When someone has been arrested, they are eligible for bail as they await their trial, but if they can’t make bail themselves, they need to get someone to do it for them. If you happen to be that someone, you need to be aware what you’re getting into. Be sure to ask yourself these questions before deciding to bail someone out.
Do You Know the Person You’re Bailing Out?
While the obvious answer is yes, some people that are considered friends are not what they seem. Examine your relationship with them to determine how close you really are. A distant relative that you haven’t spoken to in years isn’t likely to be trusted. You need to be certain that the person is as loyal to you as you are to them. If you do decide to trust someone you know only as an acquaintance, ensure that you know the places they regularly frequent, their home and work address, and any family member’s address. You don’t want to be the one taking financial responsibility if they don’t show up in court.
Do You Understand What You’re Agreeing To?
Getting a bail bond is the same as purchasing insurance. You’ll want to be made fully aware of what you’re purchasing and the coverage it entails. You’ll also are committing to staying involved in the case. If the person breaks the law again while out on bail then that’s trouble for you. The bail bond company will try to make sure your friend shows up to court, but that’s not a guarantee. If the person doesn’t show up then the full responsibility of the bail falls onto you.
Can You Afford to Bail the Person Out?
When you purchase a bail bond, you only need to pay 10%, which may not seem like that huge of a financial burden. In some cases, it is a lot, but no matter the case if that person doesn’t show up to court then you will be responsible for paying the full price of bail. If you need to use your property as collateral, it shouldn’t be done. If you aren’t absolutely sure the person will show up, it shouldn’t be done.
Posting bail for an acquaintance or friend may seem like a kind and selfless act, but it can really come back to bite you if the person is not trustworthy or it’s not something you can afford. Be wary if family members or friends that you haven’t talked to in ages come to you asking for bail. You aren’t obligated by blood or friendship to do anything that might hurt you. While it’s nice to do good, it shouldn’t be at the risk of yourself.