If you or your loved one has been arrested, you’ll be looking for ways on how to bail someone out of jail in California. Once you get bail, you can more easily talk to your lawyer and work on your defense. However, bail is not affordable to everyone. As such, some people choose to hire a bail bond agent.
It is during the time while needing bail when unfortunately, some scammers take advantage and exploit vulnerabilities. This article lists common ways to avoid falling victim to bail bond scams.
Avoid the Bail Bond Discounts
It’ll be costly to pay for the full bail on your own but using a bail bond agent is an affordable option. You’ll only pay for 10% of the bail amount per California bail law (or 12% for Federal charges). The bail bond agent pays the whole bail amount and gets their money back once you appear on all the court dates.
Legitimate bail bond agents will not offer discounts for their services. You may be swayed by the cheap option, especially when you are on a tight budget. However, going for a discount is setting yourself up for a scam trap.
Work with Licensed Bail Agents
All bail bond agents are required to be licensed to provide the bail bond services. They have to carry the license everywhere they go. You can ask the bail bond agent to show you their license. If they refuse, it may be a red flag.
You have to fill out paperwork when bailing someone from jail. You’ll have to fill out some paperwork and show proof of employment and ID for a bail bond transaction. If the bail bond agent requests you to make payment over the phone without filling out paperwork, you should not proceed with that transaction.
Bail bond agents are not allowed to go into jail looking for people who are in need of their services. The defendant, or someone acting on their behalf, is supposed to reach out to them and not the other way around. If a bail bond agent solicits clients, you should not proceed with the transaction.
Some agents abuse their power and may threaten you. The bail bond company does not have any right to detain a person without a warrant for arrest. They cannot detain you, even if you have missed making your payments on the bond. If the bail bond agent threatens you, it should be an alarm.
Always do some research about the agent beforehand. Online reviews through sources such as Google or Bing are typically helpful.
If you receive a call telling you that your loved one has been arrested, you may panic and do what the caller says. The person may be a bondsman trying to extort money from you. Hang up and call your loved one. If they don’t respond, call friends or relatives they may be with. A legitimate bondsman will not make any cold calls.
Nowadays, it is easy to create websites. A fake bail bond agent may create a false website to get unsuspecting clients. You have to be careful to avoid falling victim to baseless websites.
If you are looking for a bondsman online, always review their domain name. Make sure the URL is secure. It should have HTTPS and not HTTP. Some agents create fake government websites. If the website is government-run, it should contain the .gov domain suffix. Ignore any website without that suffix.
Finding a Trustworthy Bail House
Arrests are unexpected, and how to bail someone out of jail in California will likely be the first thing on your mind. It will be hard to think rationally. As such, you’ll be susceptible to fraudsters.
If an agent seems suspicious, you should trust your instincts. Do your research before getting the help of a bond agent. When you are looking for the best bail bonds agents in Northern California, call Bail House. Our bail bondsmen are available around the clock, provide fast results, and keep everything professional. Contact us at any time to learn more about Bail House.