Getting a release on bail is often your saving grace when you're arrested and charged with something. You might be issued a bond for something as small as shoplifting or as serious as a felony charge. When you're pushing for a release from jail, working with a bail bond agency will help you. Here's what you need to know.
Verify the legitimacy of the bail bond companies that you are shopping with
Check with your state's chamber of commerce when you're trying to find bail bond agents that are reputable. Look elsewhere if the company poses any red flags, such as asking for immediate payment in full, or if their license doesn't appear in bail bond databases. Any bail bond contractor that you decide to do business with should furnish their license number and seal.
Consider the laws of your state as well. For example, in many states, bail bond agents are legally forbidden from making recommendations on legal representation. You can trust your bail bond company when they practice within the letter of the law and offer sound service.
Determine the bail bond amount and consider your funding sources
You'll receive a bail amount from the magistrate after your bond hearing. The amount of your bond depends on the crime you're charged with, whether you can be relied upon to appear in court and if you have a job to return. A felony DUI might constitute a bond of $50,000, for example.
Paying surety bond allows you to simply fork over a premium and have the bail bond agent foot the rest. With cash bonds, you can pay the full amount out of your own bank account. Property bonds let you put up a deed to real estate or a vehicle as collateral.
Make sure your money is well spent as you go through the legal process
Do your part in honoring your bond agreement. If you arrange for release with the help of a bail bond agent, they'll stay on top of you to make certain that you meet all of your court dates and other demands. This upholds the agreement and makes sure that you don't lose any additional money.
Each state caps its bail bond rates. For example, you'll typically pay about 10 percent of the bond amount as a premium if you are arrested in California. The more clearly you uphold your end, the more straightforward your legal process will go.
Start working with the best bail bonds agency that you can find.