8 Steps to Finding a Bail Bondsman and Understand the Bond Process
Have you or someone you care about been arrested? Are you looking for bail bonds? Do you feel overwhelmed and pressured to handle everything quickly? While the pressure is understandable, you need to realize that a bail bond is a legal agreement, and if you rush into it, you may not be entirely prepared for the consequences of that decision. Therefore, to make your choices a little easier, you can follow these eight steps to finding and securing a bail bond.
1. Familiarize Yourself with the Process
While the bail bond process is not particularly complicated, it is still necessary that you are familiar with your responsibilities and the obligations of the bondsman. A bail bond is an agreement between the court and your bondsman, which allows you or your loved one to be released from jail for a percentage of the bail amount with the promise that it will be paid in its entirety if you or your loved one fail to appear for the court date. The bondsman agrees to this risk because you agree to pay a fee, typically 10% of the bail amount, and you put up collateral to cover the rest. If you or the person bonded do not attend the court hearing, then the bondsman will collect on the collateral. Also, bounty hunters will probably be brought in to find you or the accused and return you or them to jail.
2. Understand the Fee Structure
As stated, most bondsmen will require a nonrefundable fee of 10%. Therefore, if the bail amount is set at $15,000, then you would need to pay the bondsman $1,500. The bondsman uses that fee to provide assurances to the courts and thereby accepts the risk of posting your bail.
3. Locate a Bondsman Online
There are many bail bond agencies. Unfortunately, the number of existing companies can make the decision process more challenging. Therefore, you can try to narrow your focus by searching for bondsman online and reviewing their overall ratings and reviews with clients.
4. Ask for a Referral
If your online search is not helping you select a bail company in Macomb County, then you can search for a referral from friends, family or legal professionals. You lawyer may have recommendations, but you might be able to ask the court for companies they have worked with successfully before.
5. Research the Bail Bondsman
Next, you will want to do a little research into the bond agency. There are associations, like the Better Bail Bureau, that grade bail bond companies on an alphabetical scale to make your decision slightly more manageable. Also, you can ask when a company was established and if it is family-owned. Typically, when a bond company has been around for a while, it speaks to a level of professionalism. Additionally, family-owned operations that have been in business for a while tend to have a reputation in the legal community.
6. Ensure They Have a License
Every bail bondsman needs a license to operate. Ask any potential bond agencies to show you a copy of their current license. Also, ask if their license has ever been suspended or revoked. Most agencies will happily provide this information along with an explanation of their past suspension.
7. Interview the Bondsman
You should interview all potential bond agencies. Ask about how long they have been in business, their fee structure, any special conditions and your obligations to the bond company.
8. Review the Contract
All information pertaining to fees and your obligations are likely covered in the contract. However, don’t hesitate to ask questions and make sure you read and understand the contract before signing.
The bond process is not complicated, and finding a bondsman does not need to be difficult. Contact All American Bail Bond Agency, a bail bondsman in Macomb County, for more information and assistance by calling 586-770-7411.