Being charged and arrested can be one of the most difficult times in anyone’s life. Many variables are present when an individual is charged with a crime, but the presumption of innocence is a right we profess in America; everyone is entitled to adequate representation and a fair trial. Knowing this, deciding which lawyer to represent your case is the most important and urgent decision upon being charged.
However, a decision that is equally as important is choosing which bail bond agent to use during the duration of your case. Their services can differ depending on your needs, so taking the time to select the right agent is something that needs to be considered carefully by any defendant.
10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Bail Bonds Agent
Knowing what to look for is the first step to securing a solid agent. First of all, they absolutely must be licensed inside the state they are practicing; for instance, a bail bonds agent practicing in Fort Worth must be licensed to practice in Texas; more specifically, in the county in which their office is located.
Another important consideration is experience. The process around being arrested is difficult enough to understand and can be frustrating and confusing for defendants. And because you are presumed innocent, you likely want to get back to your regular life as soon as possible. Having a bail bondsman who understands the ins and outs of their local court system saves time and helps expedite the process; after all, the only way to understand the local court system is by actually going through it.
You should also look for a bail bonds agency that is flexible. Finances become a top concern when an arrest and subsequent trial begins, and even if agents charge similar rates (in some states, the law requires all rates be the same), the way they structure their payment plans can differ drastically.
The final essential quality is that a bail bond agent be readily available. This means not only at the beginning of the trial, when bail is initially needed, but throughout the proceedings and even at the end.
Reputation is everything in this business. A bail bonds team is only as good as its word to the courts and with their clients. Poor or misleading practices will damage your reputation quickly. Not being straight up with clients not only hurts your business, but it can impact the bail process as well.
Understand the Bail Bond Process
It’s important that you understand the bail bond process so you know what to expect should you or a loved one ever find yourself in need. A bail bond agent writes a promissory note to the judge on behalf of the defendant. This note is for the stated bail amount, which indicates that bail will be paid in full should the defendant not show up for trial or otherwise break the terms of the bail. Should that happen, the defendant is on the hook to the bail bond agent for the money they lost to the courts.
Search Online for a Local Bondsmen
If you’ve never needed a bail bond agent, it’s okay to search for one online. Remember that bail bond agents represent specific areas. The one you ultimately choose must legally be able to represent you or your loved one in the geographic area of the arrest. For example, at PCS Bail Bonds, we are only able to legally represent client cases within Tarrant County.
Ask for a Referral from a Legal Representative
When looking for representation from a bail bond agent, it’s not a bad idea to ask for a referral from a legal representative. Judges have even been known to offer suggestions on preferences for bail bond agents. You can ask your lawyer, as well, if there are any bail bond agencies they would suggest.
Ask Your Bail Bondsman Questions
Assuming you’ve never been through this process before, you’re likely to have questions and asking them is the only way to get answers to them. You need to know that the bail bond agent you are working with is certified, working for a company backed by the Better Business Bureau, and is willing to work with you on a repayment schedule.
Review the Bail Bond Contract
It’s crucial that you review the terms of the bail bond contract in detail before signing. The terms of repayment should also be clear, so don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as possible. You need to understand what circumstances will cause a breach of the contract, which means you will be responsible for repayment.
PCS Has All the Right Qualities
Paul Schuder and PCS Bail Bonds have been practicing in the Fort Worth community for over 25 years. Thoroughly understanding the court system and with the knowledge of how to best accommodate clients, PCS Bail Bonds is trusted and knowledgeable and a staple of the Fort Worth community. Visit the web site at www.PCSBailBonds.com for more information on how PCS Bail Bonds can help you as a defendant.
“How to Choose a Bail Bondsman,” http://bailbondagents.org/how-to-choose-a-bail-bondsman.html.