Arrests are very anxiety-inducing. Whether you’re guilty or not, an arrest can make you panic and fearful. Many bail bond agents try and take advantage of the vulnerability of the situation and get some money out of you. The best thing you can do is to keep calm and not to trust anyone who offers help.
Here are some common bail bond scams that you might come across:
It would help if you were very clear on this. There is no such thing as discounted bail bond rates. The commission rate is fixed and is set by the government. In the case of Florida, the premium is set at 10%. This means that if the total cash bail amount set by the court is $10,000, the bail bond agent should charge you $1000. Anyone trying to lure you with a lower rate is not an authentic bail bond agent.
There is also no such thing as an interest rate. There are two different types of payments called the ‘bail’ and the ‘bond.’ The term bond usually refers to the commission amount. If a bail bond agent mentions interest and asks you to pay an interest rate, don’t fall for it.
Payment over the phone.
Before signing a bond, always make sure the bail bond agent has an office. Most bail bond agents work 24 hours a day and visit the defendant in person. Any reputable agency will either reach out to you on their own or ask you to visit their office. This is also why most bail bond offices are located near the county jails, so it’s easy for you to walk in and sign a bond for your loved one.
Don’t ever get into an agreement with a bail bond agent on the phone. You must sign the contract and transfer the payment in person. If they insist and show urgency, consider it a red flag and abort the mission. A credible bail bond agent will be more concerned about getting you out of jail rather than getting you to send them the dollars.
The cold call
If your loved one gets arrested, the police officer will allow them to make a phone call to inform you. Make sure you hear it from them before anyone else. If a random person calls you to tell you that Harry has got arrested and pretends to be a bail bond agent, don’t fall for it. Instead, hang up and call Harry to confirm the news. If Harry doesn’t pick up, your next best option is to call the local lock-ups and inquire. Never pay a random caller pretending to be a bail bond agent.
If you’re based in Starke or Gainesville, don’t trust anyone other than Lee Calhoun Bail Bonds. We are known for the integrity and transparency of our bail bond services. Here are the directions to our office.