Nobody likes to think that they would ever need the services of a bail bonds agent. However, if you do need a bail bond agent, there is more than one service that he/she typically provides. Depending on the extent of the agent's training, licensing, and certification, you may be able to enlist a bond agent's help in one or more of the following ways.
Bail Bonds for Cash
Keeping it simple, bail bonds services can provide your friend or family member in jail with a bail bond for cash. You bring the cash, and the bond agent writes up the bond paperwork. You cannot go to the jail to get your friend or relative out, but the bond agent can. He/she will go with the bond paperwork as soon as possible to get your friend/family member released. If you secure a bond early Monday morning, the bond agent may even be able to get your friend/family member out of jail in time for lunch. At the very least, your friend/family member can be out by the end of the business day if you enter the bond agent's office right at the opening of the agent's office in the morning.
Bail Bonds and Pawn Money
You will see a lot of this in the bigger cities—bond agents running pawn shops simultaneously with their bail bond offices. It gives clients the ability to pawn objects for a loan and then turn right around and use the money to secure a bail bond from the same person that owns the pawn shop. Just be aware that this can be a double-edged sword if your friend or family member jumps bail. You would not only lose the bail money, but you would still have to pay back the pawn loan or risk losing what you pawned as well as the bail money.
Bail Bonds and Bounty Hunting
On the one hand, the bond agent helps you secure the release of your friend/family member. On the other hand, when your friend/family member jumps bail and runs, the bond agent becomes your bounty hunter. Even though he/she works and offers both services, the costs for each are separate and different. When it poses a very large risk and loss to everyone concerned, you may be inclined to hire the bond agent and bounty hunter to track down the friend or family member that has jumped bail.