Co-signing a bail bond helps get your friend or family member out of jail until a hearing, but it also means you have a lot of responsibility. You're not just adding your signature for the sake of filling out a piece of paper. Not only are you now on the hook for bail money if the defendant skips the hearing, but you also have a role in enforcement. You are a key link in the chain that gets the defendant to the hearing and that helps find the defendant if things go wrong.
Keep Track of the Defendant
You need to know where the defendant is at all times. Obviously, you don't need to know that he or she has moved from one side of a room to another, but you do need to know that if the defendant is at home, at work, the grocery store, or some other identifiable place. You can't take a chance on losing track of the person. And, if you're thinking that the person would never skip bail, think again—the prospect of a hearing can make people make rash decisions at the last minute. You need to know the person's absolute last location if they suddenly disappear.
Notify the Bail Company
Should the worst happen and the person skips bail, you need to contact the bail bonds company immediately. That not only allows the bail bondsman to start helping you look for the person, but you can also start negotiating about what to do regarding the bail money. Unless paying tens of thousands of dollars of bail—or more—is easy for you, paying the bond is going to be financially painful. You do not want to assume that the person will show up again and that the bail company won't come after you. Contact the company quickly, and they'll be more open to helping you with a deal.
Spread the Word
One more responsibility is spreading the word that the person has skipped out. You need all the eyes and ears you can get to help you look for the person. It's embarrassing to let people know that someone you trusted turned out to not be trustworthy. But, you've got to get others looking for the person because the sooner the person is found, the easier it may be to deal with the bail company.
If you want to co-sign for someone's bail, you're definitely helping them out. Just be aware of what you're getting into and what your position entails so that there are no surprises.Share
3 December 2018
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