When the scenario occurs in which you need a bail bondsman fast to get a loved one out of jail, it is normal and understandable that you wouldn’t be carefully going through reviews or asking yourself is the bail bondsman is licensed, but unfortunately it is probably something you should still do. Most bail bond agencies are completely on the up-and-up but it’s important to know the warning signs to avoid the ones that aren’t. Here is what you need to know.
They should be licensed
Each state requires that bail bond agencies be licensed in the state where they operate. They will have to go through tests and file the proper paperwork but you know that they had the training to successfully get your loved one out. Any legitimate bail bondsman will be happy to show you their license if asked, so if they are giving you a hard time about it, consider it a red flag.
Do they have wide availability?
Pretty much all bail bond agencies are open 24/7 and this is considered the norm because people get arrested at all hours of the day and night. If a bail bondsman is holding regular business hours they would not be able to get someone out as quickly or have the paperwork filed right when it is needed. For this reason, it may be best to steer clear of agencies that aren’t available right when you need them to be.
If they are coming to you, they aren’t reputable
If you visit the jail and someone comes up to you offering to bail out your loved one, just run in the opposite direction. There should be a scenario in which a reputable bail bondsman is hanging around a jail waiting to get customers. This is predatory and they are operating illegally in many ways.
Google reviews is your friend
Google reviews, as well as reviews on other platforms, are a huge benefit for customers because they can give you advice and insight on what it’s like to work with a company. This is not different for bail bond agencies. If the company has glowing reviews, you can feel more confident that your experience won’t be any different.
They are legally mandated to only charge a certain percentage
Each state sets a percentage in which a bail bond agency can charge a customer to get a loved one released. This is typically around 10% and it is considered the fee in which you pay for their services. If a bail bondsman either says they can give you a great discount and offers something like 5-7% or on the flip side they make it sound like charging something incredibly high like 20% is normal then you now know that they are not following state laws and should definitely be avoided.
To conclude, the vast majority of agencies are reputable and there to help in your time of need but just as with any industry, there are some unscrupulous characters who try to take advantage. With these easy points to look out for, you can feel at ease knowing that you are working with someone who is fair and there to assist.