Five Things to Consider when Hiring a Bail Bondsman
So, you or someone close to you has gotten into some trouble with the law (allegedly!) and need to meet bail. Maybe you imagine walking into a neon-lit shop on the corner of Sketchy Street and Bad News Avenue, meeting with the leader of the cartel, and selling your soul for cash.
Thankfully, we live in the real world and not the sensationalized world of TV shows and movies. All you have to do to avoid putting yourself in an iffy situation is a little research, and we’re here to help. Without farther ado, here are five things to consider when hiring a bail bondsman.
Check Their Credentials
A reputable bail bondsman will be licensed and insured to protect both themselves and you. This information should be readily accessible via a quick internet search and clearly stated on the bail bondsman’s website, assuming they have one.
If you cannot easily find this information, feel free to ask them directly. If they are qualified, licensed, and insured, you’re off to a good start.
Make Sure They’re Reputable
Hand-in-hand with their professional credentials comes a bail bondsman’s reputation. While determining the trustworthiness of someone is a little more subjective than checking on their license and insurance, there are a number of ways to piece together a comprehensive picture of their reputation.
If you are friendly with an individual that has gone through the same process, you can simply ask them which bail bondsman they used and whether or not they were happy with their experience. An alternative to this personal approach is to seek out testimonials, which are typically available online.
In fact, in the age of the internet, a quick search may give you all the information you need. Look at reviews, scour the bail bondsman’s website, and put together a thorough picture of their reputation!
Be Aware of Cost
Chances are, your bail bondsman will charge a fee—some states even require them to. As such, it’s important to be aware of what their services will cost you. How substantial is their fee? Do they charge outrageous interest rates? How much collateral do they require?
These are just a few questions to ask regarding cost. You don’t want to be gouged by your bail bondsman, so make sure to confirm cost before you choose one.
Chances are, a local bail bondsman will be more accessible and more involved in the community. Why is this important? Because their level of community involvement will likely translate directly to their level of interest in helping you!
So, if you’re looking for a bail bondsman in Burlington, Iowa, consider looking at local options such as Burlington bail bonds.
Go with Your Gut
Once you’ve done your research and feel confident in your ability to make an informed decision, it is important to listen to your instincts. While research aids you in making a logical choice, you are entering a personal relationship as well as a professional one.
When you talk to the bail bondsman, do they give you their undivided attention? Are they personable, well-informed, and genuinely interested in answering your questions and helping you?
Remember, while you are engaging in a financial exchange with your bail bondsman, they should be compassionate, not greedy. If you are unsure of their character and their level of interest in you beyond your money, it may be best to reopen your search.