Posting bail is one way for a defendant to get out of jail while waiting for his court trial and hearings. However, not everyone can afford to make this payment especially when the amount reaches four digits. Under these circumstances, the defendant’s family or friends can post bail for him. In case they cannot afford the amount either, seeking help from a bail bondsman can help.
A bail bondsman is a professional that writes a bond to the court after the defendant’s party pays him a premium of around 10-20 percent of the total bail amount. The agent will agree to post the bail in order for the defendant to get out of jail, and just wait for the hearing schedules in his home. Before the agreement, he may also require the family or friends to obtain other collateral such as electronics, jewelry, real estate and other assets.
The main goal of the bonds agent is to make sure the defendant gets out of jail after he posts the bail. However, an equally important goal is to ensure that the defendant will appear in all court hearings for his case. Some agents call or message the defendants from time to time, especially when there is a scheduled hearing. In some cases, the agent would hire security personnel to keep an eye on the defendant.
Seeking the professional assistance of a bail bondsman might be the only way for a defendant to get out of prison while waiting for trial. If you know someone who is in the same situation, here are some things you need to prepare before contacting a bonds agent:
- Name of the defendant – the bonds agent can easily access files and locate the information about the defendant. But without the complete name, doing this will be difficult.
- Name and place of jail – take note of the jail where the person was booked. Oftentimes, the bonds agent will set a meeting here.
- Booking number – this is the order that placed the defendant behind bars.
- Charges pressed against the defendant – different charges have different bail amounts. Once you provide this crucial information, the agent may be able to provide you an estimated amount for the premium.
- Bail amount as set by the court – the bail is the amount of cash the defendant needs to pay to get out of jail before a court decision has been made.
- Any possessions that can serve as collateral – personal belongings and property may be considered collateral. This will be helpful in case the defendant does not show up on trial and the bonds agent would need to pay for the penalties.
These are the important details that you should prepare before calling a bonds agent. Meanwhile, looking for a bail bondsman is easy, but you should also ensure that he is a trustworthy and reputable person.
Both experience and personality are important in choosing the bail bondsman to handle the defendant’s case. You may check online, or browse bond agencies to know more about prospective agents.