If you or someone you love finds yourself behind bars unexpectedly, the chances are that you probably don’t have enough money in the bank to post your own bail. Luckily, you can go to a bail bondsman to help you make bail and get back to regular life while waiting for your trial. However, finding a reputable bondsman is very important.

Have an Understanding of the Process

One of the best things you can do to ensure you’re working with someone reputable is understanding how the process works. Typically, you need to post 10% of the bail set forth by the judge. This means that a $50,000 bail will cost you $5,000. The bondsman pays this but typically charges his own 10% fee ($500) as well as requires collateral to protect him in case the defendant skips bail. A good bondsman that offers 24 hour bail bonds Allentown PA, will provide a detailed contract and explain any discrepancies.

Confirm a Potential Bondsman’s Credentials

Before signing a contract, verify the bondsman’s credentials. Start with the Better Business Bureau. The website will grade the bondsman, provide information about any complaints and whether the bondsman handled them, as well as potentially provide reviews. In addition to checking the BBB, you’ll want to confirm the bondsman’s license, verifying it hasn’t expired and asking whether it’s ever been revoked or suspended.  

Read the Contract Thoroughly

A reputable bail bondsman will draw up a detailed contract. It should outline how much the bail is, how much you’re paying in fees, whether you are providing collateral, and what can be expected should the defendant skip bail or otherwise disobey the conditions of his or her release. If you have questions about anything in the contract, the bondsman should answer honestly and respectfully.

Nobody ever expects to need to call a bail bondsman, but life is all about the unexpected. By knowing how to find a reputable one, you help to ensure as smooth a process as possible as you or your loved one navigates the court system.