It's stressful when a relative or close friend gets arrested, but it's even more straining on your emotions when you discover they've been locked up in a holding facility. Bail may not be something you're that aware of, and not knowing where to begin could make you even more worried and stressed. Rumors and information you gleaned from TV dramas might not tell the whole story. Consider these real truths about the bail bonding process.
You're on the Hook
The worry you have right now about your loved one sleeping in jail can eclipse all other worries right now. However, being clear-headed about the risks involved for your own finances and life is vital when looking for and using a bail bondsman. The collateral you may use to set up the bond that gets your loved one home could be at risk if they forget to show up to different court dates or otherwise break the agreement. Before risking yourself, explore what could occur if the bond isn't honored.
A Bondsman Can Say No
Defendants post bail so easily and quickly on TV shows that you probably never thought once that a bail bondsman could deny someone. However, it's true; bondsmen aren't at all obligated to work with you or your loved one's case. A bondsman might only take on certain types of cases or certain types of defendants. They could research some of the case particulars themselves and deem your loved one to be a flight risk. Therefore start checking out bondsmen and possibilities right away and have more on the list if they do refuse you.
Release Will Take Some Time
Once you and a bondsman make a deal, you might be itching to drive over to the holding facility to get your close friend or relative out of there. It's natural that you and they are interested in a quick turnover so they can deal with their situation at home. However, time deadlines, office hours, and facility rules may work against you. Even if your paperwork is completed, it might mean that you'll wait hours or a few days before release is even possible. Keep those expectations under control and ask for a specific time of release.
Your concern for a close friend or relative should also come with knowledge and care for your own part in the bail bonding process. Explore possibilities and outcomes by visiting more than one bondsman before choosing.