Looking for a local bail bondsman?
When you need a bail bondsman, you don’t want any issues to get in your way. Whether it’s for you or a loved one, you want your bondsman to get the job done fast.
A few tips can help the process go more smoothly. In this guide, we’ll show you the top tips you need to know before working with a local bail bondsman. Keep reading to learn more!
How to Use a Local Bail Bondsman
In most criminal cases, the defendant is given the option to pay bail. This means that the court determines how much money the defendant needs to pay to get out of jail until they have court.
Sometimes, the court sets the bail amount above what the defendant can realistically afford. In these cases, the defendant often hires a bail bondsman to help. A bail bondsman covers most of the bail amount, in exchange for helping make sure the defendant shows up in court.
Types of Bail Bonds
Before you hire a local bail bondsman, it helps to know the kinds of bail bonds that you might be working with.
There are three main kinds of bail bonds. The first is cash bonds, which involves money orders or cash. The second is property bonds. Property bonds use property value or the property itself as the collateral for bail.
Third, there are surety bonds, which are similar to loans. In this type of bond, a bail bondsman pays the court the full amount of the bail. Then, the defendant pays the bail bondsman a percentage of the total amount and gives them their agreement to appear on their court date.
Now, let’s get into some helpful tips you should always use when working with a local bail bondsman.
1. Know How Much Bail You Need
You can find out the total bail amount at the jail. The judge on the case will determine the bail based on how severe the crime was and whether or not the defendant could be a flight risk.
With extremely severe crimes, bail isn’t given at all, but most crimes aren’t considered this severe. For frequently committed crimes, a pre-set bail schedule is used to determine the amount owed.
The sooner you find out how much bail you owe, the sooner you can decide the next steps you need to take. In some cases, the defendant can even ask the judge for a lower bail amount. A lawyer can help you with this.
2. Find Out the Bail Bondsman’s Fee
In each state, the laws determining the fee a bail bondsman can take are different. Most of the time, the fee is about 10 percent. However, commercial bail bondsmen are illegal in some states.
Other states prohibit surety bail bonds, including Wisconsin, Maine, Oregon, Nebraska, Kentucky, and Illinois. If you have questions about bail bondsman fees, ask the court clerk for help.
3. Find the Bail Bondsman
Next, it’s time to find the right bail bondsman to work with. You can search using the phonebook or an online search. You might also find numbers for bail bondsmen at the courthouse.
You should also consider using a bondsman referred by your attorney. Bail bondsmen who work with defense attorneys are likely to do top-quality work. You’ll also often save money with a reduced fee for the bondsman – for example, you might be able to pay 8 percent instead of 10.
It’s always a good idea to hire a criminal defense attorney before your trial, so you might as well hire them before choosing your local bail bondsman. That way, you’ll know that the bondsman you work with has a good reputation since an attorney is willing to vouch for them.
4. Ask Detention Officers
If you’re still not sure which bail bondsman to go with, talk to a detention officer or have your lawyer do it for you. These officers work with a lot of different bail companies, and usually, know which ones are best to work with.
These officers can also help by recommending lowered bail amounts and giving useful advice for court. Make friends with detention officers and you will be rewarded for your efforts with access to their valuable information.
5. Avoid Cheap Bonds
On your search, you’re likely to find some bond companies that offer cheaper fees than others.
It’s tempting to think these cheaper fees will be best, but that’s often not the case. You get what you pay for with bail bondsman, as with anything else.
If you see a company offering fees of 5 percent or even less, they likely aren’t experienced or reputable, which is why they have to offer such low fees to get business. They might even be operating illegally or using false advertising to get clients.
Instead, look for bondsmen or companies that have fees well within the normal range for your state – they are much more likely to be legitimate.
6. Think About Agencies
While looking for the best bail bondsman, you might think about working with an agency. If you do, the company will handle everything you need about your case while keeping your information private.
Agencies can save you a lot of time and stress in the process and tend to have more time to devote to your case since they have more people on staff.
7. Read the Reviews
No matter what, you should always read the online reviews about a local bail bondsman before you hire them.
Online reviews are heavily trusted by modern consumers, for good reason. While some bad reviews are to be expected, look for a bondsman whose reviews are mostly positive.
Do You Need a Local Bail Bondsman?
When you need a bail bondsman, you want the best of the best.
If you’re in the Hollywood area, we can help with your bail needs. Contact us to learn how.