A Checklist For Evaluating Bail Bonds Options
If you have never had to secure bail bonds, then you are fortunate. If you have had to do it, it may seem as though it was stressful, but if you reflect, you will realize that if you had had more information, the process would have been a lot easier. It can be very straightforward once you know what to do. Usually, when you go to a bondsman, they ask you several questions. You should be prepared to answer them in a way that makes you appear most qualified for help. You must know the defendant's government name, offense, and the amount for bail as a starting point.
Run Options By Your Criminal Defense Lawyer
Have you not chosen your criminal defense lawyer yet? Do that first, before beginning this list. The lawyer will help you evaluate options, and they may even be able to refer you to someone at a discount. Most of all, they will help you stay organized so that you can avoid some of the potential pitfalls of taking out a bail bond, such as missing court dates or signing a predatory bail bond contract.
When you go to a bondsman, s/he has to evaluate the risk of the defendant. For high bail amounts or serious charges, collateral will be required if you expect the bondsman to secure the bond. If no collateral is available, then the bondsman may use his discretion. S/he may try to work out a payment plan. So, before you go to a bondsman, ensure that you have collateral and if not, be willing to accept a payment plan. Some persons may be considered a flight risk so bondsmen may be unwilling to risk securing a bond for such a person.
Signature and Required information
If the bondsman agrees to secure the bond, a contract will be signed. It can take up to 10 minutes to go through all the pages. Names of the signer, defender and their contact information are required. You will also need to provide references. You should have this information handy before going to a bondsman. Repayment plans will be included in the contract. Once everything is agreed and signed, then someone representing the bondsman will post bail.
In a state where there are many bondmen, the choice may not be as obvious. You can obviously shop around as all have the same service offerings. You should choose someone who has experience in the industry. This person may or may not have testimonials but they should at least have some sort of accreditation by a Bureau. The bondsman should also be able to meet your needs. S/he should be able to offer some advice and walk you through the process. You may be eager to bail your loved one out of jail, but you also need to make the right decision doing so. You want to be comfortable and confident that the bails bond decision you made is the best.