If someone you know and love is arrested, you may be on their short list of people they will call in order to help secure their bond to get them out of jail.
Although this may be as easy as making a call to to a bail bond company, when you sign off on the bond agreement, you become the indemnitor and there are several things that you become responsible for. It is important that you understand these prior to signing your name on the bottom line.
Exactly What Is the Role of an Indemnitor?
When you sign a bond agreement for another person, or the defendant, you are assuming the financial responsibility for the bond you are signing. Even if the person you are getting out of jail has agreed to pay an associated fee, the person whose signature appears on the bond agreement is the indemnitor, or the one who will ultimately be responsible for the bond. By signing your name, you are agreeing to do the following.
Make Sure the Defendant Appears at All Court Hearings
One of the most important roles that you are agreeing to is ensuring that the person you have signed for is present at each and every court date that they have until the matter is resolved.
This means that you need to not only make sure that you know when these dates are but that you remind them of the dates and help to remove any barriers that prevent this from taking place. For example, if they do not have a ride to court, you need to help them find one.
Ensure the Defendant Fulfills Any Court Orders
During the hearing process, the court may order the defendant to perform certain actions prior to returning to court. These vary based on what the defendant is charged with and the available resources in your community.
For example, if the defendant is charged with driving under the influence, the court may order them to have a substance abuse assessment prior to returning for another hearing. If the defendant does not do this, they run the risk of being found in contempt of the court, which could result in the bond being forfeited.
Arrange for all Fees to Be Paid
The defendant will owe an initial fee to the bail bond company for posting the bond. If paid in person, most bond companies are willing to accept cash, check, money order, or any major debit or credit card. They can even be paid by mail or over the telephone.
In addition to these fees, there may be additional fees based on what takes place during the hearing process. If the person fails to show up for court or cannot be located during the hearing process, you may also incur a fee for their recovery. No matter who has agreed to pay these funds, it will be your responsibility as the indemnitor to arrange for these fees to be paid.
What Happens If the Bond Is Forfeited?
If, for some reason, the defendant fails to honor the conditions of their bail by disappearing during the process, most bail bond companies will do everything in their power to try to find and return the person to jail. Once this is done, you will be released as indemnitor of the bond.
If this cannot be accomplished, the bond will be forfeited and you will become responsible for the entire amount of the bail that was set initially by the court. This would mean that you would then be expected to pay this amount in full or forfeit any collateral that you have put up to secure the bond.
If you have additional questions about your role as an indemnitor, speak to the professionals at Fausto's Bail Bonds. We will be happy to answer your questions, as well as to assist you in establishing any bond you may need. Give us a call.