Did you know that roughly 500,000 people are held in pre-trial every day because they cannot afford the cost of bail? For many people, bail bonds are the only way that they can afford the high price of bail.
Unfortunately, many people are often intimidated by the bail bond application process. That’s why we made this guide.
In it, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about filling out this important document. That way, you can be reunited with your loved one while they await their trial. Let’s get started!
What Is a Bail Bond?
Before we dive into the application process, it’s essential to understand what a bail bond is and how it works. When someone is arrested, they will have a date set for their trial.
If they aren’t deemed an active risk to their community, they’ll have the price of the bail set. If the individual or their family can pay this amount, they’re being released from jail until the date of their trial arrives.
Then, once they go to court, they’ll receive the bail money back. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford the often steep costs of bail. One study found that the median cost of bail for a felony was around $11,700.
That’s where bail bond agents come into the picture. These are professionals that are licensed by the state. If they agree to pay your bail amount, then they’re taking on the responsibility that you’ll appear on time in court.
In exchange for this, the bail bond agent will charge you a fee for lending you the money. And, if you skip your court date, they’ll either come after you themselves or hire a bounty hunter to do it for them.
How Does the Bail Bond Application Process Work?
If a loved one was recently arrested, it’s crucial to start the bail bond application process as soon as possible. But how do you get started? In this section, we’ll break the application process down into three simple steps.
1. You Call a Bail Bond Agent
The first thing you need to do is find a bail bond agent to work with. The easiest way to do this is with a quick Google search. Or, if you live in North Carolina, you can use our Find a Bail Agent page.
Once you find a bail agent, get in touch with them through cell or office phone. Before you call, gather any information you will need on the detainee. This includes things like:
- The full name of the individual in detention
- The jail they’re being held in
- Their reporting or booking number
- Any charges being brought against them
- Any extra information about the arrest that might be helpful
If you aren’t sure what the individual’s booking number is, you can use this inmate locator here.
2. You Fill Out the Necessary Application
If you’re seeking bail bond services, you will need to fill out several forms. All of these applications have been approved by your state’s Department of Insurance.
This is the governing body of bail companies. The average bail bond application is divided into three parts: information about the defendant, information about the defendant’s reference, and information about the co-signor.
Typically, you will need personal references when filing out a bail bond application. You will also undergo a credit check. You will need to provide your bank account information and Social security number to undergo these.
Lastly, you will need to provide some form of collateral. This might not be needed if the bail price is low. But, if it’s on the higher side, the bail bond agent might require it.
Simple bail bond applications typically take about an hour to fill out. However, if the case is more complicated, it can take days to process fully.
3. The Agent Posts the Bail
If your bail bond application is approved, the agent will give you detailed instructions on the next steps. Typically, this involves meeting the bail bond agent at the jail where your loved one is being held.
They’ll post the bail on your behalf. After that, your loved one will eventually be released from jail.
Typically it will take thirty minutes to an hour after posting for them to be released. However, this can vary depending on how crowded the jail is.
What Can You Use For Collateral In Your Application?
If the risk associated with the inmate is too high, the bail bond company might require collateral to approve your application. Cash or credit cards are typically the most common forms of collateral used.
However, some bail bond agents may accept other forms as well. Real estate is a common one. Basically, the bond company will put a lien on the property, which gives them the right to possess the property if a debt isn’t played.
Once the individual attends their court date, the lien will be dissolved. You can also get an Irrevocable Letter of Credit written by your bank.
Or, if that fails, you can turn to other forms of personal property. This includes things like cars, jewelry, computers, and other types of personal items. However, these items are generally used as a last resort.
Need a Bail Bond? Contact Amistad Bail & Immigration Bonds
We hope this article helped you understand the bail bond application process more thoroughly. If you’re feeling intimidated by the application, we recommend reaching out to a business that makes it easy, like Amistad Bail & Immigration Bonds.
We make bail bond benefits easy to get by offering a no-cost consultation. That way, you can understand how we perform our application and whether our services are a good fit for your needs.
So, if you’re ready to start the process of being reunited with your loved one, make sure to contact us today.