An arrest, whether it is you or someone you care about, is stressful. If you have never engaged with the legal system, you may be at a loss for what to do next. Therefore, these are steps you can take if someone you love is ever arrested.
Contact the Jail
Before you search for a local bail bondsman, e.g., “bail bonds Berks County PA,” you need to gather some important information from the jail as soon as your loved one is arrested. First, you need to figure out what jail the defendant was taken to. If you are in a small community with one jail, this should be an easy task. However, if the charges were for another jurisdiction, your loved one may be moved to a different jail. Your local law enforcement office or jail should be able to help you track where the arrested individual ended up.
You also need to ask for a booking or report number as well as the exact charges the person is accused of. Ask the jail or police for any additional information they can give you.
Attend the Bail Hearing
The accused may have to attend a bail hearing. If not, the jail will have a bail schedule based on the type of crime. Typically, low-level crimes or misdemeanors are determined by a bail schedule. Once the judge or jail determines the bond, you can either pay it or contact a bail bondsman.
Contact a Bond Agent
The bail bondsman needs the information you gathered from the court and jail along with the full name of the person who was arrested. Most require a 10% down payment and collateral to cover the bond. Collateral may include real estate, vehicles or any other valuable item. You will need to fill out some paperwork for the collateral and down payment.
You and the bondsman will meet at the jail to post the bond. Once the bond is posted, the accused is released from jail. This process may take a few hours.
Facing a criminal trial can cause the defendant to think about and do things that are out of character. Therefore, you need to stay positive and try to do things that keep them happy. Build a strong relationship and consistently check in to ensure they are doing well. Distract them by suggesting activities.
However, you should also write down any pertinent information you can think about in case the accused skips bail and the bondsman needs to track them down.
Don’t get in a hurry to get your loved one out of jail. Do your due diligence and research local bonding agencies.