Numerous people are arrested each year in the US, causing distress and devastation for defendants and their families. Most arrestees are jailed for bailable offenses, allowing them to seek conditional release with the option of bail. However, paying for bail can be expensive and many families struggle to navigate this complicated process. In such a situation, a bail bonding company can step in to help! Licensed bail bond agents can post bail on behalf of their clients and help them secure release from jail. A friend or family member of the arrestee must co-sign the bail bond when the bail bondman prepares the documents. This person is called the indemnitor or co-signer in the bail bonding process. What is the role of the co-signer? Let’s break it down.
The Bail Bonding Process
Most petty offenses in the US are bailable, allowing defendants to seek conditional release from pre-trial detention. After a person’s arrest, the Magistrate sets a bail sum to facilitate their freedom. The bail amount is a monetary guarantee to ensure that the defendant will attend all Court hearings and adhere to the bail conditions. The arrestee or their friends and family can pay the amount to the authorities to facilitate the bail. However, the process of posting bail can be cumbersome and time-consuming. It may also be unaffordable for many families. In such cases, they can seek bail bond services from professional agents. A bail bondsman can post the surety bond on their behalf and charge only a small percentage of the bail amount as their fee. As a result, they can simplify the bail process and speed up the defendant’s release!
What is the Role of a Co-Signer?
A licensed bail bond agent underwrites the bail agreement to facilitate the defendant’s release from jail. They enter into a contract to guarantee the defendant’s Court appearances. They also accept financial liability in case the defendant skips bail. However, they do not accept the sole responsibility for the contract. They need someone from the defendant’s side to co-sign the bail bond.
Eligibility Criteria: Who Can Co-Sign a Bail Bond
The co-signer for the bail bond must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- They must be an adult.
- They must be a lawful citizen of the US.
- They must have a stable employment record.
Some areas may have additional eligibility factors. You can consult your bail bond agent about the relevant criteria before deciding to co-sign a bail bond for your loved one.
Indemnitor’s Responsibility While Co-Signing a Bail Bond
The bail bond co-signer or indemnitor bears financial liability according to the bail bond contract. They guarantee that the bailed individual will fulfill all contractual requirements and attend Court hearings on time. If the defendant skips bail, then the co-signer will be liable for the violation. In such a situation, the bail bond company would contact the co-signer to find the defendant. They may also forfeit their collateral and bear financial liability for the bail bond breach.
You should consider all these factors and details before co-signing a bail bond. If you need affordable bail bonds for you or your loved one, you can consult our team at Charlotte Bail Bonds!