If a close friend or relative has been incarcerated, you may be contemplating how you will afford to bail them out of jail. There are two options. You can either come up with the full bail amount or take out a bail bond. If you have been asked to cosign for a bail bond, use the following guidelines to protect yourself.
Consider The Person
It can feel like a relief to be able to set someone free from jail, but this may come with a price. Cosigning for a bail bond is committing to a legal process. A bail bond will provide an arrested individual with a temporary reprieve, but they will ultimately be responsible for attending their court hearing and facing any penalties that they incur for the infraction that got them arrested in the first place.
Because you will be partially responsible for the amount of bail money that is paid to a bondsman, you should be fully certain that you can trust that the jailed individual will do their part to abide by the rules that the bondsman has set. This includes making payments as agreed upon.
Use Some Security Measures
Some bondsmen may allow specific stipulations to be added to a bond agreement. Certain crimes or a person's past record may warrant a cosigner to request that an arrested individual attends counseling or receives a mental health evaluation. This type of bond will work in the same manner as a standard bail bond, but the individual who will be released from jail will need to fulfill the additional requirements that have been set in place. If they do not adhere to the requirements, they will be remanded to jail.
Know Your Rights
You can revoke your position as a cosigner at any time. This will alleviate you of any further responsibilities concerning an active bail bond. If you discover that the person who you have aided is planning on leaving town, contact the bondsman who you have hired. The bondsman may request that you meet them in person. During this meeting, you may need to sign some paperwork that pertains to you relinquishing your role as a cosigner.
If the person who has been released from jail is mostly doing everything that they should be doing but hasn't fulfilled the payment arrangement that they have with the bondsman, notify the bondsman about this issue. You should not be responsible for paying the entire amount of the bond. The bondsman can guide you in deciding how to move forward with the issue.
For more information on bail bonds, contact a professional near you.