Bail bonds are essential if you wind up in jail, and they help to keep many people who are innocent from being wrongfully held against their will. Bail bonds also help those who commit minor offenses for a variety of reasons to leave jail and begin preparing for their trial.
However, most people typically don’t put up their own bail bonds – usually it’s a family member or friend that does it. Just because that’s the norm doesn’t mean that it’s always safe to do that.
If you’re thinking about putting a bail bond for a friend, use this guide before you cosign.
If you know the person you’re putting bail bonds up for, you probably don’t feel too worried about them repaying you. However, you need to think a little bit harder than simply putting blind trust on a friend, especially if you’re talking about thousands of dollars that could put you in harm’s way if you don’t get a partial refund.
When evaluating the risk of not getting your money back, think about the trustworthiness of the person you’re paying for and their ability to pay back the money directly to you so they can assume responsibility for themselves. Are they gainfully employed? Do they have assets to repay the money you spent?
Can You Afford It?
It’s very noble to want to put up bail for a friend when they’re in need. However, it should be noted that the money you pay to the bondsman is not refundable. The individual you’re posting bail for should be paying you back for those fees, but if you’re short on cash, that could be a concern for you. It should also be pointed out that you won’t get anything back if the person jumps bail.