An incarcerated relative will always want and/or expect you to spring for bail when a court bail bond is set. However, while this person is incarcerated, you will need to gather some valuable bits of information. The bond agent cannot complete his/her job or contractual agreement with you if you do not provide the following pieces of information.
Where is your incarcerated relative? That is exactly what the bond agent will ask you first. If you attempt to hire a bond agent in your home state, but your relative is incarcerated in the next state over, the bond agent cannot help you. You will need to hire a bond agent in the same state, preferably in the same city even, as your incarcerated relative. The bond agent you finally hire will still ask you this question, as he/she will need to know which jail to send or take the bail bond to, and which inmate to ask for.
The Jailed Person's Pertinent Info
It has happened that two people with the exact same first and last names have been jailed at the same time. Without the middle initial on the bail bond, the wrong person could be freed. This is why you MUST specify the exact full name of your relative and the booking number under which he/she was arrested and processed for jail.
If your relative does not know the booking number, he/she has to ask the police or the warden for this information. If you are married to this person, then you can actually get the number from the police or jail warden yourself (something you cannot typically do if you are not married to the jailed relative). In some states, the bond agent may also be able to get the booking number if you cannot, but ONLY if you give the full and correct name.
The Bail Amount Set by the Court vs. the Bail Amount You Pay
When you involve the bond agent, you typically do not have to pay the bail amount set by a judge. You only pay a small portion because the bond agent "gives his/her word as bond" that the sprung person will appear for his/her hearing. Ergo, it helps to get the bail amount set by the judge and give that to the bond agent. The bond agent can then crunch the numbers to give you the monetary amount you need to give to him/her to get your relative out of jail.
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