You thought it would never happen until you realize it just did. A loved one is in jail after being arrested, and you want to find a way to get him out. If the offense committed is bailable but you have no idea where to get the funds, you can approach a bail bond company. Bondsmen are not all created equal, however, so be willing to do some research to know who’s best for you loved one.
Below are tips that can help you decide on a bail company:
Bail bond companies that work with defense lawyers develop an impressive reputation. Call your defense lawyer and ask for recommendations. If you tell the company that your lawyer referred you to them, they will offer a discount (generally 8%), allowing you to save some money.
Once a judge has decided on a bail amount, the court will typically give you a list of bail bondsmen that you can choose from. Like attorney-referred companies, these bondsmen also have stellar reputations and are always working with the court.
Detention officers can also provide some good bail bondsman referrals, so try to get friendly with them. As they are part of the whole system, they know which companies will be able to help you the most, and they can even suggest a lower bail amount. So yes, treat your detention officer or officers nicely as they can be a friend to your loved one inside.
If you must use a bail bondsman’s services, be ready for the cost, which is about 10%. Yes, that’s a cost you have to pay, but it’s quite small compared to the relief of not having to produce a huge sum on the spot. After the bail is posted, your loved one can leave jail. Not all bail bondsmen have the same fee structures, so do your research and find the one that is most convenient to you.
When you learn about companies with cheap fee structures, you may immediately think they are the best for you. The problem is, they may not have the experience that more reputable companies do. Of course, with enough experience, they cannot have a good reputation. They may be using false advertising to scam people. They may be violators of the law themselves.
Before you pick a particular bail bondsman, check out online reviews on it. These are testimonials of people who have actually worked with the company before, so they can give you an accurate picture of what it’s like based on their own experience. Very importantly, these are people who used to be in the same situation as you or your detained loved one. Just be sure to stick to third-party consumer watchdog websites, rather than marketing sites where most, if not all, of the reviews are fake.