Darryl’s Bail Bonding

by Tonya Dixon | November 11th, 2011
Darryl’s Bail Bonding

Steve Edwards and Bobby Harris (Photo by Howard Gaither)

A typical day for Darryl’s Bail Bonding owners, Steve Edwards and Bobby Harris consists of researching, making calls to remind people of court dates as well as devoting significant time going to the local jail to write bonds. Time is also spent at the courthouse petitioning judges in an attempt to recoup money lost due to defendants not appearing in court. On those really tough days the bondsmen have to suit up and take it to the streets looking for bail violators.

Edwards and Harris admit they only spend about 30 percent of their time conducting business related to the job. The rest of their day is spent, virtually, however they want to spend it. Nevertheless, both men understand the success of the business is solely in their hands. As the business’ primary employees the income doesn’t continue to stream if they don’t continue to work. “Bail bonding will let you know what type of person you are. There are no set hours. You really have to be discipline because of bail bonding, the biggest part of my day is spent trying to decide what to do with my free time,” says Harris. “And my time is very valuable to me.” They walk a very thin line of working hard and playing hard.

Both men agree they were attracted to the business because it allowed a very flexible schedule as well as a lucrative return. More importantly, they believe they provide a necessary service to the community. Although some bail bondsmen are often known for resorting to the use of marshal law, and sometimes viewed with disdain and mistrust at best, honest bail bondsmen like Harris and Edwards understand they are bound by certain rules and regulations and make every effort to follow them. Edwards submits that he, along with this partner, is able to reunite families and give people their freedom back. He recounts various scenarios in which his line of work becomes a saving grace for citizens. For example, being issued a traffic citation is usually never considered worthy of jail time, but what happens when an individual forgets about the ticket, does not pay the fine or appear in court on the appointed date. A warrant is issued for the person’s arrest, unbeknownst to the law abiding citizen. At any given moment an officer could arrive at the individual’s residence to carry out the warrant and proceed with the arrest. The individual is perplexed. To avoid spending time in a jail cell a bail bondsmen has the ability to provide the means for the person’s release. Edwards says it’s a scenario that could happen to anyone, and Darryl’s Bail Bonding is able to work through those type tough situations.

The co-owners originally led completely different professional lives, but both came to a cross road in which change was not just an option, it was an absolute necessity. Prior to Sept. 11, Edwards, a former marine, was a successful restaurateur. He owned several lucrative Pizza Huts. He had just purchased a $400,000 home. His income provided the means to live a fairly comfortable life, one in which he had become accustomed. Needless to say, his business and life was turned upside down following the horrific, tragic events on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Every aspect of American life was disrupted and Edwards was certainly no exception.

“When the twin towers went down, I pretty much went down too,” he said. “No one wanted to do anything anymore. No one wanted to go out and spend money. My businesses were failing. I was used to living off a certain amount of money and I couldn’t do that with a traditional job.”It was during that time of lack and uncertainty that Edwards was approached by Darryl of Darryl’s Bail Bonding regarding working and possibly purchasing the business.

Virtually during the same time Harris was surprisingly laid off from his job as a manager of a trucking company. Immediately, he realized his life and circumstances had to change and would never again be the same. “I said that I would never again work to make someone else rich,” Harris said. “In reality, no matter how much money they pay me, they will always make that much more and they call the shots. So I decided I was not going to take a job just because a job came to town. I decided that it was time to invest in my greatest asset–me.”

Harris knows and understands the blessing he received when he was presented the opportunity to co-own the bail bonding business, but it’s just as important to understand his background and upbringing to fully appreciate the journey. The ninth child of ten, Harris and his family lived in Thomasville, N.C. in a one bedroom house. They eventually “moved up” to the projects (in reality, Harris says it wasn’t much better than what they previously lived in but at the time he thought it was better). He remembers his dream during that time was to hopefully graduate from high school and “score” a job at Thomasville Furniture Industry, locally known as TFI. His reality and station in life conditioned him to believe his future consisted of only what he was able to see. The life he now leads is in stark contrast to what he saw as a child and teenager. Harris is now involved in various other enterprises, including BH Investments, BMJ Family Services, Naturally Rich Coffee and mixed martial arts. His business successes have allowed him to travel the world, experience other cultures, be a part of million dollar real estate ventures and sit in the company of great men and women. He gives credit for his impressive journey from lack to abundance to God. “The thing that motivates me is God,” he says. “Without Him I am nothing. So once I realized my spiritual wealth the doors of opportunity started opening for me.” Harris also pays sincere homage to his mother Wyona Harris who raised six girls and four boys all of which grew to be productive, law-abiding citizens. “It goes to show you anybody can make it through any hardship,” he says. “All you have to do is apply yourself.” Edwards adds, “It’s all about how hard you are willing to work.”

It has been 11 years since Harris and Edwards joined forces. Early on, the team was fortunate to garner in excess of 75 percent of the local bail bonding business, since then the market has become saturated with bondsmen. Nevertheless, they are still considered one of the top bonding agencies in the area. They advise anyone interested in the business to weigh their options and have at least $25,000 saved for a rainy day, because as Harris puts it, “it is going to rain.” The enterprising duo is grateful for the community support they receive and intend on expanding Darryl’s Bail Bonding into even more states. They currently have other offices in North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia.

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