It can be very scary to get a call from a friend or family member saying they are in a local jail. If they are calling you, chances are they want you to bail them out. No one wants to spend their time in jail waiting until the case goes to court. Fortunately, many people are able to post bond that allows them to go back home until their case goes to court. Posting bond is not an easy process. It involves paperwork, money, and help from someone close in order to get it done. When you are called by a loved one to help get them out of jail, you have to make decisions quickly. Here are some of your responsibilities as an indemnitor.
Bail Bond Premium
One of the biggest responsibilities of bailing a loved one out is the bail bond premium. You are responsible for paying a certain portion of the bond. All states vary on how much the premium is for the bond. The bond amount is decided by the judge and typically varies depending on the crime. The premium is usually only a small percentage of the full amount of the bond. For example, if the judge sets the bond for $100,000 and the state requires a 10% premium, you would pay $10,000 to bail them out of jail until the hearing. When telling your loved one you will bail them out, you have to consider the cost of the premium and if you have enough to pay it. The bail premium is not refundable so you won't get this money back unless you work it out with the defendant.
Showing Up for Court
As an indemnitor, it is also your responsibility to ensure that the defendant shows up for court. The defendant will receive a court date before leaving jail. They should then make sure to attend the hearing or else they could be in contempt of court and put back in jail. Being responsible for getting someone to their hearing can be very difficult. You may have to take off work, provide transportation, or spend hours in the courtroom.
When signing a bail bond contract, there are other expenses you may be agreeing to besides just the bond premium. Should the defendant decide not to show up for the hearing, they could be charged with failure to appear in court. Additional expenses are then accrued such as, court costs, attorney fees, full bail amount, bounty hunter fees, and more.
Should the defendant choose to move to a new location, it is your responsibility to provide the new address if you have it. Anytime there is a change of employment, you should be forthcoming with this new information to the authorities. If they choose to leave town and you know where they went, you are obligated to share this or you could be arrested. Taking on this responsibility should be carefully considered.
To learn more, contact a bail bond company like Alda Pauline's Bail Bonds.