If you had a loved one arrested, they might have a bail amount set, which is the amount you need to pay the court to allow them to be released before their court date. If you can't pay this amount, they will either remain in jail, or you can get a bond from a local bail bondsman. Here is the basic process required when getting a bail bond.
Visiting a Local Bondsman
The first step of the process is to find a reputable bondsman in your area. Depending on where you live, you might have just one within driving distance, or several to choose from. Most bail bondsmen will be open extended hours, often 24 hours a day. They understand that you might need to bail out your loved one in the evening or over the weekend, so they frequently work extended hours to help you out. Once you have found the bondsman, you will continue with the process.
Family Pays the Bond Deposit
The bondsman will require a fee to be paid in cash for the bond, which is usually a percentage of the full bond amount. So if the bail is set at $15,000 and the bondsman charges 10 percent as a cash deposit, you need to pay them $1,500 in cash before your loved one can be released from jail. Once you deliver the cash, you also need to provide them with collateral. This gives them extra security so that you pay the full bond amount at a later date if it is necessary. You also sign a document stating you are responsible for your family member and that you will ensure they show up for court.
The Defendant Arrives for Court
Your loved one will be informed of their next court date, which they must appear for. If they fail to do so, you might be responsible for the entire bail bond amount. If you don't have the money for the remaining amount, the bondsman has a right to your collateral, whether it was a car or property you own. This is why it is so important that they arrive for court. If not, the bondsman is going to send a bounty hunter to collect them and have them sent back to jail.
Family is Released from Bail Responsibility
If they arrive for their court dates with no issues, the judge will typically exonerate you of your bail bond amount. You won't get the cash deposit back since it is not refundable, but you will no longer be responsible for the remaining bond amount.
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