What to Expect When You Call a Bondsman

Bondsman MargieHow Bail Bonds Work

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No one ever expects to be on the receiving end of an outbound call from the jail.  In a matter of minutes your head starts to spin. Not only are you trying to process the idea that someone you care for has been arrested and needs your help, you’re trying to figure out how this whole “bail bonds” thing is going to work.

Our clients are often surprised to learn that most of the people who call us have never been in this type of situation before.  And while they generally expect the bail bonds process to be as complicated as it is scary, they quickly learn that hiring a bondsman isn’t nearly as intimidating as they thought it would be.

When you call a bail bonds company, the agent will start by asking you to provide them with some of the basics.  They’ll ask when the defendant was arrested, which jail they’re being held at, if you know what their charges are, if you have any information about the circumstances of the arrest and how much their bail is.  If you don’t know all of that information it’s OK, the bondsman will be able to find the defendant in the jail’s online system.

From there you’ll need to start the bail bonds application.  With this, the bondsman will ask you to provide as much information as you can about both you and the defendant, including where you live, how long you’ve known each other, what type of work you do, whether you rent or own your home and if you’re willing to sign to take responsibility that the defendant will go to court as many times as needed to finish their case.

Once the application is done, the bondsman will ask permission to get an authorization on your credit or debit card. In the state of California, the cost to purchase bail bonds will be 10% of the defendant’s total bail amount. If their bail has been set at $20,000, you can expect to pay $2,000 to purchase bail bonds.  If you can’t pay the full amount all at once, that’s OK too.  You’ll simply want to ask the bondsman what payment plan options are available.

Once the application is complete and the payment arrangements have been worked out, a bondsman will be sent to the jail to post the defendant’s bail bonds.  After the bond is posted the release time will generally span between 30 minutes (if the defendant is being held at a smaller police or sheriff’s station jail) to 12 hours (if the defendant is being held at the Twin Towers Jail in Los Angeles).  The average release time, however, is generally between 4 and 6 hours after the bail bonds are posted.

For more information on how bail works or what to expect when you contact a bondsman call our office now at 888-224-5266.
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