Every once in awhile, a story will pop up in the news about a bail bond agent who was arrested for defrauding clients, operating without a proper bail bond agent license, or some other crime. How do you know how to trust? How do you know if the bail bond agent you choose is legitimate? How do you know you’re not going to lose your money?
If you receive a call that a loved one is in jail, you’ll obviously want things to move quickly and to get him out of jail as soon as possible. If you type in “bail bond agents” into your web browser, you’ll get a lot of search results for sure but just because someone has a website, it doesn’t mean they’re on the up-and-up. It’s important, even though you want to move quickly, to do a little research first.
A Good Bail Bond Agent
A good bail bond agent will have a professional-looking website. You’ll be able to look up reviews on them on Yelp or the Better Business Bureau’s website. On BBB’s site, you’ll also see a rating for them from A to F along with reasons for the rating.
It’s important that your bail bond agent is properly licensed and a good one will be happy to show you her license. Many states offer licensing information online; you can look here for licensing in the state of Florida.
Your bail bond agent should also have an office to do business out of. They’re not allowed to do their business directly at the jail. They should have plenty of experience in the business. Just because someone is new to the business it doesn’t mean they’re not legitimate; everyone has to start somewhere. But it’s safer to find an agent who has been working many years getting people out of jail because of their experience and knowledge of the courts in the area.
A legitimate bail bond agent will charge you no more than 10% (15% for immigration bonds) of the bail amount for the non-refundable premium.
A Bad Bail Bond Agent
If a bail bond agent refuses to show you his or her license, demands a higher than 10% premium, and doesn’t have a dedicated office for doing business, find another one. Bad reviews don’t necessarily mean a bond agent is bad but if that’s all they have, it should be a big red flag. Read the reviews and understand why they were given a bad review and see what action they took to rectify the issue.
Be wary of any bail bond agent that asks for money upfront. When you decide to work with a bail bond agent, she will sign a contract with you that should clearly state the amount of any payment you’ll need to make in the future. If there is no contract offered, it could mean that they plan on adding more fees later. At 1st Knight Bail Bonds, our clients trust us to do things quickly and right. We can help if you or a loved one has been arrested. We’re available 24/7 to answer any questions you have about the process, about us, and we’ll begin the bail bond process as soon as possible. Call 1st Knight Bail Bonds today at (727) 538-7727 and we’ll get you back home quickly.