If you or a close loved one has gone to jail in the past, you most likely know how bail bonds work. They’re fast, easy and an immediate solution to getting out of jail before trial. However, not everyone has experienced being a cosigner or co-signing for a bail bond. There’s a lot that goes into the responsibility of being a cosigner for a bail bond, and it requires thoughtful consideration.
Co-signing a bail bond means that person signs a promissory note—or an indemnity agreement—accepting the financial obligations of paying the full bail bond amount in case the defendant doesn’t show up to court. Once the bail bond co-signer signs the paperwork, the defendant is released from jail.
Think Carefully Before Co-Signing a Bail Bond
Many times, co-signing a bail bond involves pledging actual property, such as cash, cars, homes and other items. This ensures that the bail bondsman will get their money back if worse comes to worst. If the accused defendant flees and isn’t found and taken to court within a certain period of time, the co-signer must either pay the entire bond or surrender the property in question (within the contract) to the bail bond company for collateral.
However, a bail bond co-signer does have certain rights. For instance, if they believe that the defendant won’t appear in court, they can contact the bail bondsman and request that the bond be withdrawn. In this situation, the bail bondsman will arrange for the defendant to be picked up and returned to jail.
Things to Know About Co-Signing a Bail Bond
According to a national bail website, the bail bond company receives a percentage of the bail bond as their fee for guaranteeing the bond and securing the release of the defendant from jail. Typically, this fee is 10 percent of the total bail amount, which won’t be returned or refunded to the cosigner.
Here are some important things to know about co-signing for a bail bond:
- The defendant will be released from jail.
- The co-signer is responsible for making sure the defendant appears at all court dates and meets any other bond requirements.
- The co-signer can request certain stipulations before co-signing, such as a requirement that the defendant attend a drug treatment program or have a mental health evaluation.
- If the co-signer becomes uncomfortable with the defendant’s actions, such as additional illegal acts, they can ask the bail bond company to cancel the bond and return the defendant to jail.
- If the defendant flees or refuses to go to court, the co-signer can contact the bail bond company and let them know where the defendant is so they can pick them up and take them to jail.
It’s important to note that not everyone can cosign a bail bond. The cosigner must be a citizen of the United States, live somewhere in a stable manner and have stable employment and a sufficient credit score.
A-EZ Out Bail Bonds
We are the most trusted bail bonds company in Dallas-Fort Worth, also serving Denton and Collin County. For more information on bail bonds or to release an inmate from jail today, contact our office.