One of the most common things we hear from clients is, “Wow. That was easy. I was expecting a much more involved process.” Many people assume that posting bond for a loved one is going to be time consuming and require days of paperwork. That’s not the case. Your loved one can be released from jail in only three simple steps.
Step 1: Gather Information
Imagine that you’re in bed as the phone rings. Your son is on the other end, upset. He’s calling from the local jail, and he needs your help. The first thing that you’re going to want to do is remain calm. It does neither of you any good to become frantic. Gather a pen and a piece of paper and ask your son for the following information:
- Why were they arrested?
- Where are they being held?
- How much will their bail cost?
If you’re unable to speak with the defendant (not all municipalities have the old “one phone call” rule), that’s alright. A bail bondsman will be able to assist you in looking up the record of the arrest. Once you have obtained the charge and the amount of bail, you’ll be able to move on to the next step.
Step 2: Paperwork
This part is easy. You’ll be required to complete an agreement form with a bail bondsman. This will include an application, a contract, possibly a few pages explaining the contract, and an invoice with a payment agreement. Bail bondsmen do this for a living and can assist you in completing this paperwork in a matter of just a few minutes. Many bondsmen can provide you with the paperwork remotely, via fax or email, saving you a trip to his or her office. This will help expedite the process of getting your loved one out of jail.
Step 3: Payment Arrangements
You’ll then be required to pay a portion of the bondsman’s fee. Many payment options may be available, depending on the company you choose to work with. Usually, you’ll be given options to make the entire payment at once, or pay it off over time.
Upon the completion of these steps, the bail process will begin with the courts and jail. Usually this processing can take a few hours, depending on many factors. Your bail bondsman or the staff in his or her office is usually a good judge of when you can pick your loved one up.