Getting a bail bond is going to be necessary if you have someone close to you with bail, but aren’t able to pay for it upfront with cash or a credit card. A bail bond lets you get them released right away, as long as you can cover a percentage of the bail amount – usually 10%. This is a fee to the bonding agent for their services. Here is some info on the bail bond process if you have decided to go this route.
Finding a Bonding Company
Once you have decided to get a bail bond for bailing someone out of jail, you will first need to find a reputable bonding company. Chances are,you have multiple options in your local area. Many cities have 3-5 just in their city alone, much more for larger metro areas. Instead of just choosing the one closest to you, do a little research to find one that has an excellent reputation. Make sure they are properly licensed as a bail bond agent.
Bringing Documents and ID
After you have found the bonding company, you will need to visit their office and bring documentation and your I.D. You need to know the name of the person in jail, along with what jail they are in and the crime they are being charged for most likely. Have a collateral ready if the bonding agent requires one, as well as 10% of the bail amount. This is required by all bonding agents, regardless of who they are. If you don’t have this amount, there is a chance they will work out a payment plan with you.
Filling Out Paperwork
The next thing you need to do is fill out the proper paperwork. The bonding company will require you fill out paperwork that makes you the co-signer of the bond, also known as the indemnitor. You are signing a contract stating you promise to make sure this person will arrive in court, otherwise they get a warrant for their arrest. The contract and paperwork also states the 10% you are putting down for the bond is non-negotiable and non-refundable, regardless of what happens with their case. This is the fee to the bonding company for their services and it must be paid.
After the paperwork is completed, the bonding company will contact the courts for the person’s release from jail. At this time, it is up to both of you to keep in contact with the bonding agent about the state of your release and future court dates. Typically, the person is released within a couple hours. However, if it is during a weekend, it might take a little longer.
The bail bond process is a short one and can be done within a few hours. But after you get the bond, both the person released and co-signer need to remain in contact with the bail bondsman. If you, as the co-signer, change your mind and decide to cancel the bond, contact the bond agent about your reasons.