You’re a law-abiding citizen, but that doesn’t mean your loved ones are.
What happens when a loved one ends up in jail? This happens all the time to unsuspecting family members who call on you for help to get them out.
Fortunately, the justice system sometimes gives the option for inmates to wait for the judge or post bail. If you find yourself in this predicament, then you likely have more than a few questions regarding the bail process.
We put together this quick guide covering the most frequently asked questions about posting bail.
What’s the Process of Bailing Someone Out of Jail?
The first step of the process is the booking. Once your friend or family member is booked as an inmate, a bail is set. You can contact the correctional facility to find out the amount. Afterward, you’ll need to find a professional bail bond agent.
And this will begin the bail bond process. The purpose of the bail bond agent is to solicit and negotiate bail on behalf of a surety insurer. In most cases, the process doesn’t take long. It can take a few hours, depending on the time of day and whether the jailhouse is busy.
What’s a Surety Bond?
You’ll come across this term as you begin looking around for a bail bond agent. A surety bond is another term for a bail bond. This releases the inmate from jail even when they don’t have the full amount.
Someone must post the bail on behalf of the inmate, such as a friend or family member, who contacts the bail bondsman.
Is There Anything I Should Know Before Contacting a Bail Bondsman?
Sure, there are a number of things you should know before you attempt to hire a bondsman and post bail. This information will help to speed up the process, so be ready to have the following answers before you make contact:
- The location where the individual is in custody (city, state, and correctional facility name)
- The individual’s full name, birth date, and booking number (your bondsman can get this for you if you don’t have it)
- The amount of the bail (your bondsman can also provide this information)
What Do I Have to Pay to Post Bond?
Under the contract of a surety bond, the principal must agree to give up his right to extradition if he or she leaves the jurisdiction. So once the freed inmate crosses city/state boundaries, then they can get hauled back to jail.
Normally, the fee for posting bond is 10% of whatever the bond amount is. So if the court sets the bond at $1,000, then you’ll have to pay $100. However, if your loved one has to go to federal court, then it increases to 15%.
You have to pay the percentage upfront before the jail will release the inmate.
What Are My Options for Posting Bail?
Now, there are several ways you can post bail to release your family member from custody. The first option is to use the aforementioned bail bondsman.
Another option is to take the full amount of the bail to the court or jail. If you choose to go this route, you won’t be able to pay just a percentage. This option is only available through a bondsman.
Some folks opt to use their home, lot, or other real property as collateral for bail. But if none of these suit you, then you’re at the mercy of the judge allowing the defendant to leave on their own recognizance.
Once the Case Is Settled, Do I Get My Money Back?
The fee you pay the bondsman (10-15%) is non-recoverable. This is what released the defendant from custody. Also, if your loved one gets arrested again after being released, then you will not get a refund.
But if the bondsman fails to do their part of the contract, then you’re entitled to receive a refund.
Is It Legal for the Defendant to Leave the State or Country While Out on Bail?
If your loved one wants to leave the state, then you need permission from the bonding office. And the permission has to be in writing.
However, if the court states the defendant is not allowed to leave the state or country, then you need permission from both the court and the bondsman. If the defendant leaves without permission, he or she is subject to arrest.
What Type of Collateral Can I Use?
Say you’re in a financial rut and don’t have the cash to pay the bail bondsman. In this case, you have the option to use your assets as collateral.
Here’s a quick list of the acceptable items you can use:
- Land, homes, and buildings
- Stocks and bonds
- Personal credit
- Bank accounts
- Credit cards
What Are the Consequences of Breaking Bond Terms?
Once you post bail with a bondsman, you’re required to follow the terms of the agreement. And if you break these terms, you may have to pay the full amount of the bond, plus legal fees.
Within the agreement, you have to reimburse the surety for any fees associated with enforcing the obligation.
Collateral assets are normally a part of the agreement. You lose your assets if their claim is successful. However, they’re only allowed to take up to the amount of the bond.
Your Get Out of Jail Card
Having a reliable bondsman you can rely on in times of emergency is crucial. Now, there are various bail bonds agencies out there, but not all are trustworthy.
Some charge a little higher than others. And some have terms that are unreasonable. At Bail Man Bail Bonds, we specialize in helping individuals get out of jail quickly and affordably.
When your loved one goes to jail and needs to get out ASAP, then don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our bondsmen will work quickly to obtain the release of your loved ones.
Get in touch with us today to see how Bail Man can post your bond fast.