If youve been charged with a serious crime, choosing the right bail bondsman should be treated with the same importance as selecting your lawyer. But how do you know which one of the many out there is right for you ?
Your bail amount you post will depend on the assessment of a judge, who will mainly consider the gravity of your offense and the likelihood that you will show up on set court dates.
Unless the judge views you as a flight risk, you will have two choices: pay off the entire bond or ask a bail bondsman for assistance.
The usual scenario is the bond company will pay a particular percentage of your bail while promising the court, through a written contract, that they will pay off the balance should you fail to show yourself on preset court dates. You will be asked to check in with them every now then as well, as a form of reassurance that you plan to face your charges fair and square to the end. At the end of the process, the court will return the bail amount and the bond provider gets to keep 20% of it, which has been collected beforehand.
Professional 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! Because they know every single policy of the facility, they know exactly how to work their way around. Moreover, they will have solid connections with offices or services that could help speed up your release.
BBB Backing 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 show any, theres a good chance theyre inexperienced and probably even new in the industry altogether. Two other indications of a good bail bond provider are, one, having the support of the Better Business Bureau (BBB); and two, being government-licensed and insured.
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). They will usually run 10% to 20% of the total bond amount. Whats great is that these companies are usually kind enough to work something out so that payment will not be such a burden to you.
Finally, a bail bond company must be available anytime they are needed. The two most critical moments when you will absolutely need them is during the posting of the bond and right before you are released. They also have to be there when you or your family has questions or concerns that need to be addressed.