Being arrested and jailed is a frightening and harrowing experience. If a loved one has experienced it, then you want to do everything you can to get them released. Even if they are charged with a crime, they will be able to prepare their defense better if they are at home. To get your loved one released from jail, you will need to contact a bail bondsman.
What is Bail?
For most minor crimes, the court will grant the person charged bail. Bail is an exchange of money or property to secure a person’s release from jail. The defendant must promise to appear in court as scheduled, or the money or property given will be forfeited, and a warrant will be issued for their arrest.
Getting Bail for Your Loved One
Once your loved one has been arraigned before the court and the judge has set the amount of money needed for bail, you can figure out how to raise it. But even if you can put up the money straight away, you cannot simply hand it over to the court. Arranging bail is a specialized process. It involves paperwork and procedures. The only people qualified to carry it out are bail bondsmen.
Choosing the Right Bail Bondsman
The bails bonds business is quite large. You will find a range of companies from which to choose. Not all of them are honest and transparent. Indeed, the industry can be filled with unreliable, unethical, and murky characters. A corrupt and dishonest bail bondsman is the last thing you need, given the strain and stress of your situation.
Here are some tips that will help you choose a solid, dependable, and thoroughly professional bail bondsman:
1. Consider their fees
You should expect to pay the bondsman 10% of the value of the bond, which is a standard charge. Many bondsmen may allow you to pay this money in installments. However, you will need to pay them something on the spot. Your loved one will still be able to leave jail after you have paid this money. In any case, you should always look for bail bonds company that offer good deals and are reasonably flexible in their payment plans.
2. Look for attorney referrals
Full-service legal defense firms arrange bonds for their clients. They will only work with the best bail bonds companies. That is why you should look for companies that are referred to by law firms. Even if your lawyer does not handle bail bonds, they will be connected to a broader legal community and can get you a list of bail bonds companies with which other firms work.
You can also get a recommendation from the court itself. When the judge sets the bail amount, one of the court clerks will often provide a list of high-quality bail bond companies. You can be sure that such companies are reputable and trustworthy.
3. Consult duty detention officers
Detention officers tend to have insight into the bail bonds industry. You can speak to one of the detention officers where your loved one is being held. Detention officers are not the bad guys. They have no vested interest in seeing anyone in their charge locked up any longer than is necessary. Most of them are friendly professionals who will gladly recommend a reliable bail bond company.
4. Avoid deceptively cheap bail bondsmen
Any company that offers an extravagantly inexpensive fee structure should be viewed with suspicion. Some companies advertise a 5% or lower bail fee. Such companies are likely to employ inexperienced and incompetent bail bondsmen. The reason they can offer their services so cheaply is that they do not know what they are doing, and if you hire them, you will waste time and money.
5. Consider working through an agency
You should consider hiring an agency to find the right bail bonds company. Such companies will maintain the confidentiality of your case. Hiring such a company will save you a great deal of effort and stress and will lead to the release of your loved one sooner rather than later.
6. Look through reviews
There are websites dedicated to the evaluation and review of bail bond companies. You should visit such sites. The best companies will get the highest marks, and they will also receive glowing reviews by satisfied customers. However, you should take caution. Some companies hire writing services to post such comments. If the posts all seem generic and use the same kind of style, tone, and language, they are probably fake.
7. Speak to friends
You should reach out to people you know for advice. If one of your friends has been in the same situation, they may have worked with a bail bonds company that helped them through it. The word and recommendation of a friend can bring you comfort and confidence in your choice. Such a connection may also reduce some of the awkwardness of your initial encounter with the bail bondsman.
Doing What is Best for Your Loved One
The news of your loved one’s arrest will frighten and startle you. Once you have had time to process it, you should immediately go to work to secure their release. It is much easier for your loved one to develop their defense at home, in the comfort of family and friends.
Having your loved one out of jail will also make things easier for the defense attorney. The latter will be at a disadvantage if they must with a client in jail. The lawyer will have a limited amount of time to visit with them on each occasion. The lawyer may also need your loved one to visit certain places and speak with certain experts when putting the case together. Companies, like Bail2Go, can help you get a loved one out of jail if they are ever incarcerated.
Your loved one should not remain in jail any longer than necessary. If you have the means to get them out, then you should find the right bails bonds company to secure their release. You want to work with a company with a sterling reputation and a record of customer satisfaction.