A bail bondsman is the last person you and your loved ones would ever want to deal with during your lifetime. But we cannot foresee what can happen in the future, and we cannot really guarantee ourselves that we will never come across situations that make you locate a bail bond company.
Do you know that according to the statistics, more than half of the American men’s population get arrested at least once? So now, even if you are trying to convince everyone, including yourself, that you will never need a bondsman, it is still better to be aware than be sorry in the end.
#01 The Bail System
To better understand the role of a bail bondsman to you at the time of arrest, you first need to understand how the bail system works in general. When you get arrested for an offense, your case is generally forwarded to a judge to review your case. Depending on where you got arrested, and the pressed charges against you, he will set a bond that must paid for the ability to temporarily get out of jail. The judge would generally give you several options to settle the bond, such as paying in cash, cashier’s check,money order, or through a bail bondsman.
The set bond should be settled by yourself or representative to the court, which will be returned to you after the case has been closed. The returned bond is usually net of court fees and costs, and is returned back to you whether or not you win the case.
#02 The Bail Bondsman and His Company
Bail bond varies in wide ranges, depending on how serious your offense is, and where you got arrested. When it is a minor offense and the bail amount is manageable by yourself and your family, you can certainly settle your bond by yourself.
However, most especially in more serious charges, the bail amounts can be tremendously high, a bail bondsman can come into the scene and rescue you. A bail bond company basically loans you the amount you need to be released, and you would need to pay them the premium which is usually 10% of the bail amount and is non-refundable.
#03 Get a Legitimate Agent
Make sure that you’re not dealing with a fly-by-night company or agent, by ensuring that they have their license number which is registered to work in the state that you got arrested. The bail bondsmen’s license numbers are usually posted on their business cards and legal documents, or ask them directly. You can verify the validity of their licenses through the State’s Department of Insurance website.
Increase the trust factors of your agent by checking the following:
– They have a physical office
– Their company name can be validated in Better Business Bureau or similar body
– They were recommended by a friend or relative to you
#04 They Will Ask for Collateral If Your Bail Is High
When you pay your bond through the bail bond company, they will be responsible for the full amount of your bail. If getting you out of jail requires a huge amount, these companies would usually ask for collaterals to the loan. Most bail bondsmen accept land and condo titles, vehicles, stocks, grants and the likes to serve as your collateral for the loan to be released. If you make them pay for your entire bail by not appearing in any court hearings or skipping the town, they will repossess your collateral.
#05 They Will Put You Back in Jail When You Try to Skip
The bail bond company is taking responsibility for your release when they pay the bail on your behalf. Therefore, you are bound by their terms of service and any breach of the agreement will give them the power to bring you back to jail.
The most usual requirements are:
– not to skip any court hearings
– let them know of your whereabouts, and
– keeping the communication lines open.
Remember that these bondsmen are licensed by the state you got arrested, and they have the right to exercise hunting you down when you skip, through a bounty man, and bring you back in jail. And when you skip, it automatically loses your right to any of the collaterals that were posted for your case.