When you agree to co-sign a bail bond agreement to help a defendant get out of jail, you'll be saddled with a number of obligations, such as making sure the person attends all his or her court appointments and helping the bail bondsman find the defendant if the person attempts to jump bail. However, you're also granted a number of rights that can help you protect yourself and ensure the defendant abides by the agreement. Here are three to keep in mind.
Require Stipulations as Part of the Bail Agreement
It's fairly common for judges to require defendants to adhere to a set of conditions upon being released from jail. If they don't follow the rules set by the court, bail will be revoked and the person will be hauled back to jail. The most common condition is that the defendant must appear for any and all court appointments related to the case. However, other conditions may include undergoing psychiatric testing or entering a drug treatment program.
As the co-signer of the bail agreement, you can also require that the defendant adhere to a set of rules, and you can revoke the bond if the person breaks them. For example, you can prohibit the person from traveling out of town while the case is ongoing. As long as the stipulations are legal and reasonable, you can put as many conditions on the defendant as you need to protect yourself.
Be sure to put those requirements in writing and have the defendant sign the contract indicating he or she agrees to your terms. This way, you'll avoid a lot of legal problems if you have to revoke the bond because the defendant failed to live up to his or her obligations.
Revoke the Bail If the Defendant Becomes a Problem
Although you cannot remove yourself from the bail bond contract while the trial is ongoing, you can revoke the bond at any time. The defendant will simply be taken back to jail when you do that, though he or she will have the option to bond out again using other means.
This right is particularly useful in cases where the defendant's behavior indicates he or she may violate the terms of his or her release, which can result in bail forfeiture by the court. For example, this would be the case if you become aware that the defendant is consuming illegal drugs, and the person will be arrested if caught. Since judges often forfeit bail on defendants who commit crimes while out on bond, you can avoid being held responsible for the financial fallout by revoking the bond before the defendant gets into legal trouble.
It's best to let the defendant know up front that you reserve the right to revoke the bond and the reasons why you would do so, so you can avoid unpleasant surprises later on.
Ask the Defendant to Put Up Collateral
If the defendant is asking you to help bail him or her out of jail, chances are good the individual doesn't have the money or resources to do it on his or her own. The problem is that you'll be on the hook for any and all monetary losses if the defendant skips court appointments or does something to get the bail forfeited.
One way to mitigate your own losses while also increasing the odds the defendant will show up as expected is to ask the person for collateral, such as a piece of valuable jewelry or a car title. This way, you can sell the item to recoup some or all what you may lose because of the defendant's actions.
To learn about other rights you retain as a co-signer on a bail bond contract or to get someone out of jail, contact a local bond company, like Steele Boys Bail Bonds.Share
6 August 2018
When I began my first business selling sports equipment locally, I knew the sports-world well, and I knew how to run a business. One thing I did not know a lot about was the financial world. I had never applied for a loan in my life other than when I financed my car with the dealership in-house financing. My first application at a large bank was denied. I began looking into my other options, and I found that there were more lenders for new businesses than I realized. I applied at local credit unions, local banks, and other business lending services. I was able to secure more funding than I even expected, and my credit is just average. I created this blog to help other new business owners realize that there is funding out there. You just have to find it and apply! Don't give up on your dream.