2017 Tennessee Code
Title 40 - Criminal Procedure
Chapter 11 - Bail
Part 3 - Professional Bondsmen
§ 40-11-316. Maximum premium -- Initiation fee.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 40-11-316 (2017)
  • (a) Professional bondsmen and agents of insurance companies making appearance bonds of a criminal nature shall not assess more than ten percent (10%) of the amount of the face value of the bond for premium fee and related charge or charges, and the premium fee and related charge or charges shall not be assessed but one (1) time during the first twelve (12) months of the pendency of the charge or charges and indictment or indictments in either the trial court or any lower court. If a premium renewal fee and any related charge or charges are assessed after the first twelve (12) months of the bond, the renewal fee and charge shall not exceed twenty percent (20%) of the original fee and charges. In the event the case is appealed to the court of criminal appeals or the supreme court of Tennessee, there may be charged only one (1) additional premium fee which also shall not exceed ten percent (10%) of the face value of the appearance bond for that court or courts.
  • (b) In addition to the charge authorized in subsection (a), professional bondsmen and agents of insurance companies making appearance bonds of a criminal nature may assess a one-time bond initiation fee of not more than twenty-five dollars ($25.00).
  • (c) Notwithstanding subsection (a), if a professional bondsman, or agent of an insurance company, is making a criminal appearance bond for a defendant who is not a resident of Tennessee, the bondsman or agent may assess up to fifteen percent (15%) of the amount of the face value of the bond for premium fee and related charges but only one (1) time during the first twelve (12) months of the bond. If a premium renewal fee and any related charges are assessed after the first twelve (12) months of the bond, the premium renewal fee and charges shall not exceed twenty percent (20%) of the original premium fee and charges. If the case is appealed to the court of criminal appeals or the supreme court of Tennessee, there may be charged only one (1) additional premium fee, which shall not exceed ten percent (10%) of the face value of the appearance bond for that court or courts.
  • (d) A professional bondsman or an agent of an insurance company making appearance bonds of a criminal nature may agree to accept the premiums and initiation fees, set forth in subsections (a), (b), and (c), in equal installments; provided, that no interest or other fees, with the exception of transaction fees paid to third parties as costs for processing payments, are charged for the installment payments, and the full amount of the premium is to be paid during the first twelve (12) months of the bond.
  • (e) If the professional bondsman or an agent of an insurance company making appearance bonds of a criminal nature charges a premium renewal fee as authorized under subsection (a) or (c), the professional bondsman or agent may agree to accept the premium renewal fee and any associated charges in equal installments; provided, that no interest or other fees, with the exception of transaction fees paid to third parties as costs for processing payments, are charged for the installment payments and the full amount of the premium renewal fee and any associated charges are to be paid within twelve (12) months of the initial assessment of the premium renewal fees.
  • (f) A professional bondsman or an agent of an insurance company making appearance bonds of a criminal nature may seek indemnification for any actual costs incurred by the professional bondsman in collecting any payment due under subsections (d) and (e), including attorney's fees and court costs; provided, that those costs are paid to third parties and that no portion of those fees is shared with, or retained by, the professional bondsman, with the exception of post-judgment interest as provided for under ยง 47-14-121.
  • (g) Nothing in this section shall limit the rights of the professional bondsman or an agent of an insurance company making appearance bonds of a criminal nature to seek indemnification for the costs, including reasonable attorney's fees and court costs, associated with attempting to apprehend, return, or surrender a forfeiting defendant.
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