If someone near or dear to you is arrested, you may find yourself in the position of needing to post bail before you can get them out of jail. If the magistrate or judge is unwilling to allow the arrestee to bail themselves out on personal recognizance, you may need some help posting the cash bail set by the court. In these situations, you may want to reach out to a bail bondsman in your area who will reach a financial arrangement with you to get your loved one out of jail immediately.

Five things to know about bail bonds:

  1. Have the information that the bondsman will need. The bondsman will need to know exactly where the arrestee is, the name of the jail or institution, as well as the precise time that they arrived there.
  2. You have to wait until the arrestee has been processed. The bondsman will be unable to bail out your loved one until they have been fully-processed. This involves paperwork, fingerprinting, and perhaps meeting with a magistrate, which can take hours typically.
  3. You may need a cosigner. You likely will be asked to sign over collateral for the bondsman to post bail, depending on how much bail is set. If your loved one doesn't show up for court, you could lose your collateral as well as any payments made toward bailing the individual out of jail.
  4. There are payment options available. Most bail bondsmen will work with you to figure out payment arrangements that are feasible and that will allow you to get your loved one out of jail quickly.
  5. You are responsible for the defendant. Just because you bailed them out doesn't mean your job is done; you are responsible for seeing that the arrestee shows up for their subsequent court date. Read the paperwork carefully at the jail before signing it, as many charges may also carry bail conditions. These are restrictions that are put on the individual during the time they wait to go to court, related to alcohol, driving, or criminal activity, and that you agree to not facilitate or condone.

If you are unable to post bail or come up with the money that you need to get someone out of jail, a bail bondsman is a pragmatic option. These businesses will basically post the bail for you, after you have made arrangements and signed a contract with the bail bond company. Take these arrangements seriously, as whoever signs the contract with the bondsman is responsible for the person being bailed-out which includes getting them to appear for a subsequent court date. Failure to show up in court as required can result not only in loss of bail money or collateral but an arrest warrant for the person that you bailed out as well. 

For more information, contact a local company like STAT Bail Bonds LLC.