It’s never good news to hear that someone you care about is in jail. Still, when that happens, you need to know what to do. Most of the time, the first step is bailing them out of jail. If you don’t know how to do that, these steps will show you the way.
Get the Key Details
Before you can post bail, you need to know some key details about the person and their situation. First and foremost, you need to know where they are being held. You also need to know how much the bail is and the specific charges being filed.
You will also need information about the person, including their exact legal name and their birth date.
Sometimes, when bailing out a friend, you might not know all of this. If no other methods are available, you can go to the jail and arrange a visit to get the information you need.
Acquire the Funds
Once you have the pertinent information, you need to acquire enough money to pay the bail. If you have the cash on hand, you can go straight to the next step. If not, you need to get your hands on more money.
The most common way to do this is through a bond agent. Bail bonds are kind of like loans to cover bail, but they’re a little different. The gist is that you will pay a fee, and the bond agent will post bail. Keep in mind that if the defendant misses a mandatory court appearance, the bond agent will be fined the full amount of the bail. They will then be legally empowered to charge you and/or the defendant that full amount — in addition to the fee you already paid.
Aside from a bond, there are other ways to raise funds. You can reach out to charities or do your own fundraising. These methods can work, but they are usually slower than going through a bond agent, and they can be unreliable.
Pay the Bail
When you have the money, you have to pay it to the courts to secure release for your loved one. Usually, this can be done at the jail where they are being held. This is often the best choice because you can pick them up immediately. If you are at all unsure, you can call the jail or the court and get specific directions on how to post bail.
If you work with a bond agent, they will handle payment, and you can just pick up your loved one. Regardless, once the bail is paid, they will be released to you.