Sometimes the people we care about make poor choices and end up in trouble. Police officers in the United States make more than 10 million arrests every year. So there’s a high chance of someone you know getting arrested.
When your friend or relative goes to jail, you can get them out by posting their bail.
But what happens when you don’t have enough money to cover the amount set by the court? You go to a bail bondsman to borrow the money on behalf of your loved one in jail.
Learn how to find a bail bondsman in your area and the different types of bail bonds available below.
Common Types of Bail Bonds
Before you speak with a bail bondsman, it helps to know what options you have. Here are the 3 common types of bail bonds you can use.
Cash bonds refer to when you provide the entire bail amount owed with cash or a money order. You do not finance the cash through a bail bond agency, but get it from your own finances or those of the person in jail.
The court holds onto this cash bail until the case concludes. Then you receive the full amount back as long as the accused appears in court as required.
Friends and family members can post cash bonds.
Property bonds refer to when you use a piece of property or a property’s value as collateral for the bail amount. Often the property’s worth must equal more than double the actual cost of bail.
Not every state allows property bonds, so be sure to check with an attorney before you suggest it. You may also need to get the property appraised before the court accepts it as collateral.
If the released person fails to appear in court as required, the court may foreclose on the property.
Finally, if you and your loved one in jail do not have enough money to cover their bail, you can apply for a surety bond. This is the type of bond you receive through a bail bondsman or bail bond agency.
The bond agent will interview both the jailed person and the person guaranteeing repayment of the bond (you). The bail bondsman then provides a contract laying out the terms and conditions of the loan. Be aware that the conditions vary from agency to agency.
If the person does not appear in court, the bail bondsman takes on the liability of paying their court fees, but then you lose whatever you put up as collateral for the bond.
6 Smart Tips on How to Find a Bail Bondsman
Now that you understand the types of bonds you can get, you need to know how to choose a reliable bail bondsman.
Use the following 6 smart tips to make the decision easier.
1. Know the Total Bail Amount
You need to know the total bail amount before you start talking to any bail bond agencies. The judge sets bail according to the severity of your loved one’s crime. The judge also factors in if they pose a flight risk.
The sooner you know how much your friend or relative owes, the sooner you can pay it.
2. Ask for Suggestions from Detention Officers
A great place to start looking for a bail bondsman is to ask the detention officers in the court. They work with many different agencies and know the best ones around.
Detention officers may also offer you suggestions about how to get the bail amount lowered alongside some tips for appearing in court.
3. Speak to A Lawyer
Another person you should speak to before deciding on a bail bondsman is the jailed person’s lawyer.
Defense attorneys often work with bail bond agencies as well and can tell you the best one to contact. They may even help you get a reduced fee when borrowing from a bail bondsman.
4. Ask About Their Fee
You should always ask about the fee charged by the bail bond agency in exchange for the bond. They commonly charge you 10% of the bail amount.
Many states outlaw surety loans and commercial bail bondsmen. Those states include Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Nebraska, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
5. Avoid Bail Bond Agencies Offering Super Cheap Prices
You’ll come across some bail bond agencies offering much cheaper prices than others during your research. Usually, they don’t have as much experience or offer less reputable services than businesses with higher fees.
If a bail bondsman charges fees of 5% or less, you may want to reconsider. You get what you pay for in this situation and may get into trouble if they operate illegally.
6. Read Reviews Online
Finally, you should read reviews of the bail bond agency online. Even if you spoke to them and they seemed nice, they may not provide services in the same way.
You can expect a few bad reviews for any agency like any other business. So try to only choose a bondsman with mostly positive reviews.
Find the Best Bail Bondsman in New Smyrna Beach, Florida
Now you should better understand how to find a bail bondsman and the importance of choosing the right agency. Too many untrustworthy bail bond agencies exist only to take advantage of you and your loved one during this difficult time.
Are you looking for a reliable bail bondsman in New Smyrna Beach, Florida? Look no further than Alliance Bail Bonds.
Alliance Bail Bonds has operated for more than 25 years and has locations across Volusia County. You can contact them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get help posting bail.
Contact Alliance Bail Bonds today for a trusted partner that will help post bail the right way!