If you haven’t had any experience with the criminal court system, you may not know what to do if someone you love is arrested. A lack of direction and clarity can cause anxiety and fear. Therefore, these are a few steps you should follow if anyone you love is ever accused of a crime.
Your first task is to gather information. First, you need to write down the full name of the accused and the crime the person has been accused of. You also need the name of the jail holding the defendant. Each time an arrest is made, the person is given a report or booking number, so you need this as well. Finally, gather any additional information you can to help the bail bondsman identify and release the incarcerated individual.
If you already have an attorney, this professional should have most of the information you need. However, you may also need to contact the jail to gather it.
Contact Local Bail Agents
Your next step is to search for local agents, e.g., you may search for Lancaster County bail bonds. Speak with each bonding company about its fees, availability and process. Don’t choose an agent based solely on price. Choose someone whose fees are industry standards. Look deeper to ensure that these companies have positive reputations. Also, pay attention to their knowledge and how helpful they are.
Once you choose your bail bondsman, share the information you have about your loved one and ask whether this company has the resources to help.
Visit the Bondsman
You will need to fill out paperwork to secure the bond. In addition, you should have ready collateral. Bondsmen typically accept almost anything of value as collateral. For example, you may use your vehicle, real estate, valuable jewelry or artwork, stocks and bonds or other financial instruments. You will be required to submit your fee or down payment on the bond, and you need to be willing to sign off on your bond’s collateral.
You should also ask the bonding agent about the process. Typically, the bondsman will go to the jail, post the bond and get your loved one out. This may take several hours. You may also have to meet the agent at the jail.
Recover Your Loved One
Post-release, you need to ensure that the accused attends every court date and meets all court-ordered conditions. This may include court-ordered classes or counseling. Keep this individual positive and busy between his or her release and court dates.
You can streamline the bail process by knowing what to do ahead of time.