Can You Afford Your Loved One’s Bail?

It's the phone call no one wants to receive. Getting your loved one or friend released from incarceration is important and bail is probably the only means to do so. Bail, unfortunately, can cost a lot of money. Since the amount is based on the seriousness of the crime and the defendant's record, the amount can vary but it is often several thousand dollars. Read on find out how you can help your loved one even if you don't have enough money to pay the bail.

What is a Bail Bonding Agent?

These companies are often located near correctional facilities and work alongside the justice system to bring about the release of inmates on bail. With bail being so expensive, these agents form a contract with the jail or courthouse. Bonding agencies are a business so they use their reputation and resources to pledge the full amount of the bail. In most cases, they never actually pay any funds to the court system unless the accused fails to comply with the bail conditions. Bail bonding agencies act as a go-between to secure the release of the accused and a gives the court system another form of insurance that bail conditions will be met.

Working With a Bonding Agent

Once you know where your loved one is and the price of their bail, contact a bonding agent. It's vital that you work with an agent located in the same city or area where your loved one is being held. The fee for using a bonding agency varies and is always a percentage. For example, if the full bail charged by the court to gain release is $5,000, the bail bonding fee will be $500 if the bonding agency charges a 10% fee or premium. The fee you pay is non-refundable, even if your loved one complies with all bail conditions. In some cases, the bonding agency asks for additional collateral. That means you must provide something that is worth at least as much as the full bail payment. Most people use vehicle titles or real estate deeds as collateral to secure the bond. If your loved one appears in court and the case comes to an end without incident, the collateral is returned to you.

Instead of spending your precious resources on bail, save it to help your loved one mount a defense. Speak to a bail bonds agent to find out more about gaining your loved one's release from jail.