What Should I Know Before I Contact a Bail Agent?
When you have a loved one who’s relying on you to bail them out of jail, you can post bond directly with the court if you have the cash available to do so. But if the judge set your loved one’s bail quite high, and you can’t afford to pay it on your own, you’ll need to work with a bail bond agent to get them out of jail quickly.
Before you reach out to a bail agent, it’s important to ensure you’re properly prepared with everything you need to secure a bail bond. You’ll need to know several pieces of information about the defendant and how much it costs to get a bond, as well as what you can expect after you bail your friend or loved one out of jail.
Read on for everything you should know before you contact a bail agent.
Five Key Pieces of Information You Need to Get a Bail Bond
To secure a bail bond for someone who’s in jail, you’ll need to know several important details about the person you’re bailing out, where they’re being held, and what the charges against them are. Before you contact a bail agent, make sure you have the following pieces of information handy:
- The full name of the person you’re bailing out. You’ll need to know the full first, middle, and last name of the person who was arrested. Make sure you know the proper spelling as well.
- The defendant’s booking number. Every inmate gets assigned a booking number when they’re processed into the jail. If you don’t know this number already, you can call the correctional facility where the accused is being held and ask for it.
- Where the defendant is being held in custody. You’ll need to know the name of the jail, as well as the city and county in which it’s located.
- What the defendant was charged with. When you call to get the inmate’s booking number, you can also ask for the accused’s charges if you don’t already know what they are.
- The bail amount set by the judge. For the bail agent to provide you with the best bond option for your needs and situation, you should know exactly how much the defendant’s bail costs. If you’re unsure of the amount, you can inquire with the jail.
Lacking any of the above pieces of information will only slow down the bail bond process, so it’s in your best interest to gather all of these details before you make the call.
What Else Should You Know Before You Contact a Bail Agent?
Aside from knowing details about the defendant and his or her case, it’s critically important that you understand what you’re getting yourself into by cosigning a bond agreement. Becoming someone’s indemnitor is a serious matter that may come with financial consequences if you’re not careful. Here’s what you should know.
Bail Bonds Aren’t Free
When you work with a bail bond agent, you must pay that individual for the service he or she provides. How much must you pay? That depends on where the judge set the defendant’s bail (which is why you need to know the bail amount before you call). Generally, you’ll end up paying a nonrefundable premium of about 10% of the total bail amount.
You May Need Collateral
In addition to the fee you must pay to secure a bail bond, the bond agent may also ask you to provide collateral as a guarantee. This can typically be anything of considerable value, such as the title to a vehicle, jewelry, or the deed to a property. At the conclusion of the defendant’s case, your collateral will be returned to you, provided the defendant shows up for all required court appearances.
You’ll Be Signing a Legally Binding Agreement
To get a bail bond, you must sign an indemnity agreement, and that’s non-negotiable. That agreement makes you financially liable for paying the full amount of the defendant’s bail should they violate bail by failing to appear in court as ordered. If the defendant violates other conditions of their bail agreement, those violations may also render the bail bond forfeit.
Need a Bail Bond in Dallas or Tarrant County?
If you need to bail someone out of jail fast, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Just Bail Bonds in Arlington, TX. Over the past 25+ years, we’ve helped thousands of people with their bail bond needs, and our licensed bond agents are available 24/7 to help you too.To get started or learn more, give us a call today at 817-303-3400 (Tarrant County) or 214-495-1363 (Dallas County). Or feel free to contact us online, and we’ll be in touch promptly.