Facing criminal charges is understandably a frightening event for most people. The desperation that often comes with posting bail can make defendants vulnerable to unscrupulous parties when they seek a bail bonds agent in Angleton. Understanding the industry and what to expect will help you make good decisions when it comes to finding bail bonds. If you follow these six tips, you are more likely to hire a good bonds agent and conclude this part of your criminal matter successfully:
- Check licensing: Bail bonds agents are licensed by the state. Before they can offer services, agents must complete a thorough background check and certification process. The license indicates that they completed this process, and you never want to deal with anyone other than a licensed bond agent. When you meet with an agent, ask to see the agent’s license and identification just to be sure the individual who promises to help you can legally provide those services.
- Know the fees: In Texas, the fee for bail bonds cannot exceed 10 percent of the amount of bail. The bond agent should be forthcoming about the fees charged and provide an itemized list. If this information is not presented in an upfront manner, find another agent. The last thing you need to face in addition to criminal charges is extra fees that cannot be legally charged to you.
- Ask for an itemized receipt: Once charges are assessed, you should also receive an itemized receipt. The amount of bail plus any fees should be clear on that receipt. This is especially important if you are charged more than expected. A receipt will help you determine if you misunderstood the charges or if you are being assessed illegal fees.
- Receive and keep copies of documents: Any contracts or other documents should also be provided to you. When you sign something, ask for a copy immediately. Keep those items in a safe place until your matter concludes.
- Review financing terms thoroughly: If any part of the bond is financed, spend time reviewing the terms. Ask questions if you do not understand a section, especially if you put up collateral. Failing to know the terms of a financing agreement could mean losing that collateral, so do not sign the agreement without first understanding the terms.
- Maintain contact with the bail bonds agent: Once the bail bond posts, see if the agent will remain available to you. There are follow-up services that can be helpful throughout the bail proceedings and up until trial. You want to hire someone who is available for questions and concerns during the duration of your criminal proceedings. However, also retain a criminal defense attorney, as bail agents’ duties are very limited and do not extend to legal advice.
You can find a reputable bail bonds agent in Angleton, TX at Brazoria County Bail Bonds. Contact us today so we can make arrangements for bail, whether it is for you or for a loved one.