Nobody wants to see their close friends and family suffer in jail as they await trial. This is why most people consider co-signing their bail bond to help their loved one get their temporary freedom. Though it is a compassionate gesture towards the accused, it comes with its responsibilities that you must understand before signing the bond agreement.
This blog post will explore how co-signing works and the pros and cons of co-signing someone’s bail bond.
What Is a Bail Bond, and How Does It Relate to a Co-signing?
A bail bond is a sum of money a defendant pays to the jail to be freed while awaiting court dates. This happens when someone is arrested and is held in jail pending trial. Unless a judge grants them bail, they cannot be freed and will serve their court dates while in jail. Over 60% of jailed people in Minnesota are held up in pretrial circumstances due to lack of bail, and it takes longer for their trials to start.
The bail is issued in different monetary and asset forms and guarantees the court that the defendant will appear in all court proceedings. If they do not appear in court, the bail is forfeited, and a warrant may be issued for their arrest.
However, a lot of people are unable to afford the full bail amount; in these cases, a bail bond is used. A bail bond is an agreement made by the accused, the bail bond company, and a co-signer.The bail bond company pays the full amount of the bail to the court in exchange for a fee (usually around 10-15% of the bail amount) and a guarantee from the co-signer that they will be responsible for the defendant’s appearance in court. If the defendant fails to honor the court dates and appear, consequences will befall the co-signer.
Below Are the Pros and Cons of Co-signing a Bail Bond
Pros of Co-signing a Bail Bond
- Helping a loved one avoid pretrial detention: Being in jail can be a difficult and stressful experience, and co-signing a bail bond can help your loved one avoid pretrial detention. This allows them to continue working, taking care of their family, and preparing for their trial from the comfort of their own home.
- Avoiding financial burden for the accused: If you don’t co-sign a bail bond, the accused may have to pay the full bail amount to be released from jail. Financially, this can be quite difficult, especially if they are unable to work while they are in jail. Co-signing a bail bond can alleviate this burden.
- Maintaining a positive relationship with the accused: Co-signing a bail bond can also show your loved one that you care about them and support them during a difficult time. This can help maintain a positive relationship between you and the accused, which can be important for their emotional well-being and ability to navigate the legal system successfully.
Cons of Co-signing a Bail-Bond
- Financial risk and potential loss of collateral: Co-signing a bail bond means you are financially responsible for the full bail amount if the accused does not attend court. This can be a significant financial risk, especially if you are not prepared to pay the total amount. In addition, the bail bond company may require collateral (such as a car or house) as security, which could be at risk if the accused does not appear in court.
- Legal responsibility for the accused’s appearance in court: Co-signing a bail bond also means that you are legally responsible for ensuring that the accused appears in court for all scheduled appearances. If they fail to appear, you may be required to help locate and bring them back to court. This can be a time-consuming and a hectic eventuality.
- Strained relationships and emotional burden: Co-signing a bail bond can also weaken your relationship with the accused, especially if they do not appear in court as required. This can lead to emotional stress and potentially even legal consequences if you must pay the entire bail amount.
Co-signing bail bonds for someone you know and care about isn’t a bad idea, but you’ve got to know the potential risks and burdens you’re setting yourself into.
If you or your loved one requires assistance with bail, contact A-Affordable Bail Bonds today. Our services are available 24/7, and we will be more than happy to provide you with the help you need.