If you have never worked with a bail bonding company, you may be unsure what questions you need to ask prospective bondsmen. Because there are differences in the ways these companies operate, you need to know a few things before you do business with them. Therefore, these are questions you should ask your prospects.
How Much Do You Charge?
One of your main concerns is probably cost. Fortunately, you should find that most York County bail bonds companies charge the same or a similar percentage of the awarded bail amount, typically 10%. Avoid any company that charges significantly more or less than the average.
You need to pay the rate and any fees at the time you apply for your bond. In addition, you will typically need collateral, such as real estate, financial assets or vehicles, to cover the full amount of bail.
Can I See Your Licensing?
States require bail bonding companies to register. They need a license to operate in the state because the industry is regulated. Never work with a company that does not have a valid state license. These individuals and companies may not fulfill their part of your agreement, and the state may not force them to do so. Always ask for proof of licensing.
Do You Have the Resources To Cover My Bail?
Bail bonding companies are limited in the bail they can post by their resources. They don’t get a break on bail. If cash bail is required by the court, they must pay the full amount in cash. Therefore, smaller bail companies or individual bail bondsmen may not be able to afford to post your bail.
The average bail in the US is $10,000. Although this amount doesn’t seem high for a company to pay, if the company has already overextended its cash flow, it may not have enough to cover your bail.
What Professional Association Memberships Do You Have?
Professional memberships can tell you a lot about a company and person. For example, membership with the Better Business Bureau signifies that the company takes responsibility for its actions. This membership allows you to go through its complaints and evaluate its ratings. Reputable companies may also be members of the local chamber of commerce.
How Long Will the Process Take?
Although the bail bondsmen probably cannot tell you exactly when you or your loved one will be released from jail, they should be able to give you a good idea. Much of the process depends on what is going on at the jail at the time, how the jail feels about the defendant and what jail the accused is in.
Do your due diligence and ask the right questions to find the best bail company in your area.