A friend or relative has just used their only phone call to contact you. They're in jail, and they want you to bail them out. Before you start to help, there are a few things you may want to understand about the process.
1. Courts Accept Property Deeds
If you can't afford to pay bail in cash, you may be able to give the court a property deed. Some courts are willing to accept car titles or property deeds as collateral. They hold the title or deed until the arrested person appears in court. Then, the courts return the title or deed to you.
2. Bail Bonds Can Help Cover High Bails
When you don't have sufficient property to cover the bail, you may need to turn to a bail bondsman at a company like Absolute Bail Bonds. These professionals cover the cost of the bail in exchange for an upfront fee paid by you. Most states in the country have a private bail bonds system, but in areas like Massachusetts, Maine, Oregon, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Washington DC, you cannot buy bail bonds. In these areas, bail may be more likely to be affordable, but if it isn't, you have to look into other options such as using a credit card or taking out a loan.
3. Bail Bondsman Charge a Percentage of the Bail
In most cases, bail bondsmen charge you a percentage of the bail, and this percentage can vary from area to area and from company to company. Because of that, you may want to check a few different rates. To show how the fee works, let's say the bondsman charges an 8% fee, and the bail is $10,000. In this case, the fee would be $800. Most bail bond companies accept that in check, cash, or credit card, and some may even accept the titles of old vehicles.
4. Bail Bond Fees Are Not Returnable
When you pay bail to the courts, the courts return the bail once the accused turns up for the trial. With bail bonds, it doesn't work exactly like that. Here's the process. You pay the fee to the bondsman. The bondsman, in turn, pays the entire bail to the courts. When the individual shows up for court, the bondsman gets a refund of the bail that he or she posted. However, the bondsman keeps your payment — that is the bondsman's fee for putting up the money.
5. Bail Bonds Offer Some Financial Security to You
When you are paying someone else's bail, you are essentially putting up your money as a promise that the individual will return for court. If your friend or relative flees the country or goes into hiding and doesn't show up for court, you lose money you put up. To minimize your risk, you may want to use a bondsman. Think about it this way. If you put up $10,000 bail at the courts and the individual doesn't show up for court, you risk losing that entire amount.
When you work with a bondsman, you pay the fee upfront, and that's the extent of your financial commitment. Even if the individual doesn't show up for court, it doesn't cost you a dime extra. That's how going through a bail bondsmen can give you a bit of extra peace of mind, especially if you're worried about your loved one taking off. Note that if your loved one doesn't show up for court, the bondsman can have a bounty hunter find him or her and bring him or her to the courts.
If you have a loved one in jail and you want to help, contact a bail bondsman today. They can answer your questions and guide you through the process.