Before a bail bonds agent can help your loved one you will need to provide them with certain information. The bail agent is not a private detective or a mind reader and it is not their job to track down suspects. Their job is to help people obtain their release. In order to do that they need timely, accurate information and you are the one who must supply it. Below, we’ll go over the information a bail agent needs before he can render assistance.


Where is the Loved One Being Held?

Sometimes a loved one will call and say they’ve been arrested and tell you where they are being held. Sometimes though the phone call doesn’t come and all you have is a friend of your loved one who calls to tell you they saw your son, daughter, husband, wife or friend being taken away in cuffs. So how do you find them? Especially in a large city?

  • Call local police stations - Large city police departments tend to maintain some of their own jails. Call the police station nearest where your loved one was arrested. If they don’t have him ask where they believe he might have been taken based on where he was arrested. He might be in another city jail or he might be in a county jail.
  • Call the county jail - Some county jails maintain online lists of incarcerated persons. Some do not. If you believe your loved one might be in a jail without a searchable online database you’ll have to call them. Make sure you provide accurate information including your loved one’s full name, date of birth, age and race.
  • Check jails in neighboring counties - It’s possible that if the arrest was part of a larger police operation that your loved one may have been transferred to a neighboring jail because of overcrowding. If local jails aren’t turning up anything try county jails on the outskirts of town.
  • Don’t give up - Just because your initial search of local and regional jails doesn’t turn up anything doesn’t mean it’s time to give up. The police are like any other bureaucracy. They tend to move slowly. That means that your loved one may well be in the first place you called, he just hadn’t been processed yet so his name didn’t show up in the system. Wait half an hour and try again.

Locating your loved one is only part of the battle. The bail bonding agent will still need additional information.

What is the Charge?

Believe it or not it can make a difference. Why? Because bondsmen are not compelled to bail anyone out. As such, while it’s not common for them to turn someone down it does happen. One reason it may happen is the potential risk (if any) your loved one poses to society. If he has been arrested and charged with a series of gruesome crimes and yet still offered bail (it happens) the agent may decline to help, believing it’s in everyone’s best interest if your loved one stays locked up for the time being. At least until more facts are available. Should one agent turn you down however, you are free to try others.

What is the Bail Amount?

Once you have located your loved one the police should be able to tell you the bail amount. In some cases the jail will work from a bond schedule that will have predetermined amounts for various offenses. In other cases they won’t. Or the seriousness of the charge may require a bail hearing before a judge. If you know the amount tell the bonding agent. If you don’t they’ll likely choose to wait until bail has been set to decide whether to help.

Some Questions the Bondsman May Have For You

Remember, while bondsmen will render assistance in the vast majority of cases they are not compelled to do so. As we have seen they may determine that society as a whole is better off if your loved one remains in jail for the time being. Or they may refuse to help if they decide your loved one represents an unacceptable flight risk. To make a flight risk determination they’ll usually ask you some or all of the following questions:

  • Is your loved one a US citizen? - If he is not it’s unlikely the bondsman will help.
  • Does he have strong ties to the community? - Someone who was just passing through when they got arrested is more likely to flee than a long-term resident.
  • Does he work in the area? - Again, people with stable jobs in the area are less likely to run once they’ve been released.
  • Has he held his job for a long time? - This one also is designed to find out if the person is reliable and invested in the community. Someone who hops from job to job is more likely to bolt after being bailed out.
  • Does he rent or own the place he lives in? - People who own their own house or condo have an interest in staying and seeing to it that their legal problems are resolved.


The bonding agent can’t help unless and until they have all the information they need to move forward. Make sure you are in command of as many facts as possible before ringing up a bail agent in Adams County, Broomfield County, Weld County or Denver.