Courts often require bail bonds before they're willing to release defendants. People can post money or assets to obtain a person's release from jail. Someone who can't afford it, though, might contact a bail bondsman.
Do you need to do that if you have the money and are willing to post it? There are several times someone who has the money might want to use a bail bond agency.
Reducing the Cost
Just because you have the money doesn't mean putting up a surety won't put a serious pinch on your budget. Even the most financially diligent people don't keep line items in their budgets for bail.
A bail bond agency offers a loan to whoever is posting the surety for someone's release. Whether this is the defendant, a friend, a family member, or some other interested party, it is probably going to be a lot of money. The bond company's money is legally a loan, and you can pay it along with fees. If you need to spread out the financial hit from posting bail, this can make a big difference.
Bail bond agents almost always keep their offices close to jails and courthouses. This offers the advantage that they can hop over the cashier's window and post bail bonds quickly for their clients.
You may not live so close to the cashier's window at the courthouse or jail. If a friend is busted in California while you're in New York, it may be easier and even cheaper to let one of the bond agents in the area deal with the situation. Most likely, they can post bail for your friend before you could even book an airline ticket to go help.
Time of Day
Just as distance can be a problem, the time of day may also be. If someone needs to be bailed out at 2 a.m., for example, you might not want or be able to go handle it. Fortunately, most jurisdictions have 24-hour bail bonds companies available.
Posting bail for another person is an immense act of trust. Even if it is a loved one or your best friend, there is a risk that person could jump bail and leave you on the hook. A bail bondsman has a legal right to retrieve a person and compel them to appear before the court for hearings or a trial. An agency has resources and legal rights that you don't have to make bail conditions stick. You may be wise to limit your risk exposure by bringing bail bond agents into the loop.
For additional info on bail bonds, contact a professional near you.