3 Ways to Make Sure You’re Not Compromised When Co-Signing a Bail Bond
At some point, you will never know the impact of getting arrested or being in jail unless it is you or someone close to you. Regardless of who is in the situation, the initial reaction is to get out of the jail fast.
Getting a bail bond is the common solution. However, some people cannot afford to pay the bail. That’s where bail bondsmen come in. Generally, bail bondsmen help in processing and securing the release of the defendant by posting a bail.
Bail bond companies create an agreement and require another person to co-sign along with the defendant.
While it may seem “okay” to be a co-signer in the agreement especially because the defendant is your friend, a family member, or a relative, it is important to know your responsibilities as a co-signer and be aware of some possible risk or consequences involved.
What is a Co-Signer?
Also known as an indemnitor, a co-signer also assumes full responsibility for every condition set forth in the bail bond agreement.
This means that through an indemnity or bail bond agreement, risk is transferred from one party to another – that is, from the defendant to the co-signer. Hence, it is more than just affixing your signature.
Once you co-sign a bail bond, you guarantee that the defendant will show up for all court hearings. You also guarantee that the defendant will pay the amount paid by the bail bonds company.
If in case the defendant fails to fulfill the agreement, you as a co-signer will assume responsibility. That is why it is important to learn the ins and outs of being a co-signer before you commit and affix your signature.
Important Things to Remember as a Co-Signer
1. Legally Binding Document
It is important to know that the bail bond agreement is legally binding. This means that there are legal implications included. In simple terms, there are risks involved. So, before you affix your signature as a co-signer, you should read the terms and conditions thoroughly.
If there’s anything you don’t understand, request the bail bondsman to explain these things to you. At Champion Bail Bonding, we are more than happy to explain the bail bond agreement in more detail.
2. Financial Liabilities
It is important for a co-signer to understand the financial liabilities included in a bail bond agreement. First, if the defendant fails to complete the payments to the bail bondsman, you as a co-signer will have to continue and assume full responsibility.
Second, if the defendant becomes a fugitive and goes missing, you as a co-signer will have to pay the full amount of the bail as penalty.
The court will only give you and the bail bonds company approximately 180 days to bring the defendant to court after missing court hearings.
As a co-signer, you are responsible to find the defendant and bring him to court. If all else fail, the court will forfeit the bail bond and will require payment as penalty.
3. Your Rights as a Co-signer
To protect the interest of the co-signer, legal precedents have also bestowed certain privileges. For example, you as a co-signer can request the bail bonds company to cancel and revoke the agreement if you feel that the defendant will most likely violate the conditions set forth.
You can also request for revocation if you simply do not feel at ease with the conditions even after signing the document. For example, if the defendant is still engaged in illegal activities.
You can also request for prerequisites or stipulations prior to co-signing. For example, you may require mental health evaluation or a drug test or treatment.
It is best to exercise these rights to protect you from any possible consequences of the bail bond agreement.
Indeed, co-signing a bail bond agreement is a serious matter. It’s not a simple act of a good deed in helping out a friend or a family. You need to know where you stand and the possible solutions or alternatives that you can work upon to protect your reputation.
A good bail bonds company will ensure you understand everything there is to know about co-signing a bail bond. They will also protect the interest of both the defendant as well as the co-signer. Champion Bail Bonding in Charlotte, NC is dedicated to providing the highest standard of customer service and experience to help your family or friend get out of jail the right way. Contact us today or go ahead and fill out an application!