When a person is arrested and brought to jail, a bail amount is set by a judge that has to be paid for them to get out of jail before their court hearings.
The amounts for bail are usually so steep that it is hard for most ordinary people to afford on their own. This is why they get the services of a bail bondsman and get a bail bond.
A bail bond is a form of surety bond that you get through a bond agent to secure a person’s release from prison without having to pay an arm and a leg. This also makes the bondsman responsible to pay the court the entire bail amount if the defendant fails to show up during his hearings.
This is why bail bond agents charge a bail premium for their services. Bail bonds in Oklahoma City cost 10% of the full bail amount. Sometimes, a co-signer or collateral will also be required by the bondsman.
It is important to choose the right bond agent to entrust your loved one’s release from jail and the money that you are paying for it.
Here are a few things you should look for in a bail bond agent:
One of the best ways that you can check if the bail bondsman that you are talking to is legitimate is to check out his credentials. He should be licensed by the State’s Department of Insurance, the Better Business Bureau, and their local Department of Criminal Justice System. If you do this, you will be sure that the state acknowledges the bondsman as a proper bond agent that is legal to issue bail bonds in your state.
There is nothing like a bond agent’s good recommendations to sway you into choosing to get their services. If you don’t know anyone who has gone through a bail bond process, you can always ask your lawyer or the detention officers who frequently deal with the bond process.
The best types of bail bondsmen are upfront and honest about the fees that they will charge you for their services. They adhere to the state’s regulated premium amount and inform you of any other charges that you may have to pay and why. You will know the bond agent is a scam if they try to give you a discount for the bond premium. This amount is set by the state and is illegal to change.
Also, any other conditions that the bond agent may set for the defendant as a condition for the bail bond should be clearly stated and explained. These are conditions like reporting regularly to the bond agent or keep steady employment. It is important that the bondsman makes sure these are understood by all parties and are put down in writing.
Before you choose a bail bond agent, you should first read and understand the terms of the contract. The good professional bondsman should be able to explain to you everything that is stated in the bail bond agreement so that you know what you are getting in to.
If they require collateral, they should be able to provide you with enough time to pay off the bail bond before foreclosure if bail is forfeited.