Based on statistics, over ten million Americans are arrested each year due to various charges. Nearly half a million of them are not yet convicted, and many of them remain confined in jails because they can’t afford to post bail.
No one ever really plans to go to prison. However, should the situation arise, it’s good to know how bail works. Bail amounts vary widely, depending on the gravity of offense—from as low as $250 to as high as $10,000 or much more. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to pay your bail amount in full cash. You can opt to hire a bail guarantor to help you cover the amount for the time being.
There are several bail bond firms in Raleigh. However, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of options you have. Here are a few factors to consider:
In general, bail guarantors charge 15% of the defendant’s total bail amount. This is non-refundable and might not be inclusive of service fee and other additional charges. Bail bond rates are generally based on state statutes, so they also depend on where you live. It is advisable to discuss this matter clearly with your bondsman to avoid future problems when settling your balance.
Payment Terms and Methods
While most guarantors require up-front payment, others offer flexible payment terms and methods which might be settled in an installment basis through cash, credit card, personal check, and electronic funds transfer. In most cases, guarantors would also require a down payment in monetary form or collateral. Commonly accepted insurances include real properties, vehicles, and bank accounts.
Reviews and Recommendations
Choose a guarantor that has been in the industry for years. Be sure to do your research and read reviews about him or his firm online. Moreover, you can verify your prospective bondsman’s license status through your state’s department of insurance or bail bond regulatory board. Better yet, ask recommendations from your defense attorney or detention officers. This way, you can be sure that you’re hiring the right person for the job.
Availability and Reliability
As much as possible, you would want a bondsman who is available to address all your queries and concerns, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Of course, you would also want someone who truly cares about you and your situation, and not just there for your money.
After your release, remember to pay your bond premiums on time. Besides, be sure not to violate the bond conditions set by the court and your bail bondsman, and appear on the scheduled court date. Otherwise, this can result in forfeiture of your bond, higher bail amounts, and worst, additional criminal charges.
Being arrested poses severe consequences. However, it does not mean having to put your life on hold while waiting to go to trial. Hiring a bail guarantor might be your best option to be able to leave the jail for the time being. This way, you can go on with your life and get your affairs in order while waiting for your day in court.