When a loved one calls from behind bars, one of your first questions will probably be how to get them out of jail. In most cases, those accused of crimes are offered bail. Bail is a monetary payment meant to back up a promise to return for later court dates. Bailing out a loved one can be a simple matter, but what if they are located in an entirely different state than your own? Read on to find what your options might be to assist your loved in being released from jail from across state lines.
Can They Bail Themselves Out of Jail?
Depending on your loved one's assets, they may be able to make bail without your help. Bail can be thousands of dollars, and the amount is based on the criminal record of the accused, the crime that they are accused of committing, and many other factors. If, however, your loved one has enough money on their person when arrested or if they can have someone (like you) bring the money or property to the jail, they might be released on bail.
Using a Bail Bond to Gain Release
The number of people that are able to produce the multi-thousands of dollars needed to post bail is few and far between. That is where bail bonding agents come in. When the bail is set so high that defendants cannot afford it (and it almost always is), bail bonding offers those who need their freedom an alternative. A bail bond can be secured by paying only a portion (or percentage) of the full bail amount. The percentage charged varies from place to place and can be anywhere from 5% to 20% of the bail. The bail bonding agent forms an agreement with the courts and promises that the defendant in question will return for the court hearings. This is known as a surety bond.
Bailing Out Long Distance
Bail bonds can be obtained over the phone as long as you are willing to take a few extra steps. You may need to provide a credit card number over the phone and then electronically sign the bonding agreement. You may also need to send a photo of your identification (driver's license) by email to the bonding agency. Some bonding agencies will only accept payment by wire (Western Union, etc). Not all bail bonding agencies deal with out-of-state customers, so you may need to phone several before you hit pay-dirt. Allow a bonding agent to get your loved one out of jail so that they can get started on proving their innocence.
Learn more from a company such as ABC Bail Bonds.