If you or a family member gets arrested, your world has been turned upside down. You are stressed out, frightened and you need to do something fast. The problem is that a quick online search for a bail bondsman can net you hundreds of choices.
So how do you find a bail bondsman that will work with you, especially when you need bail money fast? It’s important to understand what to look for so you can find a company that will treat you fairly and honestly.
What is Bail?
Bail is a process put in place by the criminal justice system that enables someone arrested for a crime to get out of jail while awaiting trial.
The court will determine a monetary amount the defendant needs to pay to get released from jail. There are conditions set for the defendant and he or she must show up at court to get the bail money back.
Because a trial or hearing for a criminal case can sometimes take place weeks or even months after an arrest, posting bail allows a person to get released from jail in the meantime.
The more serious the crime, the higher the bail amount. For less serious crimes, bail can be posted right after the arrest and the booking.
Otherwise, the accused must wait for a bail hearing in which a judge decides if bail is an option and the cost of the bail. This is usually within 48 hours of arrest.
Types of Bail Bonds
There are three types of bail bonds that you can get.
- Cash bonds – paid with cash or money orders
- Property bonds – use a piece of property as collateral
- Surety bonds – contract a bondsman to post bond for a fee
Finding the Right Bail Bondsman
This is a stressful situation but it’s important to research to find a company that can help you. Be sure to find a licensed bondsman accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
You need the bondsman to be available to post bond as soon as possible. Finding a company that offers 24-hour service can get you or loved one out of jail right away.
An experienced bondsman will be familiar with the policies of the local jail. He will know the local law enforcement and have a good rapport with them to get you out quicker.
The court will usually demand that the bail amount be posted before release. A bail bond agent provides the court with a written agreement stating that bail will be paid in full if the defendant doesn’t show up in court.
The bail agent will charge a percentage of the bail amount for their services. You need to find a bondsman that works with you on the repayment fees and lets you know if they need collateral.
The bondsman should be able to answer all your questions concerning the entire bail payment process. If you are co-signing for a family member or loved one, it’s important to know what you will be paying for.
If the defendant doesn’t show up for a court hearing, the co-signer will be responsible for paying the cost for the bail agent to find the defendant.
If the defendant still does not show up to court in a specified amount of time, the cosigner is responsible for paying the total amount of the bond, along with any expenses incurred in the search for the defendant.
Call Us Right Away
It can be confusing and frightening if you or a loved one becomes incarcerated. Finding a bail bondsman that provides expert care and consideration for each and every client can be difficult.
We want to get you or a loved one out of jail and back home as soon as possible. Contact us 24 hours a day, so we can get you the help you so desperately need.