Getting arrested can be very stressful and can lead to a lot of bad decisions being made while in custody. This is normal, given the circumstances. However, you can prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario.

And yes, going to jail is not your regular everyday activity, but it can’t hurt to know some basic steps that you need to take when you get in that situation. What you do immediately after you are taken into custody, and later to court, can influence many things in your future.

Bailing yourself out of custody

The first encounter with the judge usually ends by setting a bail. This is the amount of money that you need to pay so you can leave jail before the trial. It is also a guarantee that you will come back for the trial.

If you don’t have the money, you should call a bail bondsman straight off. Use whatever means necessary to get to them, whether it’s a phone or a friend, just contact a bail bond agent.

Explaining the situation

Once you get in touch with the agent, you’ll have to explain everything. Just like with your lawyer, you’ll have to tell them what happened, what the charges are, and what the bail is set at.

If the bail is set at a high level, you might be obligated to provide a collateral. Basically, this means that you have to assure the bondsman that you will pay them back in any way you can. You’ll have to put up some asset, like a car, for example, to cover the whole amount of the bail.

On the other hand, there are agencies that give signature only bail bonds. By signing a promissory note and indemnity agreement, you’ll cover your collateral and you are good to go.

Honoring the agreement

Usually, there are no special remarks regarding your release. All the requirements are being set in court, but there is a certain level of influence from the agent, as well. They can ask for regular updates and check-ins from you or have some other specific demand.

The main thing is to show up in court after you get bailed out. If not, the full cost of your bail goes back to the bondsman and they now have the right to arrest you, given that they are a qualified and licensed bail bond agent. It simply doesn’t pay off for you to do this.