For most people, the judicial system is an unfamiliar space. Just the thought of obtaining a bail bond can be confusing, and there are some things that might never cross someone’s mind during the process of getting one. Below are four questions you might want to ask a bondsman before signing a bond agreement so you can make an informed decision. ABC Bail Bonds can help anyone in Harris County secure their release from a Houston jail, quickly and affordably. Call us today if you or a loved one needs to get out of jail fast!

1. How Much Will You Pay Upfront?

Your bail is set by a judge, who considers your criminal record, the severity of your crime, and your flight risk when deciding on an amount. Misdemeanor charges usually come with lower bail amounts than felonies. Ask your potential bail bond agent how much of the bail amount you’ll need to put down to secure their services. 10% is common.

2. What Can Be Used as Collateral?

Most bondmen will accept a large variety of things as collateral, including most any type of property, because they understand not everyone has hundreds or thousands of dollars they can immediately access. Acceptable property for collateral could be real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, credit cards, jewelry and stocks. Of course, this varies per bondsman, so it’s important to ask them specifically what they accept.

3. What Has to Happen to Get Your Money Back?

This can be a complicated answer because it depends on how you pay for a bail bond. If you decide to pay the bail in full directly to the courts, once the trial is over, if the defendant has attended all court appearances, you can have the money returned to you. If you go through a bondsman, you will likely not receive the money you paid them back, as that is a retainer for paying the rest of the bail amount. Bear in mind though, what is paid to a bondsman is usually only 10% of the total bail price.

4. What Are the Consequences of Breaking the Agreement?

Because working with a bail bondsman enters you into a contractual agreement, a bondsman has the right to pursue legal action against someone who violates the agreement. If legal fees are not paid or the defendant fails to attend court, the bondsman is allowed to go to the courts and essentially revoke their payment for the bail. If this happens, the defendant could face a re-arrest and additional charges.

ABC Bail Bonds: The Most Helpful Bondsman in Houston

There are many things to keep in mind when you’re shopping around for a bail bondsman. The right bond company won’t judge you for your arrest or for your lack of knowledge of the bail bond process; they’ll happily answer your questions and focus on getting you out of jail as soon as possible.

ABC Bail Bonds knows Houston’s jails and court system better than anyone, because we are the oldest bondsmen in the city. We are ready and able to answer any questions and provide guidance through this often intimidating process. Call ABC at (713) 222-6222 or visit our website to get in touch with a bond agent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.