Before that, most people never needed to bail someone out of jail. The only thing they know about the bail industry is what they’ve seen on television, and that’s why people often believe that all bondmen are big, burly, tattooed biker-guys and long beards sitting in smoke-filled offices and throwing darts all day. Visit Enjoy The Amazing Benefits & Freedom of Bail Bonds Service | Entrepreneurs Break.
That scene couldn’t be further from the truth, in reality. Nevertheless, if you’ve found out that a friend or family member has been arrested and you want to get them out of prison, you may wonder how to find a reputable, legitimate bail bondman.
Once you are calling about you’ll want to ask first and foremost whether the bondsman has a bail card. In California, the Department of Insurance (DOI) controls the bail market, and the DOI mandates that all bondholders attend a screening course, complete an inspection, and perform background checks. You can verify a person’s license status by accessing the Insurance Department web site.
You may also want to see how the Better Business Bureau accredits the bail bonds business. If the bondsman about whom you are communicating is not approved, or the BBB has a lengthy list of grievances against them, both will be warning flags to contact anyone else.
The company’s web site is another place to check for details. Do they mention their emails in full and their phone numbers? Was it representative of how long they’ve been in business? Would that provide basic details about how bail works?
That will also be a warning flag should you come across a company selling free or reduced bail bonds. The DOI determines the amount at which bondholders are authorized to tax their customers, not actual bail officers, and that limit is 10 percent. When anyone tries to give you 2 per cent bail bonds or 5 per cent bail bonds, they either violate the law or use deceptive strategies such as “bait and turn” to push you in the gates.
If someone is being unethical and breaking the law to make a quick buck, you should consider working with them twice. If they’re trying to “wheel and deal” with you over the phone and you feel like you’re talking to the salesman of high-pressure used cars, you might consider taking your business elsewhere too.
If you were called by the bondman to demand a deal, it’s illegal too. The DOI strictly bans applying for bail.
The bail process is much less complicated and far less frightening than many think, but working with a reputable, ethical bondman will still best serve you. You will want to work with someone who is both professional and compassionate. Will they take the time to respond to your questions? Do they seem to be familiar with the prison system, and how bail works? Do you know they’re going to treat the case confidentially and with care?
It shouldn’t be that complicated to locate a trustworthy bondsman, so long as you know what to search for and what to hide from.