If a friend calls and asks you to bail him or her out of jail, you will need to act quickly and wisely. Offering your financial assistance is honorable, but you should be familiar with the process before offering your support. With education on your side, you can enter into the process confidently. Here are some things you need to know about how to bail someone out of jail Philadelphia PA.
Understand Bail Bonds
A bail bond is a financial deposit made on behalf of a criminal offender. The deposit ensures that the offender will show up to all scheduled court appointments. Bail is posted to release someone so that the jail does not need to detain him or her while awaiting the appointment. There are multiple types of bail bonds available, so you will have to find the best fit for your circumstances. If you cannot pay the full amount, you might consider making arrangements with a bondsman, who can help you explore your options. A bondsman can provide a surety bond, a commonly used payment method. In this agreement, the bondsman will post bond for the defendant, and you will pay the bondsman.
Calculate the Costs
Once you’ve decided you can assist, your next step is to figure out how much bond is needed. After the defendant is booked, a hearing will be arranged. This may be the only way to clearly understand the amount due, as bond amounts vary based on several factors. At this point, you will begin to understand how much is required, but there are also other fees to consider. Sheriff fees and bondsman fees should be considered when calculating the total costs.
Ask the Right Questions
Asking clear questions throughout the process will promote a smooth transaction. You will need to get information from the bondsman before signing any contracts with the company. Fees, requirements and collateral details vary greatly among bond companies, so do your homework before you settle. Likewise, when you attend the hearing, be sure to get as much information as you need to prepare yourself. After confirming the defendant is eligible for bail, get clarification regarding the full bond amount that is required.
Most people are fairly unfamiliar with the process of posting bail, making it foreign territory. You can prevent getting overwhelmed by the details if you do prior research and ask questions throughout the process. Following these steps will allow you to help a friend in need while also protecting yourself and your assets.