Here’s What You Need to Know Before Bailing a Loved One Out of Jail
There are many emotions one may experience when receiving a call that a loved one has been arrested. Emotions often range from sadness, to fear, to helplessness, to disappointment and beyond. It’s also natural for the person who received the call to want to do anything they can to get their friend or family member out of jail. Our goal is to help ensure stress and anxiety are the emotions you don’t have to experience during this already difficult time.
It’s important to realize that you are not alone through this experience and that there are resources available to help make the entire process a little less chaotic. One of these resources is the hiring of a reliable bail bonds service.
Here we will walk you through a few simple steps you can take to make sure your loved one is released and back home in as little time as possible.
What to Do When You Receive the Call
Show Your Love and Support
Chances are whoever your loved one is that is calling you from jail is pretty scared and overwhelmed. One of the first steps in helping them is reassuring them you are there to support them, regardless of whether they are guilty or not. Your only job at this point is to offer your love and support and let them know that you will stand by them throughout the entire process as best you can.
Once you’ve spoken to your loved one, you’ll want to gather as much relevant information regarding the arrest as possible.
Find out which jail they are being held at. There are often multiple jails in a city or town, so knowing exactly which one they are at will help speed things up immensely.
If possible, you should also find out which specific charges that are facing. This will help the bail bond agent guide you through the next steps.
You also should find out whether or not bail has been set yet and, if so, for how much. All of this information will be vital when trying to arrange bail, while also helping to speed up the process.
Don’t worry if your family member or friend that’s been arrested doesn’t have all of these answers. An experienced bondsman will be able to gather this information on your behalf.
Call a Bail Bond Agency
Your next step should be to call a bail bond company, like Big Fish Bail Bonds in Wichita, Kansas. The more information you have, the faster the process will be. Knowing you have a reliable bail bond agency in your city or town will help ease your own worries and those of your loved one being held in jail.
Most bail bond companies are available 24/7, so no matter the time of day, your needs will be immediately addressed. The faster you contact the bond agency, the faster they can begin their process!
Stay Patient and Calm
Now that you’ve contacted a bail bonds company, your only job is to continue providing emotional support for whomever it is that is in jail.
It may take a few hours for the agent to process the bail bond, but that all depends on how much information you were able to provide. It will also depend on the jail in which they are being held. Some jails may not be able to process the paperwork as quickly as others, which is one of the main causes of delays in the release process. Calling an experienced bail bond company can help in expediting this process.
From here, the agent will be able to brief you on the next steps that should be taken.
Why Does the Bail Bond Process Seem So Slow?
Bail bondsman definitely understand the sense of urgency in wanting to get a loved one out of jail as soon as possible. While hiring a bail bond service to help in this process does speed things up compared to doing it all on your own, unfortunately, there are still some things that are outside of the agent’s control.
So what are some of the reasons and causes as to why the process can seem so slow?
Not Calling a Bail Bonds Company Soon Enough
One thing that is within your control is calling the bail bond company as soon as you know one is needed. That way the agent can immediately begin the steps in getting your loved one out of jail.
Unfortunately, the reality is it can take a few hours for the necessary paperwork to be processed by the jail. The agent will work as quickly as they can in getting the paperwork filed, but once they’ve turned it over to the jail, it’s out of their hands. It really just comes down to how busy the jail is at that time. So the faster the paperwork is filed, the faster your family member or friend will be released!
Not Providing Enough Information
Something else that is within your control that determines how fast the process goes is the information you are able to provide. As previously mentioned, the most relevant information you should try to gather are the specific charges, how much bail has been set for, which jail they are being held in, and of course their legal name.
For all the time the bondsman has to spend digging up this information, it’s that much longer that your loved one is sitting in jail. The more information you can provide, the smoother the process will be!
An Inconsistent and Unpredictable Process
Just as we’ve mentioned before, the bail bond process comes down to how quickly the jail can handle the paperwork. While the bail bond company will do everything they can to get things done in a timely fashion, there’s just no way to guarantee the timeframe in which one can be released from jail. There are just too many variables in play that are outside of their control.
The Bail Bond Contract
When hiring a bail bond company to get a loved one out of jail, you will be required to sign a contract. Because these situations occur unexpectedly and your main priority is getting your friend or family member out of jail, it’s easy to overlook what comes with signing a bail bond contract.
The person who arranges bail and signs the contract is referred to as an “indemnitor”. The bail bond is then treated like a type of insurance. The contract, and therefore bail bond, states that the individual who was arrested will appear for any and all court dates in order to be bailed out of jail.
Most bail bond agencies require 10% of the bond to be paid upfront by the indemnitor. However, if you are unable to pay the 10% upfront, most agencies will be able to offer you flexible payment options.
Signing a bail bond contract makes obligates you to the following:
Make sure the defendant attends every court date
When a friend or family member is released from jail on bail, they are expected to attend every required court date. As the indemnitor, you are expected to make sure that they appear at those court dates.
Pay fees for missed court dates
If the defendant misses their court date(s) for any reason, you will then be responsible for paying the fees determined by the court for the missed dates. This can even include fees for the bail bonds company to hire a recovery agent to bring the defendant back if they have disappeared.
Pay the entire bail if the defendant disappears
If the defendant misses the court date(s) and also cannot be found, as the indemnitor, you will be responsible for paying the entire bail amount that was set by the court. If, when signing the contract, you used collateral – such as real estate or a car title – instead of cash, those assets will be seized and will not be returned.
Taking responsibility for the defendant
Just like with any other contract, once you sign it you are expected to abide by the provisions set out within it. By signing this contract, as the indemnitor you are saying that you will take full responsibility in making sure the defendant shows up to court when summoned. It also means that you are aware of being at risk of losing your cash or assets if they do not show up. Even if the charges are dropped, the fine must still be paid if the defendant skips out.
It’s easy to just quickly glance over this contract when all you are concerned about in that moment is getting your loved one out of jail. However, for your sake, it is incredibly important to understand the responsibility you are taking on when agreeing to be the indemnitor of the contract.
To recap what we’ve just learned:
- Offer your support to the person being held in jail
- Gather as much information as you can regarding the arrest
- Call the bail bond agency
- Be patient and stay calm
By following these steps, you are sure to be a great support system for your loved one!
If you live in the Wichita, Kansas area and find yourself in this undesirable situation, call Big Fish Bail Bonds for fast and friendly help. We’re available 24/7 to provide you with affordable bonds and fast service. Our passion is reuniting you with your loved one.
Call us at (316) 262-4100 today!