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Nobody looks forward to the day that he or she has to bail a loved one out of jail. However, if that day comes, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. You can always turn to a bondsman if bail bonds seem to be the only option left.

Choosing a bail bondsman is just like choosing any other type of business professional. You’ll want to evaluate your choices to ensure that you select the one who best suits your needs. The following tips can help you in your search for a bail bondsman.

Choose a Trusted BondsmanUnderstand the Bondsman’s Fees

Just like everyone else, bail bondsmen charge fees for their services. Typically, the charge for bailing someone out of jail is 10 percent of the bail amount, which means that if your loved one’s bail is set a $1000, then it’ll cost you $100 upfront to bail him or her out. Different bail bondsmen may have slightly different fees and financing programs, though, so it’s important to make sure you understand all the fees upfront.

Select a Bondsman You Can Talk To

A good bail bondsman will be willing to answer any questions that you may have about his or her services. Bondsmen are familiar with the bail bonding process, so they should be able to talk you through the process of what happens from the moment you post bail to what’s expected up until the defendant’s trial.

If your bail bondsman isn’t friendly and doesn’t seem willing to answer your questions, then it’s best to find one who will since you’ll have to be in contact with the bondsman concerning the defendant’s appearance at court dates and so on.

Know Your Payment Options

Different bail bondsmen also have different payment options. While all will accept cash payments, not all will accept checks, money orders, debit cards, credit cards and other forms of payment. Make sure you understand the acceptable ways to pay beforehand to avoid any confusion later on.

Also, find out if the bondsman requires collateral for the bond or not. While some bondsmen do, especially on relatively large bail amounts, others might not on smaller bails.

If you’ve never dealt with the criminal justice system before, you might not have a clue about how to go about bailing your loved one out of jail. Fortunately, there’s a bail bondsman out there who can assist you with posting bail bonds.

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