It can be extremely distressing when your friend or loved one has been arrested. That being said, it is imperative that you hire a bail bondsman to help them avoid spending time in jail while awaiting the hearing. When it comes to these agents, it is important that you do not hire the first one you come across or the cheapest one you find. To make your decision easier, here are top questions you need to ask when considering bail bonds services.  

Do You Require Collateral or a Deposit?

A bail bondsman will be taking a risk by posting the full bond amount, which means they are likely to ask for collateral. If the defendant does show up in court, you get back the bond money. If they do not show up, the money is forfeited to the court. Many bail bondsmen also charge a percentage of the set bond as a deposit.

What Happens If I Change My Mind?

When you have second thoughts about the bond and wish to cancel it in the fear that your friend will not show up in court, it is known as bail bond surrender. You will surrender the defendant back to jail, and get back your money. Make sure to learn the terms for this.

Do You Have a Local License?

Apart from the fact that a reliable agent should be fully licensed to offer these services, they need to have a local license. If they operate from a different area, they will need a locally licensed agent to post the bail, which will cost you more.

How Does the Bail Process Work?

A reputable bails bondsman will explain everything to you in a concise manner, and make it clear enough for you to understand. An agent that leaves you in the dark is bad news.

How Fast Can You Get Them Out of Jail?

Bail bondsmen have minimal control when it comes to when a person can be released. They should be able to process the paperwork and all procedures as fast as possible, but it will be up to the jail to decide when you can leave. The agent should be able to give you an estimate though.

What Is Your Rating?

Check the bail bondsman's rating on BBB to find out how reputable they are. Ask them what their rating is, and then check to ensure they are being upfront with you. You will also get to view unbiased customer reviews about them.

Is a 0% Down Bail Bond Possible?

Depending on the defendant's criminal history, financial strength and property assets, among other things, they might qualify for a 0% down payment bond. The agent should be able to analyze the situation and make you an offer.