When a loved one is in jail, you want to get them out and post bail as quickly as possible. However, posting bail isn’t a process that many people are familiar with, and you may find paying the bail, putting up collateral, or securing a bail bond a daunting task.
We have become accustomed to finding information and hiring services online in many cases, so can you hire bail bonds services online?
Can you hire a bail bondsman online?
Some companies are moving at least parts of the bail bond process online to make it easier on customers. Many offer bond payments online, payment plans, and accept major credit cards. But there are still only a few that offer a fully online bail bond option. If you are in California, New York, Colorado, or Texas, there are bail bondsmen who provide bail bonds online, and you can complete the process from the comfort of your own home, including making an online payment. Many companies with fully online options still suggest that you call them to make sure you are filling out the bail bond application correctly. You’ll also need to complete all the forms required and make a payment before your loved one can be released from jail.
What charges can you use an online bail bond for?
Most criminal charges allow for you to hire a bail bondsman online to post bail. You can also use an online service for traffic arrests and arrest warrants. Typically, the bail amount is not an issue. Many of the companies offering online bail bonds claim that the bail amount is not an obstacle to using an online service.
Federal charges or immigration charges usually can not be handled with an online bail bond service and require that you call or visit a bail bond office in person.
How does using an online bail bondsman service work?
If you are hiring a bail bondsman online, the process is very similar to hiring them in person. You are hiring the bondsman to take on the liability of the defendant appearing in court by paying a non-refundable fee. The bondsman then secures the release of your friend or family member. If the defendant doesn’t appear on the court date, rather than losing your collateral, the bondsman is required to either pay the fine. Just like visiting a bondsman in person you’ll likely pay a 10% no refundable fee in person, however each bondsman may differ. You can calculate the out of pocket cost here.
What do I need to process a bail bond online?
Before you begin the process of hiring a bail bondsman online, make sure you have the following available to fill out the application. You may need to scan some of these documents to submit them.
- Defendant full name and arrest information
- Bond amount and the charge/charges
- Valid ID, like a drivers license, state-issued ID card, or passport (in order to verify your identity)
- Proof of income (like a W-2 or paystubs from your job)
- A credit card, debit card, or bank account information for payment
For your safety, make sure the service you are considering uses a fully legal e-signature process for online forms.
Is hiring a bail bond company online the best way to post bail?
Keep in mind that many states do not offer a fully online bail bond service because there are parts of the transaction that are best taken care of with a back and forth discussion over the phone or in person. It will still likely be fastest to get your loved one out of jail if you use a bail bonds agents that are close to your county jail. It may be best to seek out a company that uses online contracts, has online payment options, but is still available to discuss the case over the phone with you. For example, there are companies that allow you to start the bail bond process by submitting a form on their website. They then follow up with the rest of the bail bond forms and confirm the case details with you. If you are still unsure of how the process works, talking it through with a bondsman will help ease any worries you have during a difficult time for your friend or family member.