Understanding Loan Terms

Understanding Loan Terms

What To Do When You Get The "Bail From Jail" Call

Stanley Simmons

Getting a call from a friend or family member asking for help bailing out of jail can be disconcerting, to say the least. It can also be a very daunting task for those who have never had to navigate the criminal justice system to get someone released from incarceration. If you're in this situation, here's what you should do.

Ask Pertinent Questions

When you bail someone out of jail, you're taking responsibility for them. It's important to understand this because, if the defendant fails to show up for court, you will lose any money you paid to bail them out of jail and may be on the hook for other damages. Thus, there are several questions you should ask before agreeing to help them:

  • What is the charge? Serious crimes, such as murder, require higher bail amounts, and some bondsmen won't take the case if the bail is set too high.
  • Who's prosecuting? Bail for state crimes is handled differently from bail for federal crimes. Federal bail is much stricter and requires special paperwork, and you'll typically need to hire a bail agency that specializes in that type of bond.
  • Do they have a stable life? People who are employed and have connections in the community—such as family and friends—are less likely to flee. You need to be sure this person won't skip town and leave you holding the bill.

Once you've decided you are willing and able to help, you'll need to get some practical details as well, such as:

  • The person's full name and date of birth
  • The case and/or booking number
  • Where they are being held
  • The amount of bail

This information is necessary for making sure bail is paid at the right place and on the right account. If you're using a bail bond service, contact the company to see if any additional info is required.

Shop for the Most Convenient Bondsman

While many courts let you pay cash directly to them for bail, it's best to use a third-party agency to get someone out of jail. The primary reason is that it's typically cheaper. You only need to pay a small fraction (generally 10 to 20 percent) of the total bail amount. The bondsman provides the rest.

The second reason is the company will handle the process of getting the defendant released, so you don't have to deal with all the red tape involved. You only need to shop for the bondsman who provides the services most convenient for you. For instance, many agencies take credit card payments over the phone and online and will email you the contract to sign, so you can do everything from the comfort of your home.

Bailing someone out of jail is a task few people enjoy, but having a local bail agency help you can make the process easier. Contact a company like Steele Boys Bail Bonds to learn more. 


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Understanding Loan Terms

When was the last time you realized you were in the red financially? Although most people don't think about their finances on a day to day basis, it can be easy to find yourself living paycheck to paycheck if you aren't careful. I began thinking carefully about the financial implications of some life decisions I was making, and I knew I had to make a difference. I talked with a loan officer about getting things together, and he was instrumental in helping me to work things out. Read more about my financial successes and failures on this little website. You might be able to avoid some of my previous mistakes.