So, picture this: You’ve just gotten a call from a family member, and by some twist, they’ve ended up in jail. The first thing that’s going to happen is that they’re going to be processed into the facility and then they’re going to be given a court date to appear in front of a judge. At that hearing, if the court feels that they’re a flight risk (meaning that there’s a chance that they won’t show up to the court hearing), they’re going to give you a bail amount that must be paid before they will let your family member out of the jail. If you’re in, say, Brazoria County, TX, bail usually starts at around $1000 and can go even higher than that! Most people don’t have that kind of money just lying around, so what do you do?
The first thing to do is contact a Brazoria County Bail Bonds company and let them know what bail the court has set for your family member. Understand that a certain percentage of the bail bond is going to be paid by you directly, and that there is going to be an interest rate applied to the loan to cover the services that are rendered by the company. Usually this is about 10% of the total cost of the bond, and you shouldn’t pay more than 15%.
Still, even the lowered amount of money that they’re asking for can be overwhelming as an unexpected expense. Most companies will also be able to help you set up a payment plan, but be careful of this, since it can be easy to be emotionally overwhelmed and agree to pay an amount of money that won’t be feasible in the future, after the family member has been released from jail. The most important thing to do is be completely up front and honest with the bondsman at the company. They’ll be able to help guide you through the process so that you, and your finances, aren’t overwhelmed.
The most important part of all of this is that you and the family member involved must ensure that you do everything that required of you after they have been released from jail. If the family member fails to appear in court after they have been released on bail, more than likely additional charges will be brought against them, which increases their likelihood of being incarcerated again, having arrest warrants put out for them, and increase of the possibility that they may be required to serve a prison sentence. If the bonds company isn’t paid back, the least that will happen is you getting hounded by aggressive debt collectors, but they usually will also have means within the contract that you sign with them to come and take possession of things like cars, houses, electronics, and luxury items as collateral for the debt that you owe to them. Make sure that your family member appears in court and that you pay back the bail bond to ensure that this brief foray into the justice system is a quick and painless as possible for everyone involved.