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If a friend or loved one calls and asks you to sign their bond and get them out of jail, it may seem to be a pretty straightforward transaction. All you have to do is call a local bail bond agent, pay the required premium, and wait for the bondsman to release the person. Unfortunately, your responsibility does not end there. There are other things to consider before you sign on the dotted line.
The Court May Require Collateral In Addition To Bail Money
If your friend or loved one has been arrested before and failed to appear in court, the court may require additional collateral in addition to a bond. This collateral may be property, your home, jewelry, or other valuable assets.
If you offer your home or property as collateral, the court may require the deed or title to the property. If you do not have a deed or title, they may need you to prove that you have a certain amount of equity in the property. The court may then place a temporary lien on the property until they resolve the case.
If you offer jewelry or other small valuable assets, the court or bail bond agent may require you to surrender these items to them. They will then hold onto your things until the case is over.
The Court May Not Resolve The Case At The Court Date
Many people sign a bond thinking that everything will be over once the accused attends their court date. This thought is not necessarily true. The court may order the accused to do certain things as a part of their sentence.
For example, if the court convicts the accused of driving under the influence, it may order them to have a drug or alcohol assessment. The judge may also order the defendant into some drug treatment. The court will not resolve the case until the person has completed everything the court orders.
If they fail to complete any court orders, you could lose your collateral. It would be the same as if they did not appear in court.
The Bail Bondsman Has Power
A company that posts bail bonds is an independent operation. Although they work closely with the police department and the court, they do not work for either.
If the accused skips on their bail, the bail company is responsible for the bond they posted with the court. Many times this is significant money. To recoup their money, they must produce the accused and get them back in front of the court.
The bail bondsman has the right to pursue, capture, and return them to jail by any means necessary. This right means they can go anywhere they think the accused may be.
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28 December 2022