To post bail for someone who has been jailed, one should get a bail bondsman. This is a legal expert who understands how bail bonds work. A bail bondsman may require the defendant to find a co-signer. Also known as an indemnitor, this co-signer takes full responsibility for every condition set forth in the bail bond contract. Prior to accepting a request to become an indemnitor, it is important to find out everything you can about bail bonds.
Is a bail bond legally binding?
The answer is yes. Once a person accepts to co-sign a bail bond agreement, all the risk is transferred from the defendant to them. Thus, signing this agreement is more than just offering a personal signature. Co-signing tells the court that you guarantee that the defendant will attend every court hearing. Additionally, a co-signer assures the court that the defendant will pay the amount of money paid by the bail bonds company. So, if the defendant honors their part of the deal, the co-signer will not lose anything. On the other hand, if they don't show up in court and don't pay the bail amount, the co-signer gets in danger. That's why it is so necessary to know what one is getting into when called upon to co-sign a bail bond contract.
Things to keep in mind as an indemnitor
Prior to co-signing the bondsman agreement document, remember the following:
The document is legally binding – Ask a lawyer to explain what it means to co-sign a bail bond. This can simplify the decision-making process.
There are financial liabilities – A co-signer is in danger if the defendant is unable to give the necessary bail amount to the bail bondsman. In such a situation, the indemnitor should step in and take full responsibility. In case a defendant runs away after getting out of jail, the co-signer will be penalized. They will be asked to pay the full bail amount. Before then, however, the court will allow 180 days to find the missing defendant and have them attend a hearing. The person given this responsibility is the co-signer. If they fail to find the person, the court will do away with the bail bond and demand the entire bail amount as penalty.
A co-signer can exercise their rights – If an indemnitor strongly feels that the defendant will default or violate every condition set forth, they have a right to cancel the agreement. All they have to do is to request the bail bonds company to revoke the contract. For instance, if a co-signer discovers that the person they just bailed out continues to do illegal things, they can request cancelation of the agreement. If possible, a co-signer should ask for stipulations before offering their signature. For example, they could request that the defendant's mental health be evaluated or for them to be put through a drug test.
Co-signing a bail bond agreement is a matter that should be taken seriously. While this is a good act of assisting a loved one, it has its own disadvantages. To learn more about bail bonds, contact a company like Affordable Bail Bonds.