Bail bonds are a necessary component of the criminal justice system, providing a means for defendants to be released from jail while awaiting trial. There are some important things you should know when bonding out a loved one. At Woodard Bonding Company, we’re here to help clients understand the details of this legal process.
What Is a Bail Bond?
A bail bond is a financial agreement between the bail bond company, the defendant, and the court. The bail bond company will typically charge a fee for its services. This fee is non-refundable, even if the defendant is found not guilty or if the case is dismissed.
Usually 10% of the total bail amount, the fee is used to post bail on behalf of the defendant. In return, the defendant is released from jail and can return home while awaiting trial. Our experienced agents can help you navigate these fees along with any details specific to your situation.
Risks of Collateral
In some cases, the bail bond company may require collateral in addition to the fee. Collateral acts as both an incentive and a safeguard. The defendant must appear in court as scheduled and comply with all the conditions of their release. If the defendant fails to meet these requirements, the bail bond company can use the collateral to cover the cost of the bond.
In such a situation, the defendant may lose their property, vehicle, or other assets that were used as collateral, even if they did not receive a conviction for the accused crime. Our mission is to help you and your family understand these risks and help you avoid issues with collateral.
Responsibilities of the Co-Signer
You can choose to co-sign for a loved one’s bail bond. Co-signing for a loved one’s bail bond is a significant responsibility. If the defendant fails to appear in court, you will be fully responsible for paying the bail amount and any associated fees. This means that you could be held liable for thousands of dollars if the defendant does not fulfill their obligations.
Before agreeing to co-sign, make sure you fully understand the terms of the bail bond agreement and the risks involved. Only co-sign if you are confident that the defendant will appear in court and comply with all the conditions of their release.
You should also keep in mind that co-signing for a bail bond could affect your credit score and financial standing. If you have any questions about the process, consult with one of our trusted financial advisors at Woodard Bonding Company.
Advantages of Bail Bonds
There are several advantages of using bail bonds to secure the release of a loved one from jail. Bail bonds can provide a way to afford the bail amount, which may otherwise be too high for most people to pay in cash. They allow the defendant to return home and resume their daily activities while awaiting trial.
Bail bonds can also provide peace of mind for the defendant and their loved ones. They can avoid waiting in jail and rest assured that they have fulfilled their legal obligations.
Before getting involved with a bail bond, always make sure that you fully understand the costs, risks, and responsibilities. A licensed bail bond agent or an experienced criminal defense attorney can provide valuable guidance. Contact us at Woodard Bonding today for help making an informed decision about whether bail bonds are right for you.