If your bail amount is set higher than you or your family member or friend can afford, you will need to secure a bail bond as soon as possible.
However, there are still important considerations and questions you need to take into consideration. A bail bondsman will want to make sure they’re getting the most for their money. To do this they will charge a bail bond bond premium fee that is usually 10-20% of your bail bond amount. This fee is normally not refundable. This means that even if you show up for all your court dates and receive your bail money back, you will never get that 10-20% of your money back. Therefore, it would be wise to look for a bail bondsman that would require a lower premium. Also, you will also want to take into consideration if there is an initiation or application fee in addition to the premium.
Now if you paid the bail on your own and the defendant fails to show up to the court for all scheduled court appearances, you will simply lose the money you provided for their bail. If, however, you negotiated with a bail bondsman to pay the bail and the defendant does not appear in court, the bondsman will lose the bail money they paid on behalf of your friend or family member.
Finally, you can expect that they will hire a “bounty hunter” to come and find the defendant. Consider also, not only are bounty hunters experts at tracking fugitives, it is also a criminal offense to “jump bail” so the defendant will be charged with additional criminal charges.
So are you responsible for someone you bail out of jail? Not in any real legal sense of the word. It is up to them to make it to court to all of their scheduled court appearances. They may also have other requirements from the court including:
- Staying clean and sober
- Obeying all laws
- Maintaining employment
- Staying away from known criminals
- Taking anger management classes for violent offenses
- Talking to the court about any other obligations they might have
- Not talking to people about their case or contacting the victim of a case
- Not talking to the investigators or prosecutors without having their lawyer present
- Obligations you may have to the defendant
If you have bailed a close friend or family member out of jail you do not have legal responsibilities for them, but as mentioned above, you may lose any money you posted for their bail or paid to a bail bondsman if they do not appear in court. You may, however, have emotional responsibilities. Keeping in touch with the defendant, encouraging them to make good choices and making sure they appear in court when required may simply be things we should all do for a good friend or family member who is in trouble.
As always, the best option is to contact Atlas Bail and go over available info and all the details. With our experience, knowledge and great customer service, we can have your loved ones back to you as soon as the law will allow us. From the moment you show up in our office we understand your need for guidance and help. The fact that a person is in jail is only the beginning of the process. Selecting AAA Atlas Bail is an important first step. With years of experience in our office, we most definitely will have the right answer for you.