What to Know before Signing a Bail Bonds Contract

Most people do not anticipate it, but still find themselves in a position of helping someone who has been arrested. It may be a friend, family member, colleague, or loved one who asks for help. The situation is often wrapped in anxiety and pressure, so those involved regularly fail to take the time to fully understand the process and their responsibilities when signing a contract for bail bonds in Honolulu.

Understanding Bail

Bail bonds are funds that are used to release a defendant from jail. The bond acts as a sort of insurance policy, promising the court to present the defendant at appointed court dates. This benefits the consumer because most bail bond companies charge only 10% of the total bail required, making it much easier for a friend or family member to finance. Keep in mind that this premium is not refundable, even if the case is dismissed.

Your Responsibilities Upon Signing

When you sign a bail bond contract, you become the indemnitor. This means you agree to assume a number of responsibilities, including making sure the defendant attends every court appearance. If they fail to appear at any appointment, you will be liable for additional fees if the bond company decides to hire a recovery agent to bring the defendant to court. At this point, the court will issue a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest. While there may be legitimate obstacles to arriving at court at the appropriate time, such as a car that is malfunctioning or a child falling ill, these issues can easily be addressed by the bail company if you simply call them and explain the situation.

In the event that the defendant cannot be found, you become accountable for the entire amount of the bail set by the court. Any collateral you used at the time of the signing will be used to settle the account. While it is commendable that you wish to help someone in need, you should be sure you realize your commitment before signing your name to the bail bond contract.

What to Consider before Signing

Before agreeing to pay for bail bonds in Honolulu to get someone out of jail, be sure to consider the true nature of the person you are helping. Since you will be taking responsibility for their future actions, it is important that you are fully confident in their ability to uphold their promises. Consider how well you know the person, as well as how long you have known them. Take into account how stable they are in other areas of their life.