If someone you love has been arrested, odds are you are racking your brain thinking of the simplest way to get them out of jail and safely home. If obtaining a bail bond has crossed your mind, here are a few things you should know before you start shopping for the best bondsman.

Sometimes Bonds Aren’t an Option

Before you get too involved in researching York County bail bonds, ensure that your loved one is even eligible for bail. If a severe crime has been committed or your friend already has an extensive criminal record, a bond may not be an option for you. If your friend has a bad habit of missing court dates or showing up late, they may not be eligible for bail either. Learn all of the details of the situation before you react.

Many Items Can Be Used as Collateral

If you are hoping to acquire a bail bond, you will likely have to put some type of material asset up as collateral. Some people use real estate, but if you are not comfortable putting your home on the line, you can sometimes use items like jewelry, a vehicle, and even stocks or bank accounts. Before you decide, ensure that your friend is trustworthy and won’t skip bail, because you could end up losing your assets if so.

You Don’t Get Your Money Back

Ensure that you fully understand the terms of the bail bond and that in most cases, the money you pay towards bail will not be returned to you. Most bond companies keep the money as a payment for their services. If you cannot afford the reduced amount that a bondsman offers, you likely should reconsider getting a bond since you won’t see that money again.

Bail Bond Percentages Vary by State

In many states, you will pay a bond company about 10% of the entire bail amount (if bail is set at $100,00, you would owe the bondsman $10,000). However, this percentage does change according to state, so be sure you know what the bond will actually cost you before you go shopping for a company. Also, if time permits, don’t be shy about contacting numerous companies to see what their pricing is like. You may get lucky and find someone who works within your budget.

 Finding a reputable bail bondsman can be tricky. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be prepared should you ever need assistance.