If you live long enough, there's a pretty good chance that, at some point, you'll get that desperate, late night phone call from a friend or family member who needs to be bailed out of jail. Whether or not you choose to post bail is, of course, up to you, but before you agree to do it, you should know the responsibilities that go along with signing a bail bond contract.
Getting the Person to Court
The biggest responsibility you face when you choose to post bail for someone is ensuring that he or she goes to court at the appointed time. Your responsibility doesn't necessarily end after one court date either.
If the case is continued, which often happens at the first court appearance, you will be responsible for the person being in court for all scheduled and related court dates. In other words, your responsibility could end up going on for several months.
So, if you have a friend who is likely to skip town or who frequently doesn't make good on his word, you might want to think twice before posting his bail.
Taking Care of Costs Incurred
If you can make good on the first responsibility--getting the defendant to court--your job is pretty much done, which is a good feeling.
If, however, you're unlucky enough to bail out someone who doesn't go to court, that's where you start paying...and paying a lot. With most bond agencies, there will be a fee to pay for the missed court date as well as any fees involved in tracking the person down and/or hiring others to do it.
If the person cannot be located after a certain period of time, then you will be responsible for paying the full bail amount.
Make the Right Choice
As you can see, there is some risk involved in bailing someone out. So before you agree to do so, think carefully about the person you are considering posting bail for. If it's not someone you've known for a very long time, someone who lives close by, or someone who honors his responsibilities, bailing him out might not be a good choice. You might also want to avoid bailing out someone who has an easy escape, such as easily being able to go to another country or state to hide out.
If you feel confident you can trust the person, however, then you just have to find a reputable bonding agent and help out your friend or other loved one. Talk with a bail bond company, like A Bail Now Bail Bonds, Inc., for more information.