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How do You Bail Out Someone?

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The process to bail out someone who has been arrested starts when the person who was arrested contacts a friend or relative from jail. Chances are he will only be able to make one phone call, so it's up to the friend or relative to go through the process to bail out the defendant or to contact someone else who can post the bail.

Once the friend or relative has been notified, he should start contacting bondsmen. When contacting the bondsman, have the defendant’s information ready. The bondman will ask for the defendant’s full legal name, current address, phone number, date of birth, and social security number. In order to bail out the defendant, the bondsman will also need to know what jail the defendant is being held in, what type of facility it is (county, state or federal), what the exact charge is, and the defendant’s booking number, who the arresting agency is, and the amount of the bond.

Once the bondsman is given that information, he will decide whether he can bail out the defendant. If the bondsman declines, the friend or relative will have to call another bondsman and give him all of the same information.

When the friend or relative finds a bondsman, he will need to meet with the bondsman to complete the paperwork. In essence, the friend or relative is cosigning a contract in the amount of the bond. The contract guarantees that the defendant will attend any court-ordered hearings. If the defendant jumps bail by not showing up in court at the appointed time, the cosigner will be responsible for paying the balance of the bail or any charges incurred in finding and apprehending the defendant.

If the bond is a cash bond, 100 percent of the money must be put up in order for the defendant to be released. If the bond is a surety bond or property bond, a percentage of the bond, known as the premium, is deposited with the bondsman. The bondsman will then take the appropriate paperwork down to the holding area of the jail for the holding authorities to complete on their end. Once the holding authorities have completed their paperwork, the defendant is released into the custody of the bondsman. The bondsman will then release the defendant.

If the defendant does not show up for hearings, he may be re-apprehended and the bondsman will charge the cosigner any fees incurred in re-apprehending the defendant. If the defendant cannot be found, the bondsman will collect the balance of the money used to bail out the defendant from the cosigner.

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