When a friend calls you to let you know that he or she has been arrested and needs your help, your first priority is to decide whether you want to get involved. Even if the friend is a close one, it's important to thoroughly evaluate whether you feel up to lending your assistance. If you do, the first thing that your friend will likely ask you is to contact a bail bonds agency on his or her behalf. Doing so will begin the process of putting up the mandated bail amount so that your friend can be released from custody. Make sure that you get as much information from your friend as possible, as the bail bonds agent will ask you lots of questions before agreeing to help. Here are some things that you'll need to know.

Arrest Details

The bail bonds agent will need to know as many details as you can provide about the person's arrest. Obtain these from your friend and try to relay the details as neutrally as you can. You might wish to downplay certain details about the arrest in an effort to make your friend appear less culpable, but doing so won't serve anyone. Give all the details that you know, including the specific charges with which your friend has been charged.

Criminal History

The bail bonds agent will also want you to provide some information about the arrestee's criminal history. You might not know all of the details, but sharing as much as you know can be helpful. An extensive criminal history doesn't mean that the bail bonds agent won't be able to help, but the agent will want to know what he or she will be dealing with. You'll also be asked whether the person has had bail revoked in the past. For example, if the person had a bail condition of not using drugs or alcohol, but failed a test and was sent back to jail.

Custody Details

You'll also need to provide the name of the detention center that is holding your friend, as well as his or her arrest number and any other details you have of this nature. The bail bonds agent will also need to know the bail amount — and you'll need to find out exactly how much the agency will charge you as a fee for helping to get your friend out of custody. This amount differs by state and by agency, but you can typically expect to be responsible for about 10 percent of the total amount.

For more information, contact companies like Betty Bail Bonds.