Here is a brief rundown of what you need to know before posting bail with a bail bond agent.
Before you call a bail bond agent, it’s important to have a few pieces of information on hand. Here are a few questions you need to be prepared to answer to move the process along:
- What is the full legal name of the person in custody?
- What is the booking number of the alleged offender?
- Where is the person you are bailing out being held? (City, state, jail.)
One of the most important questions you can ask is how much the bail costs. If the defendant was unable to tell you, you can easily call up the jail and ask. Otherwise, a bail bond agent will be able to figure it out by doing the same.
On the Call
When you know the answers to the above questions, it’s time to call Bail Hotline to bail out your friend or family member. Note that you can pay bail several ways, such as using a bondsman, posting cash with the actual jail or court, or even with property (a home, lot, etc.). Based on the cost of the bail, the collateral you need may vary.
Here are a few questions to ask your bondsman right away:
- What is your premium? The premium is how much the bond will cost you. Typically, the premium costs an additional 10 percent of the bail amount. At Bail Hotline, for instance, a $10,000 bond will cost you $1,000.
- What happens if the defendant skips court? This question is crucial because it’s your money at stake. If the person you bailed out using a bond does not make the required court appearances, the best move is to call the bondsman immediately to discuss options.
- Can the defendant leave the area? Typically, people out of jail on bail bonds are not able to leave the state or country. There are exceptions, however. If the court instructs that a defendant is unable to leave a certain area, he or she has to get permission from the jail or court. Otherwise, ask the bond agent.
- What do you take as collateral? The collateral a bail bond agency accepts varies on the company, though most agencies will accept the following: Real estate, cars, credit cards, bank account information, jewelry, and stocks and bonds.
Things get more complicated if the defendant is re-arrested or some other crime is committed. These questions are important to ask since you are the one paying the premium, though, and Bail Hotline is more than ready to answer any questions you have about bail bonds and the process.