The next series of 4 posts will serve a guide to parents who have received the second most dreaded phone call from a child who is away at college – the phone call from the jail! The only phone call for a parent which is worse is a call from the hospital.
Most likely a parent will receive this call late at night and be many miles away from where there college student has been arrested. The first order of business is bailing the student out of jail. Now a days this can be done over the phone, the computer or fax with a credit card. But, you will need to hire a bail bondsman. The bail bondsman is a person licensed by the State to post the bond to permit your child to be released from jail while his criminal case is pending. The amount of bond depends on the charge and the bondsman will charge a standard fee based upon that bond amount. The bondsman will also likely require you to post some type of collateral and sign documents assuring that you will be financially responsible if your child does not show up for court.
How do you find a bondman? Just like every other profession there are good ones and not so good ones. So, unless you know someone who can recommend one then I suggest you use the Internet to find a bail bondsman who is located in the county where your child was arrested. They provide 24 hour service so there is no reason to wait for normal business hours – the earlier you contact the bondsman the quicker your child will be released.
The bondsman will take information from you; he will locate your child in the jail system and advise you what the bond has been set at. Then you provide payment with a credit card and fill out some paperwork and they post the bond for your child. This process can take anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours. So be patient and after some number of hours your child will be out of jail and safe at home again.
Stay tuned for the next post . . . a guide to hiring an attorney for your college student who was arrested.