privileged information if we are subpoenaed. However, once we post a bond, the court clerk will record the bond amount, our company’s name, anyone who cosigned the bond, and the bondsman’s name– which will then become accessible to members of your community.
Why is That Information Included in Public Records?
General information about the bond will be public record because it is filed with the court, which is a part of the U.S. government and therefore public. Bail bonds are underwritten and issued by licensed bail agents so the name of the bondsman and the bonding company will be public record. Also, any information listed on the bond will become public record because the public court system will have access to it.
However, the personal information you share with our bondsmen isn’t public information. We are a private entity and have a standard of ethics so we keep as much of your information private as possible. Rest assured, the only way someone is getting your information is with a court-ordered open records request.
Subpoenas, FOIA, & Open Records Requests
Fortunately, bail bond companies are private so they’re under no obligation to share your private information. But we still don’t recommend that you share unnecessary information about your case with our bondsmen because should someone subpoena us, we will be legally obligated to share anything we know within the scope of the court order. This could include internal documentation or even a testimony at your court hearing.
We always take steps to protect our customer’s privacy and will never share your information with private citizens. Our bondsmen also take care to ensure court orders are legitimate before disclosing information about anyone that comes through our office.
Trustworthy Houston Bail Bond Company
If you have questions about bail bonds, your privacy, or the bonding process– contact our Houston bondsmen. They can help you navigate the whole process with ease and help get your loved one released from jail in no time flat. We offer different types of bail bonds to suit your unique needs. Not sure what you’re looking for? That’s just fine. Our team of discreet and knowledgeable staff members would be happy to educate you.