Just as getting arrested and jailed is a serious matter, so is helping a friend get out of jail. You should not attempt to help a friend get out of jail unless you know what is expected of you and what could happen if something goes wrong. Read on and find out more.
When a Friend Calls
It's the phone call very few friends want to get. However, you may feel that they would do the same for you, so you may agree to bail out a friend from jail. While the bail process is not that complex, what you don't know could end up costing you a lot of money.
Bail and Bail Bonds
You can either pay the jail (or court) the full bail or speak to a bail bonding agent. The differences between bail and a bail bond are that:
- Bail can be thousands of dollars.
- A bail bond costs a small percentage of the full bail.
- Bail is refunded once the case is over.
- The funds spent for a bail bond are not refunded. However, if property is pledged, that property is surrendered once the case is over.
Bail and bail bonds both will allow your friend to be released from jail. However, a bail bond does so as well, and it will be a lot cheaper. Bail bonds are arranged at a bail bond agency, often located near the jail or courthouse.
How Bail Bonds Work
The bail bonding agency pledges to pay the full amount of the bail to the court system if the defendant fails to follow the conditions. That usually means appearing for all court dates and obeying other rules. The bail bond money goes to the agency as a service fee for guaranteeing the bail. The bail agency is off the hook once the case is over.
When you bail someone out of jail, you could be responsible for the full bail the court charges if your friend does not show up for their court dates. The bail agency obligates you to pay the bail so that they are not out of the money. If you bail someone out, be sure that they will return their future court dates. Stay in contact with them and offer to attend court with them if necessary.
Almost all of those out on bail obey the conditions and their cases are resolved without incident. To find out more about bail bonds, talk to a local company, like Abel Bail Bonds.