Bailing a friend or family member out of jail can be an incredibly selfless and helpful thing to do, especially because knowing that someone has your back is one of the ways people feel most supported during a crisis. However, be sure to protect your own financial situation as well. Here are four things to consider before co-signing a bail bond.
At Frank Calabretta’s Bail House in Auburn, CA, we want to make sure you consider several important factors before deciding if you are in a position to post bail for someone. Use this helpful guide to help you think through the pros and cons of taking financial responsibility to help someone pay bail.
1. Do you have Enough Collateral?
A bail bond agency requires collateral so that they can have assurance the bail money will be paid back to them should the defendant fail to appear in court.
You need to consider whether you have something like an RV, car, jewelry, or even a house to put up for collateral for a property bond. Think very carefully if you want to have those items on the hook if things don’t go according to plan.
2. Are you Financially Able to Post 10% of Bail?
Bail houses generally require approximately 10% of the bail bond amount upfront in order to process it. Make sure you are financially stable and feel comfortable funding 10% of the bail amount to help your friend or family member get out of jail while they await trial.
If you aren’t sure what the bail amount actually is or you’re wondering if there are special conditions that apply to the defendant’s release, we can have a bail bondsman call the court or jail to find out for you. If there are additional conditions or relevant release information, you want to find that out before you make payment.
3. Is the Person you are Trying to Help Reliable?
Putting your name and finances on the line for someone is admirable, but it also carries certain risks. Be sure that you fully trust the person you are trying to bail out of state or county jail, that you know them well, and that you are confident they will not be dishonest with you.
If you feel like you are being lied to, manipulated, tricked, guilted, or coerced into posting bail for someone, it’s best to stay out of it and not put yourself on the hook.
If the defendant does not show up to all of their court appointments, you and anyone else who co-signed the bail bond are responsible and legally liable for the total bail amount. If this happens, a lien can be placed on your property, car, or home through no fault of your own. For this reason it is highly advised that you only post bail for someone you trust to be responsible and timely.
4. Carefully Consider the Long-Term Consequences
Bailing a friend or family member out of jail gives them an opportunity to show up for their job, be surrounded by friends and relatives during a difficult time, take care of children, and prepare their legal case from the comfort of their own home. While your intentions might be nothing but wonderful, unfortunately some people have been let down or had strained relationships by posting bail without considering the possible consequences.
You should only help bail someone out of jail that you trust to show up on time for all of their required court appearances. However, be assured that the outcome of the trail has no bearing on whether the bail bond will be released. All the defendant needs to do is show up for their court appointments and bail forfeiture can be avoided.
We’re Here to Help With the Best Bail Bond Services in Auburn, California
At Frank Calabretta‘s Bail House in Placer County, we are experts at explaining how bail bonds work to friends and loved ones assisting the accused in their time of need. If you have other questions about co-signing a bail bond for a friend or relative, we are happy to answer them. Simply give us a call at (530) 823–8340 and let us know how we can be of service.
We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year… even on holidays because we know that life is unpredictable. We are available anytime, day or night for those seeking assistance.
A leader in the bail bonds industry for over 40 years, Frank Calabretta’s Bail House serves Placer County, Nevada County, El Dorado County, and the surrounding Greater Sacramento Area with the best bail bond service in Northern California.