Finding out that a friend, roommate or family member has been arrested can be one of the most gut-wrenching thigs you’ll ever experience. You know you want to get them out of jail fast, but if you’re like most people, you have little to no familiarity with how bail bonds work.
If you hop online or open up a Yellow Pages you’ll see dozens of listings for bail bonds agencies. How do you know where to begin?
Some people will start by calling every company they can get a phone number for to ask about cost. If you can negotiate the price of car, can you haggle to get a better price for bail bonds? The quick answer to this question is no.
The cost to hire a bondsman is set according to state law, and all companies are required to charge their clients the same rate regardless if the defendant was arrested in a small rural town or a big metropolitan area. The big difference is how companies help clients get from point A to point B.
Do you need a payment plan and if yes, how flexible can the bondsman be with the down payment, monthly payment amounts and the length of the payment term? Will you need to pay in cash or can you use a debit or credit card? Will you need to pay an application fee, credit check fee or finance fees? These are all important questions to ask.
Will the bondsman allow you to complete the bail bonds application remotely or will you need to stop everything you are doing and drive into their office? If the defendant was arrested late at night, or if you live far away, you may want to hire a bondsman that can help you with online Bail.
Lastly, you’ll want to ask yourself if you get the sense the person you’re talking to genuinely cares about helping you through this difficult situation. If it feels like they’re more interested in getting their hands on your money than getting the defendant out of jail, it’s OK to hang up and take your business elsewhere.