Have Questions About Your Responsibilities As A Bail Bonds Co-Signer/Indemnitor?
We want you to know your responsibilities when you bail a friend or loved one out of jail. When you bail someone out of jail and co-sign on their bond, you are signing a legal contract. The contract may refer to you as a “Co-Signer” or an “Indemnitor”. Either way, you are assuming specific responsibilities to the bail bond agent, the court and the defendant.
You are taking responsibility that the defendant will comply with their scheduled check-ins to the bail bond office, and that they will show up for their court appearances on time. Be sure you thoroughly read and understand the “Co-Signer Responsibilities” and Bail Bonds Application forms before you sign them. While you most likely will not face criminal charges, you can be held accountable in a civil court.
Occasionally a defendant will miss a court appearance due to an honest error or oversight. If that happens, they (and YOU) should contact our office as quickly as possible. If we are notified promptly, most times we can resolve the issue before it escalates.
If you are considering co-signing for someone and honestly feel they will not check in as required, or show up for their court appearances, or you feel they will leave the area, do not co-sign for them. It’s important that you understand the entire bail bond process and your responsibility as an indemnitor before you agree to guarantee a bond for someone.
What To Do If The Defendant Doesn’t Show Up For Court
If the defendant fails to show up for a court appearance and it was a simple mistake, we can generally work with the defendant’s attorney or the court to arrange for the defendant to return to court. Sometimes missing a court date is unavoidable due to illness, car problems or other unforeseen events. The court understands these events can happen, and will make alternate arrangements on the court date…but don’t make it a habit, because the courts “compassion” could be used up as quickly as the 2nd occurrence! It is up to the court as to whether they impose a court fee to reschedule.
If, on the other hand, it’s a situation where the defendant can’t be located or has refused to go to court, then we will locate and bring the defendant in. This is generally done with the help of family members, friends and the Co-Signer(s). If we need to employ the services of a fugitive recovery person or team (bounty hunters), then additional charges and expenses will apply.
Many times we encounter customers who have preconceived ideas or stereotypes about bail bond agents and the bail bond industry because of television, movies or the unprofessional conduct of a few agents in our industry. Unfortunately, this reflects badly on all of us, so we here at Set’Em Free Bail Bonds constantly strive to show our customers that we are a professional Dallas Bail Bond agency, and look forward to earning your trust.
© 2012 Southern Bail Bonds
Author: Patrick Hill