Bail Bonds companies are the last people you want to have to call on, but are the ones we rely on the most in time of trouble. Perhaps youve been there, the late-night phone call with a family member who has ended up in jail and needs you to bail them out. How in the world do you do just that? How do you go about getting your loved one out of jail? How do you choose the right bail bond company?
Questions You Must Ask a Bail Bond Company
We sincerely hope you never have to call a bail bonds company, however, if you are ever put into a situation like that, weve put together a few simple questions to ask the bail bonds company you make contact with.
1. How much do bail bond companies charge?
The rate they charge is legally mandated state-to-state. The bail bond company will charge their customers 8-15% of their total bail amount depending on the state. Be cautious of anyone offering a "bargain" rate, it could mean they are operating illegally and not a reputable company
2. How fast can you get someone released from jail?
The only thing a bondsman can control is their part of the release process and paperwork. Most experienced bondsmen should have a pretty accurate time frame of when the defendant should be released. Getting someone out of jail can be a very slow and unpredictable process and being patient during this time is important. The jail facility will always practice safety first and foremost.
3. What is the bail bond process?
A professional bail bond company should be able to explain this procedure effortlessly. Here is basically how the process works:
A. Bail Bond Company will collect some basic and general information regarding the situation in order to assess the risk factor involved in the bond. For example: where is the person being held, what are they charged with, how long have they lived at their current residence, are they employed and if so, where?
B. Customers will need to arrange payment and complete bond documents to include a bail bond application, indemnity agreement and receipt.
C. The bond company will then post the bail and the defendant is released.
4. Are you licensed?
In California, bail bondsmen are licensed by the California Department of insurance and are the only ones legally allowed to negotiate and post bond. It is highly advisable to only deal with bail bond companies who do have a current and valid license and is in good standing with their license. Ask to see the bail agents identification and license before you give them any money and complete the transaction.
5. Where are you located?
In some cases, bondsmen are not in the same state youre in. If this is the case, this could cost you more money resulting in a posting fee, which is when your bondsman may have to pay another bondsman to actually post the bail. To expedite processes and not have to pay an additional fee, find one that is located within a reasonable distance from the jail.
6. What are the responsibilities of the indemnitor?
An indemnitor is someone who has bailed someone out of jail and accepts full responsibility that the defendant shows up to their scheduled court date. If that person fails to appear, then the indemnitor is responsible for helping the bondsman locate them and if they cannot be located, the indemnitor is responsible for the full amount of bail. Most often bail bond issues can be taken care of with a phone call.
7. What if the defendant doesnt show up for court?
A warrant is issued for arrest and the defendant will show up as a fugitive in police bulletins. The bail bond company will attempt to locate the defendant by calling their work, home, references and instruct them to appear for their court hearing. If the defendant cant be located, then the bail bond company may hire a bounty hunter to locate and arrest them.
Just remember that the bail bond process may vary from state to state, however, understanding some of the basic questions will help you make the right choice when you are in a tough situation and may not be thinking clearly.
Al Patel, Bondsman
Free Bail Bond Information, Anytime
Insurance License # 1845933
5220 Clark Ave. Suite #110
Lakewood, CA 90712
(Next to Lakewood Sheriff Station)
Lakewood : 562-866-7666
Cerritos : 562-860-7779
Norwalk : 562-864-7779
Downey : 562-861-7666
Long Beach : 562-435-7666
Orange County : 714-969-7779
Diamond Bar : 909-860-7779
Monrovia : 626-303-5557
La Palma : 714-994-4666
Northridge : 818-837-3777
Santa Monica : 310-576-7779
Cell phone : (562) 572-9935
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Member of : PBUS, GSBAA
"You helped me get bailed out of jail on Friday night. I just wanted to say thank you. It was an awful experience for me, and if nothing else, your kind voice on the other end of the phone in that cell was a tremendous comfort."
- Chrystal in Santa Clarita