Information You Should Find on the Contract When Using a Bail Bondsman's Services
If you are planning on using the services of a bail bondsman to bail someone out of jail, then you should receive a written or printed contract. In fact, if your bail bondsman does not offer you a contract, you should ask for one, since these contracts do include a lot of important information. These are a few of the things that you should find listed on the contract.
1. The Bail Fee Amount
You'll want to be totally clear about how much the bail bondsman is charging for their services. This is usually a set percentage of the bail amount, which is usually somewhere around 10 to 15 percent. The percentage that you are being charged for a fee and the actual dollar amount of the fee should be listed on the contract so that there are no surprises.
2. The Payment Schedule
In some cases, bail bondsmen want the entire amount of their fee upfront before bailing someone out of jail. In some cases, though, they are willing to accept payments. This is sometimes an option when they are helping bail someone out of jail who has a high bond, for example. Typically, you will be given a payment schedule that outlines how much you have to pay in each payment and when each of these payments has to be paid.
3. Penalties for Violating the Payment Schedule
If you are set up on a payment schedule with the bail bondsman, you might be subject to penalties if you don't make the payments on time. For example, you might be charged a late fee, or the bail bondsman might immediately decide to revoke the bond. These penalties should be outlined in the payment schedule.
4. Pre-Trial Conditions
You or the person who is being bonded out of jail might be subject to pre-trial conditions that are put in place by the magistrate or judge. In addition to abiding by these conditions, you should also make sure that you abide by any conditions that are put in place by the bail bondsman. They might require you to check in with their office occasionally in the weeks or months before your court date, for example. Make sure that you are fully aware of these conditions by looking at the contract and asking questions; violating them could result in the bond being revoked and you or your loved one being put back in jail.