No one wants to get a call from a loved one that they’ve been arrested. But it happens. And when it does the most important immediate need is to get that person released as soon as possible. But just how do you do that? There are a number of Denver County bail bonds agents out there and arranging bail certainly seems like the right course of action. But if you’ve never bailed someone out of jail before it’s important that you know exactly what’s involved before you sign the contract. Below we’ll go over five different aspects of the process so that you can make an informed decision should you ever get the call that a loved one has been arrested.
Be mindful of the following five things before you decide to bail someone out of jail.
A bail bond is a loan - Just as you go to the bank to secure a loan for a new car because you can’t afford to pay cash so too you go to a bondsman because you don’t have enough cash to pay the entire bail amount yourself. The licensed bondsman then puts up the money to cover the bail amount and you pay the agent a fee (typically around 10% of the total bail amount) for doing so. This is essentially a loan that the agent will get back if your loved one shows up for all their scheduled court appearances. If your loved one skips bail (runs away once released) the bail is revoked and the agent loses the money they put up on your behalf. So to protect an Colorado bail bonds agent you sign a contract stating that if your loved one runs away you will pay back the bail agent for the full amount of the bail loan.
A bail bond is not always necessary - Although your loved one may have called from jail in a panic asking you to arrange bail the fact is you may not need to call an Englewood bondsman at all. Your loved one may be released on their own recognizance if the court determines they are not a flight risk or you may be able to cover the entire amount of the bail yourself. Covering the cost of bail yourself will save you from having to pay a fee to the agent but it’s a practice not without its own risks. If you put up a sizeable amount of cash to bail someone out and they flee, you lose your money. Making a five or six-figure cash payment may also attract the attention of the court who may question where you got such a large sum of money from. They may even initiate an investigation into your finances if they suspect you obtained the money by way of illegal activity.
You take responsibility for the accused - This is something most people are not aware of. When you bail someone out of jail you become what is known as their “indemnitor”. That is, you accept responsibility for their actions while they are out on bail. If they are arrested again while out on bail you are responsible for the entire amount of their bail. If they flee once released you are also responsible as the indemnitor for their recapture and will have to pay whatever costs are incurred by various agencies to get them back. If you put your Jefferson County house up as collateral you may have a lien placed on the house. In short, if the bailed person does not behave, you pay the price.
Bail money is not returned until after legal proceedings have run their course - If you decide to pay the full bail amount yourself in order to avoid having to pay a fee to the bondsman you must understand that the bail money will not be returned to you until the legal proceedings are completed. That could and often does take many months as the American justice system has extensive backlogs at every level. If you need that money in the interim to cover the cost of a medical emergency, or for any other reason, it will not be available to you. And if your loved one has misbehaved while out on bail chances are you will never get your money back.
Bond fees are regulated by the state - Not just anyone can hang out a shingle advertising bail bond services. To become an lincensed bail bonds agent you must be licensed by the state and adhere to all state regulations. That includes regulations governing how much can be charged for bail bond services. So comparison shopping to find the lowest price is typically a dead end practice because fees are regulated by the state and not up to the individual bondsman.
The most important things to consider when searching for a bail bond agent in Englewood is whether they are properly licensed and whether they have the experience necessary to facilitate the release of your loved one in the shortest possible time. But before you sign a bail contract with anyone, or decide to bail someone out with your own money, it’s crucial that you understand the above points. Failing to take all possible eventualities into consideration could come back to haunt you in the long run.