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Understanding The Bail Bonds Process

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Working with a bail bonds company or bondsman to get out of jail or get someone else out of jail is not difficult, but there are some things you need to know before you call a bondsman. The bail bond process can be started quickly, but there are some things that have to happen before anyone can be bonded out and some rules to follow once they are out of jail. 

Getting Started

When you are arrested for a crime and taken to jail, getting bailed out may be the priority, but a bail amount needs to be set before that can happen. In some cases, the infraction you were arrested for may have a standard bail amount set already, and you can call a bail bonds company and have them start the process. 

Other times, there is not a set bail amount, and you will have to be arraigned before the bail is set. This process involves appearing in front of the judge, and after a few questions, the judge will more than likely issue a bail amount for you. Once this has happened, a bondsman can come to the jail and pay your bail, but they need to be sure that you will return and appear in court, or they lose the bond money.

Some bondsman will require some form of collateral or a co-signer to guarantee the bond, and often, the collateral needs to be liquid assets so they can recover their losses quickly. Most bail bonds companies need a cash amount of at least ten percent of the bond to consider paying the bond or something of value that covers the bond. 

Houses and other properties that are hard to sell quickly are not the preferred types of equity that the bondsman is looking for. Be prepared to offer cash, bonds, stocks, or other items of value that can be liquidated easily.

After Release

Once the bond is paid and you are released from jail, the bail bonds company will require you to check in with them regularly. Depending on the crime, they may require you to call daily, weekly, or at some time in between. Do not miss these check-ins, or the bondsman may revoke your bail and return you to jail. 

Once you are out of jail and awaiting trial, you can not do anything that will get you in legal trouble. The bail bonds company will go over the rules with you, and if you do not follow them, they will put you back in jail. When your court date arrives, appear in court and you will have satisfied your bail. 

Keep in mind that if the court case goes on for several weeks or months, you are still on bail and must maintain the agreement until the case is final.