How to Find a Reputable Bail Bondsman
Finding out that someone you know has been arrested can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you’re angry and embarrassed but also concerned. Your top priority is likely finding the fastest way to get the individual out of jail. Bail in California can often be too much for most people to afford. That is why finding a reputable bail bondsman is so important. The right bondsman can help you with your situation 24-hours a day and ensure that the process goes quickly and smoothly.
Bail bond agencies are licensed and regulated through the Department of Insurance which sets the bail bond fees. In most states, the bail bond fee is equal to 10% of the defendant’s bail amount. You should be leery of any agency that says they are willing to negotiate or promise you the “lowest rate in town.” A good bondsman will tell you your costs up front
One of the best ways you can look into a bail bondsman’s reputation is by checking with the local Better Business Bureau. You will be able to see the company’s rating (A+ through F) as well as any complaints that may have been filed against them. When contacting bondsman, ask if they are listed with the BBB and what their grade is. This will help you in making your decision of which bondsman to use.
When you call to speak with a bondsman, ask them to explain the bail process to you, even if you are already familiar with it. A dependable bail agent will be thorough and take the time to answer your questions and walk you through the steps in getting a bail bond. Bondsmen understand that the more you know what to expect along the way, the smoother the process will go. All of the paperwork should be gone over so that you know what each form means. The professional bondsman will also make sure you know what your responsibilities as a cosigner are before you sign the bail bond contract.
As the cosigner of a bail bond, you are agreeing to be financially responsible for the contract. That means that, if the defendant refuses to go back to court after they’ve been released, you be responsible to help the bondsman return the defendant to court. For this reason, it’s important for you to be confident that your loved one will return to court and face the charges against them.
The bail bond process can be overwhelming for anyone who doesn’t deal with it every day. It’s important to find an agent whom you can trust in your time of need. By knowing what to expect, locating a bail bondsman that has a solid reputation is easy. When you find a professional agent, the process will be much easier for you to handle and your loved one will spend as little time in jail as possible.
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- Pam in Santa Barbara