When a family member or close friend gets in trouble with the law, your phone might soon be ringing with a request to post bail. Although many people will quickly make arrangements to put together the bail money, rushing into this situation can be risky. If you don't know the person as well as you think or there's a risk he or she isn't reliable, you'll quickly find yourself in an unpleasant situation. A better option is to tell the family member to contact a local bail bonds company for help. After getting some information from you, the company's representative will begin the process of getting your contact out of jail. Before you agree to anything, here are three important questions to ask.
How Soon Do You Expect The Person Will Be Out Of Jail?
An experienced bail bonds representative, upon learning some of the details of your contact's arrest, should be able to provide you with an estimate about how long the process will be until the person is released. Hearing this answer not only helps to show you that the rep is well-informed, but can also contribute to your peace of mind -- especially if you don't have any previous experience with someone close to you being arrested.
What Percentage Do You Charge?
It's common for bail bonds companies to charge a fee of 10 percent of the total amount of the bail that was set by the judge. This fee is non-refundable, but still represents much less than you'd have to pay for handling the bail yourself. Given that this number is the industry norm across multiple states, it's important to deal only with a company whose fee doesn't exceed 10 percent. If you're quoted more than this percentage, you're getting a clear sign that you're dealing with an unscrupulous agency and it's best to take your business elsewhere.
Do You Work With Local Attorneys?
When you're already going through the process of helping get someone close to you out of jail, the last thing you need is to begin looking for an attorney who will handle the person's case. Many bail bonds companies have close working relationships with area attorneys and can put you in contact with someone experienced the handle the case. Although you don't have to feel obligated to hire the attorney who's recommended, this advice provides you with a valuable starting place that can help the person in your life who's landed in trouble.
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