Often times we have defendants who call our agency and tell us to contact their ex-wives, relatives who live out of town, co-workers or a casual male or female acquaintances will they say will help bail them out of jail. This means that person would be putting up the cash to pay our fee and indemnify or guarantee that the defendant will show up for court.
Since it is our Agency’s position that we actually serve the person putting up the bail and not the defendant we often find ourselves in the position of discouraging those very people from posting bond. So to that end we decided to provide our clients a list of issues that you may wish to consider before posting bond….
First of all do you truly know the defendant?
You might think that question is a “no brainer” if you are posting bond for your husband, son or daughter but we’d ask that you think twice before helping the new guy on the job or the sweet young thing you met at the local watering hole last week.
Ladies, learn how to spot a dangerous man before you get involved.
- Do they have a severe alcohol or drug problem?
- If they have a mental disorder are they medication compliant?
- How serious of an offense have they committed?
- Are they U.S. citizens or could they be subject to deportation?
It is one thing to bond out your friend or neighbor who is a family man who is buying his home and has been arrested for driving on an invalid license. It is quite another to post bond for someone you barely know, especially if they just moved here from another state and have been living for the past two weeks in a flea bag motel. Please note that if they are a member of some notorious biker gang and have been arrested for drug trafficking and attempted murder we’d be glad to refer you to one of our competitors. Also keep in the back of your mind that even the most law abiding citizen when faced with a long prison term might consider leaving the jurisdiction for parts unknown.
Are you able to comfortably bear the risk?
Some scoundrels purposely target grandparents or parents who are up in years. If you are retired and this is the first time you’ve heard from the person in jail in years be sure what you are getting into. Do not risk your home or savings unless you are absolutely sure that they will show up for court.Even if you’re not a senior citizen remember if the defendant fails to appear you are liable for paying the full amount of the bail. Agents prefer that you pay the cash but if you don’t you risk becoming homeless if you used your property for collateral.
Examine the true reasons you wish to post bond
If you are a victim of domestic violence being fearful of retaliation this is not a good reason to do so. We encourage you to seek help from your local domestic violence organization or victim advocate. We don’t want to pick up the paper and find that you have been severely injured or killed. Unfortunately some mistakenly view bail agencies as a dating or maid service or even worse, a slave trader. So if you are bonding a person out thinking that he or she will be so deeply indebted to you that they will show their gratitude by bestowing sexual favors, cooking and cleaning your house as a sign of their eternal love, think again.
The dancer or prostitute you envision serving your every wish or that stud your heart yearns for to be your life’s companion will probably disappoint you and be gone in a heart beat after their release. Also if you are a control freak and think by posting bond that person will become your own personal slave and we’ll be there to help keep them in line, think again. We adhere and support the thirteenth amendment outlawing slavery.
“But he’s the father of my child…”
Yes that may be true but what has been his track record? Has he been responsible financially and emotionally? Has he been there for you or you just hoping that by bonding him out the fool will somehow miraculously change? Listen to your mother and you might just avoid having to pay a bail agency when the dead beat takes off with his latest lady love.
“Post my bail and I’ll pay you right back.”
Yes, your friend might do the right thing but be sure – or weeks later you may be kicking yourself. At a minimum you might wish to get your friend to sign a promissory note (ask us for a sample copy). Also know that if you are not the indemnitor you can not have the defendant put back in jail. In the end no bail agent wants to hear the old chestnut …
“But I’m sure he’ll show up”.
We hear that every day. In order to avoid the shock and disappointment learning that Bubba has packed up a u-haul and departed for parts unknown, we insist on being fully covered. It’s the reason we’ve been in business for so long. If after reviewing the information provided you feel comfortable in posting bond hopefully you’ll do us the honor of choosing us as your bail agent. Be cautious and be fully informed… and if the bail agent you’ve contacted doesn’t satisfactorily address these issues, find someone who will but don’t do anything until you are absolutely sure you’re aware of all the risks.