If a friend or loved one has been arrested, you might be asked to bail them out of jail. Before you agree, you should understand how the system works and what your options are.
What Is Bail?
Bail, also known as bond, is money that, once accepted by the court, secures the release from jail for a person accused of a crime. The bond serves as a guarantee that the accused will show up for all court appearances related to the case.
What Are the Types of Bail?
You can post bail for someone either in cash or through a surety bond. Posting a cash bond involves paying the entire amount of the court-determined bail amount, which is then held until the case is resolved. The court may also keep some of the cash bond for any fines and fees assessed in the case.
If you’re unable to post the entire bail in cash or don’t want to risk the court keeping some of your money, you can contract with an agent for a surety bond. You pay the bond agent a fee, and in return, he or she posts the bail and secures the defendant’s release from jail.
How Do I Find a Bail Agent?
To find an agent in your area, conduct an online search, for example, surety bail bondman surry county nc. Many bond companies operate 24 hours a day and offer various payment options. Before you sign a contract, make sure you read, understand, and get copies of all the paperwork.
Keep in mind that the rules governing bail vary from state to state, so make sure you select an agent licensed to do business in your locality.
Understanding how the bond system works and what your options are can help ease the stress when someone you care about is in jail.