If you have decided to move forward with bailing a friend or family member out of the Santa Rita Jail there are a couple things you will want to keep in mind. A bail bonds agreement is a legally binding document so you will want to make sure you understand what you are signing. If the document is not clear you will want to ask your bondsman to go through it with you.
When a person cosigns a bail bonds agreement they are first and foremost taking responsibility the defendant will go to court. If something happens and they get lost, wind up stuck in traffic, wake up sick or simply forget, this can be easily fixed. They will want to call the bondsman right away. They will be given a piece of paper that will need to be taken to the court. This will allow their case to be put back on the calendar.
On the other hand, if the defendant decides to flee, this is when things can get complicated. The agent will contact you, their friends and family members to try to determine there whereabouts. A bail recovery agent, also known as a bounty hunter, may be hired in an attempt to locate them. The cosigner will ultimately be responsible for covering that cost. If the defendant cannot be located and gotten back into the system within six months the cosigner and the bondsman will be on the hook to pay the full bail amount to the court as a penalty.
Only two to three percent of people who are out on bond willfully decide to skip bail. The number is very low. Still, if you are being asked to cosign a bail bond agreement for someone you barely know you may want to ask them to call a close friend or family member instead.
If you have questions about how bail works and what the responsibilities are call our office now at 510-291-4169.