A loved one has been arrested and is calling you for help. You want to help him so you start searching online of a bail bond agent but you quickly become overwhelmed. How do you pick one? How do you know if you’re making the right choice? How do you know if a bail bond agent is legitimate?
You’re wise to be cautious. There have been bail bond agents who were unlicensed or dishonest. You just want to get your loved one out of jail and not get conned in the process.
Here are ways to make sure your bail bond agent is legitimate:
Check their license. Make sure they’re fully licensed in your state. In the state of Florida, you can search here and in other states, look for your state’s insurance division website. If you find that they’re not licensed, keep looking.
Check the BBB. If you look them up on the Better Business Bureau’s website, you should find a rating and there may also be a list of complaints if any were filed along with resolutions to those complaints.
Check their reviews. Look at sites like Yelp for reviews. Of course, reviews should be taken with a grain of salt because anyone can write them but you should be able to get an overall view from people who like or dislike their work.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, meet with them.
See if they have an office. A legitimate bail bond agent will have an office to do their business from. If they don’t, cross them off the list.
Ask how much they charge. They should be charging 10% of the amount of the bail. If they ask for more, you’re being overcharged. (Immigration bonds may be a higher rate.)
Ask about their experience. It’s best to choose a bail bond agent that has a lot of experience getting people out of jail. An experienced bond agent will be able to wisely guide you through the entire process.
Get details about their contract. They should have a standard contract that shows you their terms and how much you will pay. If they don’t, they may try to add on extra fees later. You should only be charged the premium and any court fees or fines will be charged by the court at the end of your trial, not through your bond agent.
Ask your lawyer. If you or your loved one has a lawyer, ask the lawyer if they are familiar with the bond agent you’re considering. You could even ask them to recommend one to you.
Trust your gut. When you meet with a bail bond agent, listen to your gut. If you get a bad feeling about them, trust your instincts.
At 1st Knight Bail Bonds, our fully-licensed agents are not only trustworthy but they also understand that you’re going through a stressful time and will guide you through the bond process. They’ll get your loved one out of jail and back home as quickly as possible. If you or a loved one is in jail, call 1st Knight now at (727)538-7727. We’re open 24/7 to help you.