5 Questions to ask a Bail Bonds Agent before Hiring Them!
When you or a loved one has been arrested, your first thoughts revolve around getting out of jail as quickly as possible. You may secure your release or the release of a relative or friend by making use of professional bail bond services. Before you sign a bail contract, which is a legally binding agreement between you and the bail bond company, you should identify what five questions to ask first and what it takes to hire a bail bondsman.
How Fast Can You Secure a Person’s Release from Jail?
Out of all of the questions you want to ask, perhaps the one that is most important to you is how fast can the bail bond company get you or your loved one out of jail. The California bail bond process can take a bit of time and might even require a day or more to secure a person’s release. However, it will occur before the person has to go to court for a hearing or trial. The timing will depend on the law enforcement process as well as the terms of the person’s bail bond charges in California.
How Can I Better Understand the Bail Bonds Process?
Before you sign a bail contract, you want to make sure you understand the process to hire a bail bondsman first. A California bail bond company will take the time to explain the terms of the contract to you. You will know how much the bail will cost and what fees you will have to pay in addition the money being fronted for your or your loved one’s release from jail.
The bail bonds company will also explain if you need a co-signer or collateral and what will be expected of you after you are bonded out of jail. One of the requirements of bail bond charges in California, for example, could involve showing up to all of your court dates. Failing to show up on time or as scheduled could result in you having a bench warrant put out for your arrest.
Is Your Agency Licensed?
Anytime you use professional bail bond services, you want to be sure that the agency is licensed by the appropriate state and federal entities. It would not be out of line for you to ask to see proof of the agency’s California Department of Insurance license or certification. This licensing demonstrates that the agency has passed all of the necessary criteria to operate in the state and has secured the appropriate bail bondsman license.
The bail bondsman with whom you contract also should have a professional bail bondsman license issued to him or her. Before you sign the contract, you should ask to see proof of the license for your own peace of mind.
Is Your Agency Listed with the Better Business Bureau?
Like any other business, a bail bonds company can be listed with the Better Business Bureau. Its standing is influenced significantly by how well it serves its clientele and with how much integrity it operates on a daily basis.
When you want to do business with a reputable agency, you may prefer to seek out one that is listed and has a good rating with the BBB. You can ask for the agency’s BBB credentials prior to signing any paperwork.
What is the Percentage You Charge for a Bail Bond?
Another important question to ask involves how much of a bail percentage the company will charge you. The percentage can be influenced by factors beyond the agency’s control. For example, the California Department of Insurance might recommend a bail percentage to ensure the agency’s own safety and integrity.
Most agencies charge around ten percent on each bail bond it issues. This percentage allows the company to make money and recoup losses it might incur when bailing people out of jail. The percentage should be clearly listed in the contract you will sign with the bail bondsman.
Securing bail or bond to get out of jail involves signing a legally binding contract. Before you put your name on the dotted line, you want to get as much information about the bail bonds process first. These questions can help you understand what will be expected of you as a bail bonds client.