Chris Derby has been a bail agent for a little over 10 years, but he did not decide to open his own business until April 2018. Since then, Fatboyz Bail LLC has become one of the fastest growing businesses in Jackson County.
It was just by chance that Derby got into the bail business. He was pursuing a liberal arts degree at Northeast Alabama Community College and was in the middle of working on the year book for that school year.
He was scrolling through the Alabama state job link website, and he came across a job opening for a bail agent. Derby said something just told him to go fill out an application, and he started the next day.
Derby said there is nothing else he would rather do. He feels like bond agents are the first line of defense to help people when they get out of jail. Derby said they have helped a great number of people get off drugs while in the bail business. He has seen so many families destroyed by drugs, and he said he hates to see when people are unable to help themselves.
“I love it,” said Derby. “I wouldn’t change it.”
Derby explained the bail process, and he said it can be stressful at times. If someone is driving drunk and he or she gets arrested by the Scottsboro Police Department, they will likely be charged with driving under the influence. Bail would be set at $1,000.
Fatboyz would sign and execute an appearance bond, and the defendant would be released from the city jail on bond. Fatboyz requires its clients to check in weekly just to make sure they are doing what they are supposed to be doing.
The defendant would then go to court. Fatboyz would charge 10% for the service they provided to the defendant. The state also has a $35 bail fee for each separate incident. If the defendant does not go to court, the state would come after the bonding company for the full face value of the bond plus the court costs. Derby said that would equal about $1,137.
“I feel pretty confident that we do a good job,” said Derby. “We try to every day.”
Fatboz has an extensive contract for defendants. The defendant is required to give references, all addresses, tattoos, and anything that would help Fatboyz track them down if need be.
Derby said they had a defendant last year lead them on a two-month chase through three states. He said he has seen so many things on the job, and he has a great deal of stories but most of them were not safe to publish. He said being a bond agent can be stressful but rewarding.
“It’s basically an adult babysitting service for people who can’t stop breaking the law,” said Derby.
Derby said business has been amazing since he opened the business last April. He said Fatboyz was on track to double what they did last year.
Fatboyz Bond LLC can be reached at 256.609.6996.