The Most Common Mistakes When Bailing Out A Friend

Anyone who has gotten a call in the middle of the night to bail out a friend knows that the process can be very confusing. Bail bonding is generally not something someone thinks about unless they absolutely need it -- and when they do need it, the stakes can be very high. There are some mistakes in particular that should be avoided for the ideal outcomes.

Not Contacting a 24 Hour Bail Bonds Company Right Away

Don't wait until a bail bond company opens. A 24 hour bail bond company will be available in most cities. You want to start the process early because it can take a while to go through. You will have paperwork that needs to be filled out -- such as the bonding paperwork -- and you'll have to get the money to pay the bondsman first. The sooner you can contact the bondsman, the faster you can get started on the actual process.

Not Having the Correct Information

When you speak to your friend, you need to get their identifying information from them and the jail they are being held at. You don't need to know about the charges or the bail amount from them -- you will contact the jail to get this information, as they might not have the most accurate or timely information. You also need to know their legal name and their date of birth. Jails in many states don't have a centralized database, so knowing which jail is involved is the most important thing.

Not Offering Up the Correct Payment

Bail bondsmen generally only take money orders or cash. A personal check, debit card, or credit card isn't going to be accepted by a bondsman -- so you need to know that you are likely going to have to go to a bank or money order service. You will need to plan accordingly.

Not Understanding the Terms of the Arrangement

When you bail an individual out, you are taking responsibility for them in terms of whether or not they appear for court. If they don't appear for court, both them and you will become liable for the full bonded amount. Though you won't be responsible to the courts, you will be responsible for this debt. It's important that you understand this before filling out and signing the paperwork. 

For the most part you can usually contact a bail bonds company and be walked through the process -- but you still need to avoid the above issues. If all goes well, you should be able to get your friend out of jail and comfortable shortly. To learn more, visit websites like