For the average person hiring a bail bondsman is something you watch happen on Law and Order. It is not something you ever think to look for; nor contemplate even in jest. But sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you find yourself in the position of needing to hire a bail bondsman. Here are some of the things you need to know about the process.
First off you don’t usually have time to shop around for a Bail Bondsman. And you might not even know what it is they do or how they do it. So, let’s start at the beginning. What is a Bail Bondsman? When a person is arrested, they appear in front of a judge. The judge determines “bond” an amount meant to guarantee the person will show up for their next court appearance. If they don’t have the money…they go to a bail bondsman to post it for them.
Since you are incarcerated you will need your friends or family to handle this for you. They will need to check references, or at least attempt to check references on the bail bondsman that they choose. It is important that you find someone who is going to be ethical, responsible and reliable. There will be fee’s involved as well as interest incurred. Be prepared to show credit references, maybe even personal references. Remember they are putting up money to the court to ensure you aren’t going to run. They will want to make sure you aren’t going to be a “flight risk”.
Once you or your family has decided on the Bail Bondsman they are going to use. They should call him or her and explain your situation. Bails Bondsmen are accustomed to being called at all hours so don’t hesitate to call.
The bail bondsman will meet with you either at the court, the jail or if your family is handling it, they will go to the bail bondsman’s office and sign paperwork. What you should realize is that this is a loan and it has to be paid back. The bail bondsman is putting out the money to get you released from jail.
When bail is set at $10,000.00 let’s say. Your bond will be a percentage of that amount. Usually it is around 10% of the bail. For higher bonds, your bail bondsman might insist on some collateral such as putting a lien on your property. This is to ensure that you are not going to skip out on the bail.