Hello, my name is Tim Altman and I am a licensed bail bondsman in Florida for over two decades. I am writing this blog post to address the important factors to use if you ever need to find a bail bondsman in Tavares Florida. I hear quite frequently the words “I’ve never done this before” when we receive a bond call. There are a few critical factors to keep in mind when choosing a reliable bail bonds service in Tavares Florida.
First off I will explain what a bail bond is and the role of a bail bondsman here in Tavares. A bail bond is a contract and guarantee between the surety (Bail Bonds Company), the courts and jail, and the defendant. The guarantee is a financial pledge that the surety company will make sure the defendant appears at all mandatory court hearings throughout the criminal case. The role of the bail bondsman is to make sure our principle does this. We stay in communication with the cosigner and the defendant to make them aware of future court dates. If our defendant fails to appear at a mandatory court hearing, it is our job to recover the defendant and present them to the court, or pay the full bail amount. Appearance is our ultimate goal at the end of the case, but there are many other tasks we complete throughout the court case life that are critical to the consumer when choosing a reliable bail bond service.
1. Check for Licensing and Experience
The first step in choosing a reliable bail bond service is to verify their licensing. Bail bond services in Tavares should be licensed by the Florida Department of Financial Services to transact bail. This ensures that they are operating within the jurisdiction’s legal guidelines. We have a few bail bond companies here in Tavares that allow unlicensed people to answer your call giving out misinformation and not being efficient and helpful. Your first question should be, “are you a licensed bail bondsman?”, If their answer is no, my advice would be to call another agency immediately. Additionally, look for a service that has decades of experience. An experienced licensed bail bondsman will have a better understanding of the local legal system and can guide you through the bond process more efficiently. Experience is crucial in the bondsman you choose.
2. Assess their Professionalism
Professionalism is a big distinguishing and crucial factor when choosing a bail bond service in Tavares. The way a bail bondsman conducts themselves can tell a lot about their reliability. If your bondsman is late to the office appointment, or doesn’t return your calls or texts, this is a red flag and a sign of how they will treat you as a client down the road. A professional bail bondsman will be respectful, punctual, understanding, and non-judgmental. They will handle your case with discretion and respect for your privacy. A good bondsman will also explain in detail the process of booking and release on bail. They will give you updates throughout the release process never leaving you to wonder what is next. Professionalism of your bondsman may come into play later in the case with court appearances, fixing failure to appear, and also recovering the defendant if they happen to not want to appear. The last thing you want to do is to choose the wrong bail agency that will cause you stress and harassment if things go sideways.
3. Look for 24/7 Availability
Arrests don’t keep business hours, and neither should your bail bondsman. A reliable bail bond service should be available 24/7, ready to assist you at any time. The quicker you can post bail, the sooner the client can be released from jail and return home. A critical factor of choosing a bondsman in Tavares is their locale. Bondsmen should be available to post a bond within minutes of the initial contact, and not have to travel from another county.
4. Search for Reviews and Testimonials
Reviews and testimonials are a great way to gauge the reliability and quality of a bail bond service. Look for reviews online or ask for testimonials from past clients. Be careful though, we have few unethical bail bond companies that write their own reviews. Check on social media like Facebook for their business page and see what your friends are saying. A reliable bail bond service will be transparent and have a positive reputation in the community also will be highly recommended by previous clients.
5. Understand the Fee Structure
Lastly, make sure you understand the bail bond service’s fee structure. The standard fee in Florida is 10% of the total bail amount, or a hundred dollars per offense and bond written. Be wary of any service charging significantly more or less. Less is not always a good thing in our industry. We do unfortunately have bondsmen that charge very little to get someone out, we also hear of them knocking the next day demanding the full payment or the client goes back to jail. A reliable bail bondsman will be transparent about their fees and when payments are due and will not include any hidden charges. As bail bondsmen, we are mandated to charge the same fees statewide; it’s illegal for us to discount bail or add hidden fees.
Choosing a reliable bail bond service in Tavares is crucial during the stressful event of an arrest. The last thing you need is to choose the wrong bail bond company that will add to the stress and make the arrest and court case more confusing and daunting. Remember these five tips when making your choice and ensure that you or your loved one receives the best possible support during this challenging time.