It is a scary concept to think about someone we love being detained and most would do anything to get them out of that situation as quickly as possible even if it means taking some risk to do it. Many will not think twice about becoming an indemnitor in the moment but it is important to know real consequences this decision can carry if there is not complete trust that the loved one will show up to their scheduled court hearing. Here are some things to take into consideration before signing on the dotted line.
You are in charge of the defendant showing up
When signing as an indemnitor, you are promising to take responsibility for who you are signing for and saying that you will make sure that they arrive to all their court dates as agreed upon. If this doesn’t happen then the indemnitor will be the first person that the courts and bail bondsman will contact with the expectation that they will assist in locating the defendant and that whatever collateral was put up could be taken if they are not found. This is why it is incredibly vital that when someone co-signs for someone, they have complete and total trust that the person they are bailing out won’t burn them.
If for any reason they do not show, you will be financially liable for the bond and recovery
The other part of a defendant not showing up is that not only will the indemnitor be in charge on the forfeit of the bond but will also have all recovery efforts as well which can be a significant added cost that most are not expecting to deal with.
If you are concerned that they won’t show, you can change your mind
When thinking about the possible consequences of the defendant not showing and you begin to have concerns or real reason to believe that the defendant may try to flee then as the sponsor you do have the right to change your mind and have the defendant detained again prior to the hearing. This is also something to think about if for any reason you may fear that they be a danger to others or to themselves. It is never a simple or easy decision to make but it could be the one to avoid more catastrophic issues down the line in some circumstances.
To sum up, it is always important to be there for your loved one and in most cases there will be no issues, but just as becoming a co-signer to a car or apartment, it is also a big deal to become an indemnitor for a bail bond and the decision requires complete trust.