The stereotyped image of bail agents is that they're people who show up with money in order to get you out of jail. A bail bondsman, however, is also someone with a vested interest in seeing that you return for your court hearings and, if necessary, a trial. Their interest in your case is one of the main reasons they can prove to be a valuable resource as you deal with the system.
The brutal truth is that however much your friends may like you, dropping $1,000 at 3 a.m. is a big ask. Bond companies are close to jails and courthouses, and agents typically provide 24-hour availability.
They Know People
Folks who deal with bail bonds come into contact with a lot of people involved with the law, and that means they can often point you toward attorneys who handle the type of case you're involved with. That can give you a head start on mounting a defense or entering a plea, ultimately saving you money. Should you draw a particular judge, a bail bondsman can even give you a rough idea of what you'll be up against in terms of temperament and legal disposition.
A further benefit of talking with a bail bondsman is that people in the profession tend to know the local law enforcement officers. If you have questions about whether police procedure was followed in your arrest, individuals in the bail industry tend to know which cops are entirely on the level and which ones may be problematic.
An Agent Can Explain the Process
The faster you get through the system, the sooner a company gets the surety it posted on your behalf back. They want you to show up for court dates, and they don't want you to get jammed up dealing some bit of paperwork. If necessary, bail agents will even provide rides just to make sure they don't forfeit the money they posted. You'll have a much easier time getting to court because the agent will absolutely shepherd you through the basics of the entire process, making sure you wake up early on key dates.
This can be especially helpful to individuals who are working with public defenders. In many jurisdictions, the PD might only have time to go over specific questions related to the case itself. You may need someone else to explain the relevance of, for example, a preliminary hearing.