After an arrest, the court judge will decide if you are eligible for bail during the bail hearing, also known as an arraignment. During the arraignment, the judge looks at your criminal record if there is any history, references your defense attorney has been provided as character witnesses, and determine your flight risk. If you are not a flight risk (risk of running and not appearing for court) you will be provided with a bail amount you must pay to be released from jail until your trial or next court date. If someone close to you can’t pay the full amount of bail, a bail bond can be acquired which only requires 10% of the bail amount to be paid, as a fee to the bonding company.
The Bail Bondsman
Your bail bondsman should not be taken lightly. This person and their company is helping you get released from jail early, so it is vital that they be researched. Proper licensing must be verified, and the person should be reputable in your community. Since there are probably several bail bonds companies in your vicinity, this is helpful to make sure you have chosen the best one.
How to Find a Bonding Company
The first step to finding a bonding company is doing a simple search for ones in your area. If you already know of some you have driven past, go ahead and write down their name. You can also do an Internet search for bail bonds in your city and state, and then compile a list of them. Get names from all local ones, being sure they are all open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (most are). With this list, you can begin doing your research on different bonding companies. If you have known someone get a bail bond previously, give them a call and ask who they used.
The Importance of Proper Research
Research is essential when it comes to choosing a bonding company for your bail bond. Believe it or not, they are not all created equal. Start by making sure they have a current and valid bail bonding license. This is the main criteria for a bonding company to operate legally. Next, look on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website to make sure the bonding company does not have any negative marks against them, such as going against the contract or attempting to get more money than what the law requires. This company is helping your loved one get out of jail on bail, you don’t want to just choose the local bonding company and call it a day.
User Reviews and Testimonials
Another way to find out if a bail bondsman is a reputable agency, look up online reviews and testimonials. These should be read with an open mind, however, as these reviewers are under no obligation to prove who they are and what they went through with the bonding company. But it is a good place to check, aside from verifying the licensing for the bonding company. Especially if you are having trouble choosing the right one.