Bail Bonds 101: What You Need To Know About Working With A Bail Bondsman
When you get arrested, you must go to court for a bail hearing before the trial begins. The judge can either allow or deny a bail agreement. If they agree to release you on bail, you must pay the surety bond to the court to secure your freedom as you await trial.
Sometimes, you might not have the required bail amount and must involve a third party to raise the money. You can engage a bail bond agent to pay your surety bond.
Here's a breakdown of how a bail bond agent can help you raise and pay bail.
The First Interaction With a Bail Bondsman
A bail bond agent will loan you the bond amount after you agree and sign their terms. They will ask you to provide the following information:
- The exact jail where you are detained
- Your full name and booking number
- The total bail amount you need
This information will help the agent process your release faster.
However, you must agree on pricing before the bail bond agent rolls out the payment to free you. Most bail bond agents require a non-refundable fee (usually 10-20% of the total bail amount). They might also need collateral to process the loan.
Once you've agreed on the pricing and signed the contract, the bail bondsman will start the process of getting you out of jail.
The bail bondsman will pay a surety bond to the court for your release. The good news is that you won't need to pay a penny more if you attend all court sessions. However, if you skip court deliberately or flee, you'll have to compensate the total amount the agent pays the court as surety.
If you cannot attend the court hearings and have valid reasons for your absence, you can request a postponement of the court hearing. Send your lawyer to represent you in court and provide all the supporting evidence to show your inability to attend the hearings.
Some of the valid reasons for a missed court hearing include the following:
- A medical emergency for a sudden, life-threatening condition
- A sick child where you're the only available guardian
- A kidnapping
- The death of an immediate family member
- Involvement in a critical motor vehicle accident
Also communicate to the bail bond agent about postponed court hearings. This way, the agent won't have to track you down for missing court sessions.
Your contract with the bail bondsman ends when the court refunds the bail bond to the agent.