If you have ever had a loved one arrested for a crime, you understand how disconcerting the experience can be. The best thing you can do is prepare for what’s coming, and that means learning what you can about the bail system and how bail bonds work, especially if you cannot afford to pay the entire bail amount yourself. This is what you should know about bail bonds before you call a bondsman.
The Bail Process
After suspects are arrested, they are placed directly in jail. For some cases, the jail has a bail schedule, but other individuals need to attend bail hearings. Hearings typically occur during business hours, but if the jail has a schedule, you may need to pay bail in the middle of the night. Therefore, you may search for a local bondsman who is open during these times, e.g., “24 hour bail bonds Allentown PA.” As long as the defendant shows up to court and adheres to all court orders, you will receive your bail back.
The Bond Process
Your first task should be getting information from the jail. You need the defendant’s full name, booking number and crime, as well as the name of the facility they are in. The jail may require additional information, so call ahead. You will give this information to the bail bondsman
Bail bonds are loans. A bail bonding agency will help you post bail for a nominal fee, typically 10-15% depending on the state. This fee is nonrefundable. The bail bondsman may also require that you put up collateral to cover the rest of the bond. Examples of collateral include real estate, vehicles, jewelry, art, bank or financial accounts, stocks and bonds.
Get the Defendant to Court
If you post the bail or secure the bond, you are responsible for getting the defendant to court and ensuring that this individual adheres to all court orders. For example, the courts typically require suspects to obey the law and stay away from weapons. Courts may also order therapy or courses the defendant needs to complete.
Whether you need a bail bondsman or not, you should know how the court and bail process work. Your greatest tool is knowledge.