After your loved one's arrest, bail bonding companies, like Free at Last Bail Bonds, can be the difference between an extended jail stay and a very brief one. If the defendant cannot post their bail, they don't have the money or collateral to pay a bail bondsman either. So, they may ask you to act as a cosigner for their bail bond, but educate yourself first. Here are the facts surrounding bail bond cosigning.
What Does It Mean to Cosign a Bail Bond?
Cosigning a bail bond functions essentially like cosigning a loan for a car or house. A bail bond cosigner takes on the responsibility of the defendant who is bonded out. In other words, if the defendant fails to show up to their court hearings, it becomes the financial responsibility of the cosigner to repay the bail bondsman whatever they are owed, whether money or collateral, depending upon the contract terms.
Who Is Eligible to Cosign a Bail Bond?
Not just anyone can cosign for a loved one's bail bond. Bail bond cosigners must be at least 21 years of age and be a U.S. citizen with proof of residence in the U.S. Also, cosigners must be employed for at least a year with the same employer, and in some cases, they must have an income at or above a set amount.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Bail Bond Cosigner?
Once you cosign for someone to bond out of jail, you take on the following responsibilities: ensure that they attend all their court hearings and ensure that they do not leave whatever jurisdiction (country, state, or county) they are confined to by the court. Keep in close touch with them as the court expects you to know where they reside and work.
What Happens if the Defendant Fails to Appear in Court?
If the defendant fails to appear for their court hearing, you immediately owe whatever balance is due to the bondsman. They will collect it from you in the way of currency or collateral, depending upon the terms of the bail bond contract. Sometimes, bail bondsmen will work with you, but only if you are willing to disclose the defendant's location to the authorities and the bondsman. Often, bondsmen will let you insert stipulations into bond contracts that will give you some measure of liability protection should the defendant flee.
Once you cosign, you cannot get out of a cosigner's responsibilities, so be certain you can trust the defendant. At Free at Last Bail Bonds, we understand the importance and urgency of reuniting families. If you or a loved one needs our services, we are here for you 24 hours a day at 404-577-2245. When you're in trouble with the law, we're here to help restore your peace of mind. Make us your first call.