If a friend or loved one gets arrested, they might call on you to get them out of jail. If this isn’t something you’ve done before, you might not know where to start.
This step-by-step guide will show you everything you need to know about how to post bail for someone.
What Is Bail?
You likely know the term bail already. Maybe you’ve heard it in a movie or TV show or read it in a news article.
Bail is the amount of money paid to the court system to release a defendant from jail while they wait for their trial or other legal proceedings to take place. Otherwise, they could be waiting in jail for weeks or months before their day in court arrives.
This bail money is used to compel defendants to show up for their hearing dates. If they show up, the court returns the money. If they fail to appear on the required dates, the funds are forfeited.
The bail amount depends on various factors. The main factors considered are the type of crime committed, how dangerous the defendant is and how likely they are to flee.
Where to Start
When jailed after committing a crime, your friend or loved one isn’t in a position to post bail for themselves. So, they’ll need to rely on someone else to handle the details for them and even cosign on the loan. But where do you start?
First, you need to compile all the important information about their case: their name and booking number, name and address of the jail, and the bail amount.
How to Get a Defendant Released from Custody
There are four ways for a defendant to get released from custody. First, the judge could decide to release them on their own recognizance.
If that doesn’t happen, though, then they’ll need to pay bail to be released. Once you determine the amount for bail, you can use a bail bondsman. You’ll pay a percentage of the total amount, usually 15%, upfront.
You can also pay the full bail amount upfront to the court or jail. And a third option is putting up real property, such as your home, with the court in lieu of cash.
What Else Should You Know About Bailing Someone Out of Jail?
Before you help a loved one out by posting bail for them, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Your credit could be affected when working with a bail bondsman as they make a hard credit inquiry to determine whether they should lend the money to you. And if you don’t make payments on the bail if the bond is forfeited, that will also lower your credit score.
You could find yourself in court if the bail bond is forfeited. If you default on a bail bond bill, you could be sued.
Now That You Know How to Post Bail for Someone, What Next?
Now that you know how to post bail for someone, let us help you take the next step in getting your friend or loved one released from jail. Contact us to learn more about how bail bonds work and how we can help you navigate the often-confusing legal system.
It’s important to work with a bail bond company that you can trust. We’re here as a resource to help during this difficult and troubling time.