Many things go into choosing the right bail bond services provider. The steps below can help you do a thorough job in your research.
Step 1: Ask Your Attorney for Advice
You might simplify this process quickly by getting a referral from your criminal defense attorney. Sometimes, they can get discounts with bail bonds companies that they have worked well with in the past.
Step 2: Research Bail Bond Types
It helps to go into the process knowing what type of bail bond you're looking for. For example, it will make a big difference in companies that you can choose depending on whether or not you have collateral to put up. If you have poor credit and limited resources, you might be looking for a surety bond that a family member can sign for you. Read company policies to find out what you're likely to get approved for.
Step 3: Approach Bail Companies
There's no sense in researching a company's bail terms until you know that you can get accepted into their bail program. Each company has its own criteria for accepting a client. It may be that they only accept first time offenders, or that they have a price range for bail that they will pay. They may check credit, employment history, and references. If you get approved for a bail amount, that's when you'll start doing a deep dive to discover what's good and bad about that company.
Step 4: Compare Rates and Terms
When you have several offers from bail bond services, it's time to compare the terms. For one, look at the percentage the company wants to charge for your bail. While many states regulate the amount of fee that a bail bondsman can charge so that it's fair, there can still be some individual variation among companies.
Next, look at the specific terms of the bail bond. This is specifically important if you're putting up collateral for your bail bond. You'll want to make sure that the company has measured policies around collection. If you miss one court date or a payment of your interest, you don't want the repossession team to come knocking at your door.
Finally, it's not always about the money entirely. You will be working closely with your bail bondsman during the trial, and you may need to check up with them on a weekly or even daily basis. Thus, it's important to find someone who you like and who shows respect and understanding.
To get a head start on the process, visit resources like http://www.abailnowbailbonds.com.