North Carolina has the 21st lowest incarceration rate in the United States with 35,697 individuals currently in state prisons.
If you or your loved one are part of this statistic, the best way to get out of jail as soon as possible is to hire a bail bond service. Their job is to cover your bail amount and deal with the legal process on your behalf.
This service is necessary, but it’s offered by so many companies that choosing the right one can be difficult. You need to consider their cost, reputation, process, and more.
Read our bail bonds service guide to learn how to find the best local options for your needs.
Finding a Bail Bond Service
One of the best pieces of bail bonds service advice you’ll ever receive is to choose the right bondsman to help you through the process. They’ll ensure it’s done as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
Consider important factors such as whether they can cover the entire bail amount as well as their fees, bond options, areas and quality of service, reputation, credibility, licensure, process, and communication.
Bail Amount and Cost
The average bail bond is $10,000. Factors that affect the amount include you or your loved one’s record and the crime in question. Wait until this amount is set before reaching out to a bail bonds service and make sure that they can cover the entire amount.
After that, finding out how much a bail bonds service will charge you is one of the most important questions you can ask.
Find out what percentage of the bail amount they expect you to pay. This varies and can be covered either in cash or by using collateral. Ask about payment plans as well.
Low rates don’t always mean better service, so you should always ask for the exact rate. Most charge 10-15% of the bond amount.
If a bail bonds service expects a higher percentage, they’re overcharging you. If they go below it, they may not be reputable and are only offering lower fees in a desperate attempt to get your business.
Check if the charge is a one-time payment or an annual fee. Dishonest companies may try to conceal this, which is why you should always read your bail contract in full.
Types of bail bonds include cash, surety, property, and immigration. Make sure that the company you choose works with the type you need.
Certain bail bond services specialize in specific types or amounts of bonds. They may only work with small or high numbers. Make sure that their limits aren’t too low or high for your bail amount.
Areas of Service
Bail bonds companies serve specific locations and may not be able to help in your area. Find one that serves your entire state to get you or your loved one’s bail posted as quickly as possible.
Licensure and Credibility
A reputable bail bonds service should be registered with the Better Business Bureau. They should also maintain a high score with the organization. Both serve as a symbol of their credibility.
Look for a bail bondsman who’s licensed to operate in your state and can provide proof of licensure. Check if their license has ever been restricted or suspended and why.
Out-of-state companies come with several drawbacks. They often charge extra fees and aren’t as familiar with the laws in your state.
60% of customers trust reviews from family, friends, and other customers. They’re relied on when purchasing products but are an important tool for choosing a bail bonds service as well.
Look at the company’s online reviews, ratings, and online comments. Look for any complaints and check to see how they’ve handled cases similar to the one you or your loved one is facing.
You can also ask your lawyer, local detention officer, or neighbors for bail bonds service tips and recommendations.
Getting released on bail is a complex process, which is one of the reasons that you need a bail bondsman to help you. They can handle most of the steps, but you still need to know how several parts of the process work.
Ask a bail bondsman to explain how they’ll pay bail and get you or your loved one released. Every case is different, but it’s a major red flag if they can’t give a general explanation of what to expect.
There is no definite timeline for how long it will take a bondsman to pay you or your loved one’s bail and get them out of jail. They can give you an estimate, but be wary if they try to give you an exact date.
Bail bondsmen have no control over when you or your loved one will be released from jail. If they try to say that they do, they may be trying to lure you into signing a contract as soon as possible.
Communication and Service
Contact the bail bonds service online or give them a call before you hire them. After that, pay attention to how they communicate with you and/or your loved one.
They should be able to communicate well and clearly explain all steps of the bail process. The more clarity they provide, the less stressful it will be for everyone involved.
They should also be able to ensure that you or your loved one shows up to every necessary court date to avoid serious fines and legal issues.
Bail terms can change at any time, which is why the best bail bond service offers 24/7 support. They should be willing and able to answer any questions or solve any problems you have whenever you need them.
Where to Find a Bail Bonds Service Near Me
Hiring a bail bond service is necessary when a judge sets a bail amount that you can’t afford. Before choosing one, ask them questions about their fees, reputation, process, service, and more.
Amistad Bail Bonds is a reputable, licensed bail bond service in North Carolina. Contact us today to see how we can help you or your loved one.