If you've been arrested and need a bail bond company to help you post bail, you may be wondering what company to select. Being arrested can be scary and confusing, and you certainly don't want to compound the situation by choosing the wrong bondsmen. Here are five essentials to look for when choosing a bail bonds company.
1. Relationship with your jail
Generally, you should choose a bail bonds company that is close to your area and has a prior history with your jail. A prior relationship means the company is familiar with the process of posting bail at that jail.
That connection can save time and streamline the process. Often, it's faster to use a bail bond company than it is to post your bail in cash.
2. Attorney referral
If you've been assigned a defense attorney or if you've found one on your own, ask for their opinion. They work with people in this situation every day, and they often have a good idea about which bonds companies are reputable or not.
Just as you do when you choose any other company, check out reviews for the bail bonds company. Consumers can post reviews on Google, social media, and other sites. If one company has a lot of positive reviews, you may want to turn to them.
Keep in mind, however, that reviews can often arise from a marketing push. You should also look at the Better Business Bureau listing as well. That can help you ensure that the company uses fair and honest practices.
Only work with licensed bail bonds companies. Unlicensed fly-by-night operations may use illegal practices. A licensed company has to meet state standards in its operating practices.
5. Accept multiple types of payments
When you take out a bail bond, the bondsman pays your bail, and in exchange, you pay a fee. Typically, the fee is a percentage of the bond amount. It might qualify for a discount if you have an attorney referral, are a veteran, or meet other criteria.
The fee is not refundable to you, and if the bail is high, the fee will also be high. So that you can pay it easily, you may want to look for a bond company that is willing to accept multiple forms of payments.
Most companies, for example, accept credit cards. Some may be willing to take property titles in exchange for credit or cash.