If someone you love has been arrested, you're going to need to post bail. Bail is the fee you'll be required to pay before your loved one is allowed to leave jail. While there are some instances where bail will not be offered – such as some particularly grievous crimes – most crimes will be eligible for bail. Once your loved one notifies you about the arrest, you'll need to start arranging bail. Here are four tips you should know about the bail process.

Some States Don't Offer Bail

If your loved one has been charged with a crime, the courts will set bail. Before you can arrange for bail, you'll need to find out if your state offers assistance through bail bondsmen. Bail bondsmen assist you in obtaining bail release without paying the full amount in cash. Unfortunately, some states do not allow bail bondsmen. Some of those states include:

  • Massachusetts
  • Maine
  • Oregon

Time is of the Essence

If you do live in a state that allows bail bonds, you'll need to act fast, since time is of the essence. This is particularly true if your loved one has been arrested later in the day or on a Friday. You will need to have bail arranged before your loved one is allowed to leave police custody. To ensure your loved one gets out in a timely manner, you should begin the process of obtaining a bail bond as soon as you're notified about the arrest.

Not All Bondsmen Offer Bonds for all Crimes

When looking for a bail bondsman, you'll need to know what crime your loved one has been charged with. Some bail bondsmen are selective in the crimes they provide bonds for. For instance, some bail bondsmen will not offer bonds for individuals charged with violent crimes. When you call to arrange bail, be sure you let the bondsman know what your loved one has been charged with.

You'll Need Cash and Collateral

In order to arrange bail, you'll need to have cash and collateral on hand. In most cases, the cash deposit will equal about 10% of the total bail amount. Which means if bail has been set at $100,000, you'll need to have about $10,000 in cash. The remaining amount can be provided in the form of collateral – either real or personal property. The cash and collateral will be held by the bail bondsman until the case is settled.

Once the case is settled, the bail bondsman will return your collateral. The bail bondsman will keep the cash as their payment for services rendered. It's important to note that if your loved one flees from custody, you will risk losing your cash and collateral.

If your loved one has been arrested, you'll need to post bail before they can leave police custody. The information provided above will help you understand the bail process. If you have further questions regarding your loved ones bail, you should speak to a bail bondsman in your area. 

Contact a business like Ron's Bonds Co. to learn more.