The first hours after getting arrested are stressful and confusing, and you probably want to find the quickest way to get out of jail and back home to your family. Posting bond is often the best option, especially if you cannot afford the cost of bail. Unfortunately, many ways exist that anyone can jeopardize their release throughout the process of posting their bond.
Here are a few common mistakes to avoid if you ever post bail.
Working With the Wrong Bond Company
Depending on where you live, chances are that several bail bond companies want your business. Determining which bond agency to work with can be tricky. Here are a few tips to help you take the stress out of finding a bail bond agency:
- Ask your attorney. In addition to providing you with sound legal advice, your defense attorney is a great source of information about reputable, established bond agencies.
- Beware of inexpensive bonds. Most states have a set percentage that must be paid to a bond agency to secure their client’s release, such as 10 percent. Smaller, less established bond companies will sometimes lower this price, which in many states is illegal.
Choosing a bail bond company with a stellar reputation and a positive relationship with defense attorneys and the authorities can help ensure your release goes smoothly and you are able to rejoin your family much more quickly.
Lying to the Bond Company and the Court
The bond company and the court will ask several questions while you secure bail. These questions are intended to show that you cannot only pay your bail obligations but also are reliable and will meet your obligations to both the bond company and your court. For example, they will often ask you basic questions such as your address and place of employment.
Being truthful to both the court and your bond provider is critical to avoid them revoking your bond in the future. If your bond is revoked, the judge could issue a bench warrant. In addition to going to jail, the bail bondsman can revoke your initial bond. This means in order to secure your release, you must sign a second bond agreement, which includes paying an additional fee to a bond agent.
Securing the Wrong Co-Signer
The amount of bail required to secure a defendant’s release is dependent upon several factors, including the defendant’s criminal history and the severity of their crime. If the bail amount is high, a bond agent will require the defendant have enough collateral to cover the entire cost of the bond. A co-signer is often necessary if the defendant cannot meet this financial obligation.
Choosing the right cosigner for your loan is critical because this will ensure the bondsman approves the individual, which will secure your release that much quicker. For example, the cosigner will need a government-issued identification card, proof of employment, and proof of residence.
Additionally, your cosigner must have enough money to not only pay the bond agent’s fees but also enough collateral to cover the entire bond amount. Make sure your loved one is comfortable with the conditions of cosigning a bond.
Unfortunately, if the first cosigner you call doesn’t have a stable job or residence, or is deemed a risk by the bond agent, the cosigner will not be able to secure your release. Getting the right person initially will ensure you do not remain in jail for longer than necessary.
Waiting to Secure Your Bail
If you are arrested in the middle of the night, you might assume that you must wait for the morning before you can contact a bondsman. Most bond companies are available at all hours of the day. Calling a bond agent after talking with your attorney is critical to ensure you don’t spend unnecessary time behind bars.
Contact a bail bondsman as soon as possible after you are under arrest. The process of securing your bail can be lengthy, and you might have several hours of paperwork, finding a cosigner, and working with the courts before you will be free. Your bond agent will be happy to begin securing your release, no matter the time.
If a cosigner or family member secures the defendant’s release, they need to have all the necessary information about the defendant before contacting the bail bondsman. This includes the defendant’s name, date of birth, address, telephone number, and the county and city in which the defendant was arrested. Having this information on hand will also speed up the process of securing bail.
From finding the right cosigner to researching your bond agent, several ways exist in which you can avoid making common bail bond mistakes. If you have any more questions, contact Absolute Bail Bonds.