Have your friends or family members been arrested and charged with any type of crime? If so, you may be wondering what the options are as far as bail goes. Read on to learn more about bail bonds.

Work With a Bond Agent

Getting out of jail is much easier when you have a bail bond agent working for you. Working with a bail bonding agent means your loved one can get back to work and their family faster than if they had to sit in jail and wait for their court date. A bail bond company can also offer financial advice and work to clear up any legal issues that led to their arrest in the first place.

Get Unsecured Bonds

You may have to use an unsecured bond company if you cannot pay the entire bond amount at once. If your friend is arrested for a misdemeanor, bail will almost always be set at $1,000 or less. If they are arrested for a felony, bail is usually higher. Some exceptions are possible depending on what they’re charged with. If your friend has prior convictions like a DUI, expect high bail—or no bail at all—if they are being charged with drunk driving again.

Pay Bondsmen Fees

Bail bondsmen generally charge 10% of the bail amount and take a $50 non-refundable fee. They also charge $50 every time you visit them for new paperwork. If you opt to hire a bail bondsman, keep in mind that you will need cash or a credit card to pay for it. You can find out how much bail is by looking at arrest records or with a phone call to the police.

Ask Friends, Family, or Colleagues to Help Cover Costs

While you can try to come up with all of the bail money yourself, consider reaching out to others for help. Ask your friend’s family members and colleagues if they can chip in a little bit. Additionally, if it’s an option, try asking your friend’s company or boss if they’ll front some bail money in exchange for something like fewer vacation days once things settle down.

Bail bonds are a huge part of the criminal justice system as it stands today, though most people don’t fully understand the process. Use this information to learn more about how bail works and what your options are.