When you find yourself in a legal situation, you may have the option of posting bail to stay out of jail for the trial period.
Sometimes, it is not you who is involved in the case. It could be your family or friend.
However, you may still be the one who is expected to bring part or the full amount to post bail. If that happens and you cannot raise the amount, it is a big headache.
Unfortunately, the amount required to post bails is really high. They are not the kind of cash you will find lying around. Fortunately, you can get help from bail agents also called bondmen.
They can help you to settle the bail by taking a small percentage of the entire amount. The percentage can be as small as 8% and it can also be up to 15%.
There are several bail agents and you can find one in your area. Although they all seek to help you get your freedom by helping you to post bail, their services may differ in some aspects.
You will find several bail bond services that have been designed for your convenience. You can find an agent that will promise to offer 24 – hours bail bonds. Others promise affordable bail bonds and several others.
When the court determines that is required to post bail, the defendant or someone who is raising the money on behalf of the defendant will contact the bail agent.
When you contact the bail agent, you will be required to provide information on the place where the defendant has been kept in custody. You should at least know the name of the city, and the name of the jail.
You will also need to provide the full name of the defendant and the defendant’s booking number. In some cases, it will be difficult to provide the booking number, the bail agents can help with that is you are unable to.
You should also know the bail amount since bail agents need to have an idea about it. They need this information to tell you exactly how much you will need to pay to post a bail bond.
Bail agents are usually insured by insurance agencies who sign to pay the full bail amount if the defendant does not show up for the mandatory court appearances.
The bail agent then collects a premium from the defendant or whoever is representing him or her. The bail agent may also request for collateral from the defendant. This collateral is used to insure the bond agent.
If the defendant does not meet the requirements of the court and the agent ends up paying the full bail amount, they can liquidate the collateral to cover the cost.
The value of the collateral is usually equal to the amount required to settle the bail. The collateral may include real estate, cars, credit cards, bank balance, jewelry, bonds, and stocks.
The bondsman is expected to make sure that the defendant attends all mandatory court appearances. This means they need to keep track of court appearance dates and send timely reminders to the defendant.
When the defendant fails to do so, the bail bondsman can contact a bounty hunter to track down the defendant. Hiring bounty hunters are illegal in some states but where it is legal, bail agents can use them.