We know how complicated bail bonds can seem, especially when you’re forced to learn about them during a stressful period. We’ve seen your situation before: a loved one makes a bad decision and finds themselves locked up in jail. You want to get them out of jail, but when it’s time for the bail hearing, you’re confused, nervous, and just heard the judge say a number far more than you can afford.
What are you going to do in such a terrible situation?
First, calm down and understand that there are people who can help you sort out these situations, so you can have your loved one back home safe and sound.
Secondly, familiarize yourself with what exactly bail bonds are.
What is bail?
To understand bail bonds, you’ll need to understand what bail is. Bail functions as a promise or agreement that the defendant will return to court if they are freed from jail in criminal cases. By posting bail and paying the full amount, you thereby agree to uphold that promise for them, and that your loved one will arrive for each court date.
If your loved one, the defendant, shows up to every single court date, your money will be returned to you, minus a small fee. However, if they miss even one court date, the bail money is considered forfeited. There may even be further fines added on, as well as more charges brought up for failure to appear. It is very important that you make sure your loved one goes to every single court date.
How is bail determined?
Often, counties will have their own laws and regulations that determine bail based on the crimes, but during a bail hearing, judges will have a lot of say in the finer details.
Things such as previous criminal charges or the accused being deemed a flight risk can result in a higher bail. It may even be denied altogether. In some cases where it’s a first offense, the defendant is deemed unlikely to flee, or the charge is minor enough, the bail may be lessened or waved away. However, this is not common and should generally not be expected.
What is a bond?
A bond is an assurance by either a bail bond company or bail bondsmen to the court that they will take on the responsibility of paying the bail as a third party if the defendant does not show. They usually have close connections with the jail and can often help get your loved one out faster, though it’s not a guarantee.
Contacting a bail bond agent is often your best option when you cannot afford the full bail amount. Instead of trying to gather $10,000 or more, you only pay 15% of the total amount of money as a fee to the bail bonding service. This fee is non-refundable, but it comes with the guarantee that your relative won’t have to remain in jail for the entire proceedings.
What do I do when I call a bail agent?
When you’re calling a bond agency, there are a few things we recommend you have prepared.
- Name and Birthdate of Arrestee
- City, State, and Jail holding Arrestee
- Date of Arrest
- Bail Amount
These four things will help your bail bondsman understand the situation at hand. Having less information is alright, but the more information you can provide then the smoother the process of getting your loved one out of jail will be.
You will be expected to pay the fee upfront, but in most cases, you can work with your bond agent to determine how to pay – cash, credit card, or even property.
If you or a loved one needs assistance from a bail agency right this moment, please feel free to contact us at 24/7 Bail Bonds. Our bail bond agents are known for their quick and courteous customer service. We know the range of fear and stress our clients are under, and do our best to keep them informed on their options and all the ways they can help their loved one. We serve a vast range of counties throughout Southeast Georgia, and are open all hours of the day.
If you have further questions, we recommend reading through our frequently asked questions page.