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Help! Get me out of jail! – A Guide to Working with a Bondsman

Often, the first step in the criminal justice system that someone experiences is being arrested, or getting a phone call from a friend or loved one who has been arrested. Knowing how to get out of jail can be an unclear situation. If the person in jail (defendant) has a bond, then the most common method to get that individual out of jail is by using a bonding company.

A bonding company will generally charge a percentage of the total bond amount (up to 15% of the total bond) as their fee, to guarantee the jail that they will either return the defendant to a court or be responsible for the total amount of the bond.

When contacting a bondsman, make sure they are approved for that county jail. Find out what the bonding company needs to work with this arrest. Many bonding companies will want to know the charges and the total bond amount. Some may require a co-signer to guarantee the full amount of the bond, while others may not. Often the bonding companies will look for the following in a defendant or co-signer: length of time at current residence, length of time at current employment, having a checking account, whether there is a property that can be used as collateral, and whether the defendant lives in Georgia. Keep these things in mind when trying to figure out who should contact the bonding company to help get someone out of jail.

Once the bond is posted, it can still take a few hours before the defendant is released from jail. Overall, it is important to make sure you know what a bonding company will require when you begin working with them to ensure you get the quickest and best results.

I would like to thank Alex McArthur of A&A Bonding and Chris Godfrey of Godfrey Bonding for meeting with me in preparation for writing this article!

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Ghanouni Teen & Young Adult Defense Firm

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