If you are in a situation where you need to secure bail, either for yourself or a loved one, then you might have thought about getting a bail bond. To help you pick an affordable and reputable bondsman, here are some things that you should consider:
Check the Laws of Your State
The very first thing that you need to do is check whether or not commercial bail bonds are even legal in your state. If you live in Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon, or Wisconsin, then commercial bail bonds are illegal and you don't need to worry about hiring a bondsman at all. Instead, you will need to find alternative ways to make bail.
Be Wary About Online Services
When shopping online, it's easy to see a low rate and jump at the opportunity. However, you want to take a step back and make sure that those rates apply to your state. Some bond agencies operate in multiple states, and different states have different laws regarding how high commercial bond rates can be. This can mean that a bond agency advertises one rate on its website, but you will be subject to an entirely different rate if you do business with them.
Check for Lawyer Discounts
If you hire a criminal defense lawyer, then you might be able to secure a discount on your bond. The general idea is that hiring a defense lawyer proves that you intend to show up to court, which is a sign of good faith to your bondsman. In turn, they can offer you a lower rate, since their investment being returned is contingent upon your appearance in court.
Bail Is Mutable
You should also know that bond isn't set in stone. There will generally be a bail hearing at which your lawyer (or you) can argue your case for a low bail, while the state will argue either for a high bail or against bail altogether.
If you have a skilled lawyer or if the facts are on your side, then you might get an extremely low bail. The size of the bail will be dependent on a wide range of factors, including the severity of your crime and the likelihood that you will flee. The latter concern often hinges on the familial and work-related ties that you have to the area. If you have a lot of family, ties to the community, and/or stable job, then the chances of you running away are lower, and thus bail does not need to be set as high.
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