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Questions About Bail Bonds? Here's Your Answers

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If a loved one has called on you to help them get out of jail, you may be feeling a bit confused about what to do. The below questions and answers should help you be more than ready to help your loved one once you realize who you can count on to help you through the process. Read on to learn more.

What Should I Do First?

If you have not already done so, find out where your loved one is being held, their charges, and the bail amount. In some cases, you won't be able to find out the amount of their bail until after the arraignment is held. Find out when the arraignment will be held and other information by calling the jail directly.

How Do I Arrange Bail?

Bail can be paid directly to the court, or you can purchase a bail bond from a bail bonding agency outside of the courthouse or jail. Bail bonds are quite a bit less expensive than paying the court the full bail. Bail bonding agents are friendly and easy to work with. Call them with all the information you can gather and find out how much a bail bond would be. It's often a small percentage of the full bail amount. If you cannot find out any information about your loved one, phone the bail bonding agency anyway—they often know how to get the needed info. Get directions on how to get to the bail bonding agency and where to park.

How to Pay

Bail bonding agencies may accept several forms of payment so be sure and find out more before you visit them. Many will accept cash or money orders, but some will also accept local checks and credit cards. Once you arrive at the bail bonding office, you will need to supply information about your loved one and sign some papers. In most cases, you will need to return to the agency after your loved one is released so that they can also sign some paperwork.

What Happens Next?

It can feel like time is standing still as you wait for your loved one's release. Often, the bail bonding agency will quickly complete the bond and send it to the jail officials. However, after that, it's up to the jail to release your loved one, which can take longer than you think necessary to do so.

What Else to Know

On the bail paperwork, pay special attention to the rules your loved one must follow once they are released from jail. The most important thing is to appear for future court dates. Not showing up at court will cause them to be re-arrested. There are often other rules, or bail conditions, to follow as well.