Choosing the right bail bondsman is equally important as choosing the right lawyer when faced with serious criminal charges. But how do you know which one of the many out there is right for you ?
How It Works
A judge sets your bail amount depending on how severe your crime is and the probability of you showing up in court when necessary.
If you are not considered a flight risk, then you can either pay your bond in full or seek help from a bail bond company.
In general, the bondsman will pay a defined percentage of your bail and make a written promise to the court that they will pay off the balance if you pull a no-show on your court dates. Expect that you will be required to check in with them too, if only to reassure them that you have no plans of hiding from the law. In the end, the bail amount will be returned and the bond company will keep 20% of the full amount, which they have already collected.
Expert Knowledge and Experience
While it appears to be a simple job, knowledge and experience make all the difference for a bondsman when it comes to providing timely results – get you out quick! They will be familiar with all the facilitys rules and regulations, allowing them to work as efficiently as they can. Moreover, they will have solid connections with offices or services that could help speed up your release.
BBB Support and Licensing
The first time you meet a prospective bondsman, immediately ask them to show you a written explanation of their terms. If they cant give you any, that means theyre probably inexperienced or even totally new to the industry. A bail bondsman worth considering is also one that is approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and has a license and insurance.
How Payments Are Made
Your bail bondsman should be direct about the way they do business, the percentage that goes to them in the end, and whether or not they will need you to provide collateral (usually either a car title or a land title). In most cases, they will reserve 10% to 20% of the total bond amount. The good thing is you can usually ask for a special arrangement with the company if you need more flexibility with payments.
Lastly, youll want a bail bondsman that will be there for you whenever you need them. The two most crucial moments when they totally have to be present are during bond-posting and as you are released from jail. Aside from those, they must be helpful with any questions you or your family might have regarding your case.