If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor and sent to jail, you may be allowed bail. If you don’t have the required amount, you will need to approach a bondsman. The bondsman will provide a surety to the court on your behalf, promising to pay a specified amount if you do not appear in court when asked. The court releases you against this surety, so you can resume your life till the court decides your fate.
How Do Bail Bondsmen Operate?
The bail bondsman acts as your surety, which means that if you do not appear at the court on the dates of hearing, the bondsman agrees to pay the monetary penalty equivalent to the amount of the bail. In case, the court invokes the bond, the bondsman can move legally against you to recover the amount. Conventionally, the fee bail bondmen charge is 10% of the bail amount for state charges and 15% for federal charges. The fee is non-refundable even if you are proved innocent, says the Attorney At Law magazine. Depending on your risk profile, the bondsman can ask for collateral. Some tips on finding a reliable bail bondsman:
Referral from Your Lawyer
If you have a lawyer you can trust, you can ask him to give you the contact details of a reliable bondsman you can approach for help. Even if you don’t have a defense attorney, it is probably a good time to get one to fight the charges against you. Since defense lawyers work with bond companies regularly, they will surely know of some bondsmen in your area who are prompt and reliable. Getting a referral from a lawyer means you have a better chance of being approved by the bondsman and you may also get better terms.
A Bail Bond Agency
Taking on a private bondsman may make you nervous, which is why you can consider a professional bail bond agency like Castle Bail Bond with the resources and staff to handle your case efficiently. Since these agencies have better connections with the court, it makes the surety processing speedier and more of a certainty. When you are stuck in jail, quicker processing of the bail bond is welcome. Going through a professional agency also eliminates the risk of being scammed by unscrupulous private bondsmen.
You can go online and check out the reputed bondsmen in your area. By looking at the online reviews, you will get an idea of their reliability and choose to contact a person with relevant experience, responsiveness, and good testimonials.
When looking out for a bail bondsman, you must only look at those who operate in your area as they need to be familiar with the local judicial system and have the right contacts for speedy processing of the bail bond. You must also check whether the person or the agency has the necessary licenses to operate in your state. Despite your urgency to get out of jail, you must understand their fees and read the fine print of the contract you are signing, so you know what you are letting yourself in for.