The last phone call you want to receive is the one notifying you that the police have arrested someone you care about. Hopefully, you’ll never have to take that call. But if you ever do, will you have any idea of what you can do to help?

If you’re like most people, you’d probably be at a complete loss when it comes to getting a loved one released from jail. But before the panic sets in, take a deep breath and get ready to find a bail bond agent. It’s the first step on the way to fixing your situation.

How to Find a Reliable Bail Bond Agent

Unless you have only one bail bond agency in your area, don’t settle on the first one you call. The agent you hire will require a nonrefundable fee, so you want someone fully qualified and trustworthy. For example, someone who arranges bail bonds in Beaver County, PA must be 18 or older and meet all of Pennsylvania’s qualifications, including:

  • Completing at least 24 hours of pre-licensing education credits.
  • Passing the Pennsylvania bail bondsman examination.
  • Applying for a professional bondsman license and providing an updated credit, a clean criminal record report and verification that he or she has no outstanding judgments.
  • Completing another 24 hours of continuing education credits in each 2-year licensing period.

The requirements vary from state to state. Make sure to check the ones in yours before making your calls.

Other Things to Look For in a Bail Bonds Agent

Limit your calls to bail bond agencies with offices a few miles from where your friend or family member is incarcerated. Doing so will save travel time and speed up the release. Then eliminate any agent who won’t take time to answer your questions about the process.

For the quickest results, choose a bail bondsman who has a successful history of dealing with the local courts. In the legal system, who you know matters as much as what you know!