Bailing a friend or family member out of jail can be stressful and expensive. The amount of money required to post bail will vary based on the state, the offense, and the defendant’s criminal history.
For example, some states allow defendants to pay 10% of their bond, while others require defendants to pay in full. The amount of time a defendant must remain in jail before being released will also vary based on their offense and prior convictions.
The first step is doing online research on how bail bond laws work in your area. An excellent place to start is with your local county court website, which should have information about how to post bail for an inmate. If there’s no information posted on the site, call the court directly and ask if there’s anywhere else you can find this information.
Find a Bondsman
The next thing you need to do is find a bondsman. A bondsman is an individual or company that specializes in helping people get out of jail quickly by posting their bail money. There are many bail bondsmen in Los Angeles and throughout California, for instance, Los Angeles bail bonds. So finding one should be easy.
Ask family members and friends if they know any good ones to help your loved one. If you need help figuring out where to start, try looking at online reviews and asking around until you find someone reputable.
Find out How Much the Bond Is Going to Cost You
When deciding how much money you’re going to have to pay for your loved one’s bail, figure out how much it will cost you by contacting at least three different bail bondsmen so that you can get an idea of what it will cost per day for each person being held on bail at the jail where they are being held.
This will give you an idea of what it will cost per day per person being held on bail so that when deciding who to use as your bondsman, you can go with someone who charges less per day than others.
Choose Which Collateral You Can Offer
After determining how much your loved one’s bail will cost, you’ll need to decide what collateral you can offer. Many types of collateral are commonly accepted, including:
Real Estate. It can be used as collateral for a bail bond. If you own a house, you can use it as collateral for the bail bond. You can also use your savings account or retirement account as collateral for a bail bond, although this is less common than using real estate.
Automobile. If you have an automobile that is worth more than $1,000, you can use it as collateral for a bail bond. This means that if the defendant does not appear in court, you will lose your car. However, if the defendant appears in court and pays the bond fee, then they will be released from jail without having to pay anything else to get out of jail until their trial date comes up.
Cash is another type of collateral that can be used for a bail bond because it has value and can easily be converted into cash again if necessary (e.g., if someone needs money). The amount you pay depends on how much they are willing to risk losing if they decide not to show up in court on time or at all.
Investment (stocks and bonds). If you have stocks or bonds that are worth a lot of money, then you may be able to use them as collateral. This will allow you to get your loved one out of jail without having to worry about paying back the full amount of the bond right away.
Get the Required Paperwork Together
To post a bail bond, you’ll need to collect several documents and have them ready when you go to post the bond:
- Your loved one’s full name and date of birth
- Their current address (physical location and mailing address)
- Their social security number
- Their court case number (if applicable)
- The name of their arresting officer (if applicable)
Post the Bail Bond
Once you’ve gathered all of your paperwork together, head over to a bail bond company near you and post the bond on behalf of your friend or family member who has been arrested in order for them to be released from jail while their case is pending in court (usually within 24 hours).
The steps for posting bail for a loved one are easy and inexpensive once you know how. Luckily, navigating the process of how to post bail for someone else is not as hard as it could be.