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3 Important Things to Consider When Searching for a Bail Bonds Company
In the US judicial system, bail is a set amount of money that acts as insurance between the court and the jailed person (otherwise referred to as the defendant). Defendants have the option to pay their bail in cash, but because bail is typically set at a high amount, there are huge numbers of people that cannot afford to do this. This is why defendants often have to seek help from a bail agent, or bail bondsman, who posts a bail bond for them.
A bail bond is a type of surety bond that secures a defendant’s release from jail. The surety can be thought of as a type of financial credit known as a bond guarantee. The transaction itself must involve three parties: the obligee, the principal, and the surety.
Essentially, a surety bond protects the obligee (the party to whom the bond is paid in the event of a default) against losses, up to the bond’s limit, that results from the principal’s (the party with the guaranteed obligation) failure to perform its obligation. Consequently, the surety, the bail bonds company, assumes the obligation if the principal cannot do so.
In the immediate aftermath of an arrest, navigating the bail bonds industry can be overwhelming at first. There are lots of rules, regulations, and laws that can complicate matters as far as securing a loved one’s release is concerned. Accordingly, having the right bail bonds team behind you can make a huge difference. So, let us discover 3 things that can help clarify which bail bonds company might be best for you.
Make Sure a Bail Bond Is Right for You
It might seem intuitive, but you should always check that bail is actually required after an arrest. For instance, if you are arrested for a serious crime, the authorities will not release you from custody unless they are confident that you will show up in court for all required hearings and your trial. However, if you can show that you are not likely to run away and have substantial contacts in the community that require you to stay in the area, the court can release you on your own recognizance.
It is therefore only defendants who are not released on their own recognizance that will usually pay some amount in bail. If you cannot afford to pay the amount required, the court will accept a bail bond. In these instances, working with a local bail bonds company is usually for the best. For example, if you are based in Southern California, Riverside bail bonds companies in your area can be found quickly and easily online. Just remember that it is also possible to use physical assets as collateral, such as real estate, stocks, and bank accounts, and therefore working with a bail bond company can help you plan your next steps.
Pay Close Attention to Any Fees
When working with a bail bonds company, you need to be informed of all costs clearly and concisely. Remember that a bail bond is a lot like a loan in the sense that it must be paid back. You, therefore, need to be certain that you are making the right deal. Correspondingly, comparing bond options provided by a few different bail bonds companies in your area can also help you make sure that you are getting the best possible bond arrangement.
When trying to get yourself or a loved one out of jail, the last thing you want is to work with a cheaper or inexperienced service, but that is not to say that there is no money to be saved. As with any financial matter, look for firms with good track records and a solid reputation before making any monetary agreements. Again, this is where being certain that bail is the correct option for you is vital.
Customer Service is Key
Do not lose sight of the fact that bail bonds companies are providing a service for paying customers. You should be treated with professionalism and courtesy at all times – from your first inquiry to the day that your bond is paid back. When interacting with bail bond companies, come ready with questions and concerns and use any responses to determine whether the company is committed to providing a quality service.
If you are lucky, you might only have to experience working with a bail bonds company once, and therefore there are many processes that need to be completely understood. Seek out a bail bonds company that is patient and understanding. If they genuinely care about your cause, they will be more than happy to go above and beyond to put your mind at ease at every step of your journey.
Ultimately, when searching for a bail bonds company, you must do your best to track down a legal services provider with a proven track record. Above all, try to shortlist any bail bonds companies that are quick to communicate and show a genuine interest in your case. By doing plenty of research, you can make the best possible decision for your specific financial circumstances.