Knowing that your loved one is sitting behind bars is stressful enough, but they may be counting on you to get them out. Bail bonds present an affordable way to get people out of jail quickly so that they can participate in their defense against charges, but the process can be confusing for first-timers. Read on for a quick and easy guide to using bail services and stress no more.
Is bail offered? Not all of those arrested qualify for bail, but a phone call to the jail can usually confirm the possibility of bail and how much is owed. Bail is often offered for those with low-level offenses and for those that do not have extensive records. Bail is a monetary amount charged to ensure that the accused returns to face trial, and the full amount is refunded if that promise is fulfilled. The problem is that bail amounts can be very high and not at all affordable for many people. That is where bail bonding agencies come in.
Get ready to contact a bail bonding company. For a percentage of the cost of the full bail amount you can get your loved one released. The bonding agency will evaluate the arrest, charges, and record of the accused, but to do so they will need to know some information about the accused:
How much will I need to pay? The amount is a percentage of the full bail amount, usually 10-20%. For example, if the full bail amount is $5,000, then you must pay $500 of that to the bondsperson. Be sure to find out what forms of payment are accepted, since sometimes you must pay cash only. If you do not have enough cash, you can often use property to secure the bond, such as real estate or a car title.
Contact the bail bonds agency. If you are located near enough, this contact can be by phone, and then you can arrange to meet at the bonding office or at the jail. If your loved one is miles away, you can usually make payment and release arrangements over the phone.
When will your loved one be released? That depends on how busy the jail and the bondsperson is, but you can expect it to happen in a few hours in most cases.
What happens next? Once released the accused must agree to show up for any court dates and to stay out of trouble. If they do so, you will get any property (surety bonds) back, but any cash paid is not returned. If your loved one fails to appear, the bonding agent can locate them and return them to jail. Bail is not an option for those with a history of failure to appear.
Speak with a friendly bonding agent like those at Rader Bonding Co to learn more.
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