Co-signing a bail bond is a huge responsibility and liability. Becoming a co-signer means you are signing a contract as the liable party for the defendant. If there is more than one co-signer, both are responsible. You’re essentially assuming the consequences if the defendant does not make his or her payments, skips court or possibly violates other terms of release that are dependent on the bail bond.
We know you desperately just want to co-sign the bail bond because you’re sympathetic to your very close friend or relative, but you should really weigh certain things before signing off:
- It is the co-signer’s duty to ensure the defendant appears in court and meets all other terms and conditions.
- It is the cosigner’s duty to ensure the defendant does not violate any terms of his or her bail and release.
- The co-signer may have to pledge collateral for the bond. This is most often property, electronics, jewelry and vehicles. The bail agency only keeps collateral if the defendant does not show up in court. Otherwise, it will be returned at the conclusion.
- The co-signer should notify the bail agency of the whereabouts (if known) of the defendant if the defendant tries to flee. Otherwise, the co-signer will have consequences (such as collateral taken).
- The co-signer may request the defendant undergo certain programs and evaluations (like drug tests and mental health evaluations) before agreeing to co-sign the bail bond.
What are the Rights of the Co-Signer?
When you co-sign a bail agreement, it’s important that you know your rights. First of all, you have the right to refuse to be a co-signer. You should only enter a legal agreement such as this if you fully understand that you will be responsible to pay for the full amount of the bail bond if the defendant doesn’t show up to court or if they violate a condition of their bail.
Co-signers can request to have their name taken off the bail bond if he or she begins to feel uncomfortable with the defendant. Then the bail bond is retracted and the defendant will be taken into custody. So if the accused commits another crime or the co-signer believes the accused will not go to court, the co-signer has the right to cut ties with the situation to ensure their own safety.
If you are in need of a bail bond for your loved one, please call Downey Bail Bonds at 562-866-0081 or click Talk To An Agent Now to chat.
We can discuss how you might be a co-signer. We protect the rights of the accused but also of the co-signers – we are on both of your sides because we work to achieve the best possible outcome for all.