Of course, when it comes to our families or maybe even very close friends, we would do anything to help them. So when we hear that they have been arrested and need to be bailed out, the vast majority would not give a second thought and would do what needs to be done to get their loved one out. However, when it comes to being a co-signer, also known as an indemnitor, there are a few things one should know because regardless of how much we love someone, it is a big responsibility.
You are in charge of making sure they show up to court
As an indemnitor, you are vouching for the person you are helping to release. The way that a bail bond works is that person is released in the promise that they will return for their scheduled hearing. If they do not live up to that promise, a warrant for their arrest will be issued and all bond money will be forfeited. If you were the person to put up all the money, that means that money will no longer be returned and if you worked with a bail bondsman and only paid a portion of the bond, that could mean whatever you put up as collateral could be in jeopardy. It is incredibly important that you have full trust and belief that the defendant will not run because it could cause huge headaches for you.
If a bounty hunter is needed, you will be in charge of that too
Yep, if you are on the line as an indemnitor for someone who runs, the cost to retrieve that person will fall on the indemnitor’s shoulders. Again, it can be a big commitment, so full trust has to be there.
If you co-sign to release someone but feel you made a mistake, you can change your mind.
If you start to get a bad feeling that the defendant may skip out on their court hearing or maybe you worry about their well being and feel that detainment may still be a better option, you have the power to change your mind and they could be brought back. This, of course, is never ideal and you will still lose out on the bail bondsman fee, however, there may be reasons why this option is sometimes justified and it’s your call to make.
So overall, while we, of course, would do anything for the ones we love, it is so important to understand by co-signing really any type of document for someone, that we put ourselves in a position of vulnerability and we need to make completely sure that the person we are helping will hold up their end of the bargain.