Code of the District of Columbia

§ 23–1108. Qualifications of bondsmen; rules to be prescribed by courts; list of agents to be furnished; renewal of authority to act; detailed records to be kept; penalties and disqualifications.

(a) It shall be the duty of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, each, to 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 District of Columbia, and the terms and conditions upon which the 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 either court until he shall, by order of the court, be authorized to do so. The courts, in making these 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 bonding business, who has ever been convicted of an 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 the courts to require every person qualifying to engage in the bonding business as principal to file with the court a list showing the name, age, and residence of each person employed by the bondsman as agent, clerk, or representative in the bonding business, and require an affidavit from each of these persons stating that he will abide by the terms and provisions of this chapter. Each of the courts shall require the authority of each of those persons to be renewed from time to time at such periods as the court may by rule provide, and before the authority shall be renewed the court shall require from each of those persons an affidavit that since his previous qualification to engage in the bonding business he has abided by the provisions of this chapter, and any person swearing falsely in any of the affidavits shall be guilty of perjury.

(b) Each court shall prescribe such rules and regulations as may be necessary to insure that whenever a bondsman becomes surety for compensation upon a bond in a criminal case before the court, the bondsman shall make a record, which shall be accurate to the best of the maker’s knowledge and belief and shall thereafter be open for inspection by the court or its designated representative, and by the designated representative of other law enforcement agencies of the District of Columbia, of the following matters:

(1) the full name and address of the person for whom the bond is executed (referred to in this subsection as the “defendant”) and the full name and address of his employer, if any;

(2) the offense with which the defendant is charged;

(3) the name of the court or officer authorizing the defendant’s admission to bail;

(4) the amount of the bond;

(5) the name of the person who called the bondsman, if other than the defendant;

(6) the amount of the bondsman’s charge for executing the bond;

(7) the full name and address of the person to whom the bondsman presented his bill for the charge;

(8) the full name and address of the person paying the charge; and

(9) the manner of payment of the charge.

Whoever violates any rule or regulation prescribed under this subsection shall be fined not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01] or imprisoned not more than six months, or both, and if he is a bondsman shall be disqualified from thereafter engaging in any manner in the bonding business for such period of time as the trial judge shall order.


(July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 637, Pub. L. 91-358, title II, § 210(a); June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 283(d), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 23-1108.

1973 Ed., § 23-1108.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01]” for “not more than $500” in (b).

Cross References

Penalty for perjury, see § 22-2402.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 283(d) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.