When you are trying to secure a bail bond to get a loved one out of jail, the whole process can be confusing and intimidating. For those who are new to bail bonds, you may not know what kinds of expectations are reasonable, or what the best practices are. Before you find yourself making a costly mistake, there are a few things that you should understand. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind as you start looking for a bail bond.
Always Sign A Contract
As with any form of financial commitment, you should always have the terms and the requirements in writing. Signing a contract protects both you and the bondsman. Make sure that any bondsman you work with requires that you sign the bond release contract before they will post bail for your loved one.
Some people shy away from the idea of having to sign a contract, looking instead for a bondsman who will work with them without it. This can lead to some legal pitfalls, though. You won't have anything in writing to protect you and to validate the agreement that you made, which means that you have no way to ensure that you meet the bond terms and keep your loved one out of jail until their trial.
Deal With The Bond Agent In Person
While you can certainly consult with a few bond agents by phone to help you find the one that's right for you, it's best to deal with the bond contract and deposit in person. Handling all of this in person at the bond agent's office helps to prevent any possible misunderstandings. Also, the more you deal with your bond agent, the better the rapport you will build. This is important considering that you will be dealing with this person until such time as your loved one's case is concluded.
Do some research into the local bond services near you and choose one with a good reputation. Then, schedule an appointment and go directly to the bondsman's office to discuss the contract terms and sign.
Make Your Ongoing Payments Directly To The Bond Agent
Securing a bail bond is an important process. That bond is the only thing that is ensuring your loved one's freedom from jail while they await trial. Unfortunately, some mistakes can cost them that bail bond, including mistakes like not making payments properly.
While it may be convenient that your bond agent accepts payments via the telephone, it may not be the best avenue for making your bond payments. When you make payments through an automated telephone service, it is easy to make mistakes and not even realize that you have made them. Whether it's an inadvertent error in your account number or a miskeyed zip code for your credit card, these errors can lead to failed bond payments.
Instead, make sure that you take the time to go to the bondsman's office and pay them directly when bond payments are due. Get a receipt, and keep those receipts on file. That way, you have the documentation of those payments in case there are ever any questions about them.
These are some of the most important things to remember when you are securing a bail bond for a loved one. Keeping these tips in mind and working with a bail bondsman can help to ensure that your friend or family member is released on bail and remains free until their trial. Just remember that you must meet all of the bond conditions in order for him or her to maintain that bond. Otherwise, the bondsman retains the right to revoke the bond at any time due to a breach of contract.