Bail Bonds For The Novice: 3 Things To Know

Using a bail bond service can make dealing with an unfortunate arrest situation much less uncomfortable. Defendants who opt to use a bail bond are able to avoid staying in the custody of law enforcement while awaiting their day in court. This means that they are much less likely to forfeit much-needed income or even lose their employment because of being held in jail and unable to report for work. Those who are using a bail bond for the first time can use the following information to help guide them through the process. 

1. What information does a bail bond agent require? 

When a spouse, friend, or relative first contacts a bail bond agent on behalf of someone they care about who has been arrested and charged with a crime, they will need to have some specific information available, including: 

  • the full legal name of the person who is in law enforcement custody
  • the location at which they are being held 
  • the booking number 
  • the amount of the bail required

In cases where you have not yet been given a booking number or bail amount, the bail bond agent may be able to help by directly contacting the booking agency on your or the defendant's behalf. 

2. Is using a bail bond agent required?

No, if your loved one is being held on a bondable offense, you can opt to pay the bond amount directly to the arresting agency or the court. It should be noted, however, that doing so will be much more costly than using a bail bond agent who usually charges a fee equal to a small percentage of the total bond amount.

3. What happens if the defendant does not honor the terms of the bail bond agreement? 

Defendants who are released on a binding bail bond agreement have agreed to honor all the terms, including attending all required court dates, submitting to mandatory testing, such as drug testing, abiding by all laws, remaining within the area in which they have been told to stay, such as within a county or state, etc. When defendants fail to honor all of their agreed-upon terms, they are considered to have forfeited the bail bond agreement and are subject to being rearrested and held without bail. 

To learn more about the bail bond system and how to use it effectively, always work with a reputable, local bail bond agent who is legally licensed to write bail bonds in your particular area.