Cosigning a Bail for a Defendant

Man signing papers

For some of the U.S. citizens who are in jail, the only thing barring them from their freedom is access to bail. Bail refers to a specific amount that an offender should pay for release; then they wait for court hearings at a later date. The bail amount depends on the individual in question and type of case. The amount of money can often be a few dollars to hundreds of dollars.

Individuals have the right to seek help from a bondsman to pay the bail in Wake County, North Carolina. The bondsman will check the individual’s credibility before giving them the loan. Individuals with a low credit score may have issues getting bail from bondsmen. Friends and family with a good credit score can be loan cosigners and help their loved one access bail.

How much does a cosigner pay?

Once the judge has set the bail amount, the arrested individual can contact a bondsman and a cosigner. The cosigner should pay a certain percentage of the total bond. The amount the cosigner should pay depends on the bondsman terms and conditions.

Who can be a cosigner?

Bondsmen lay some requirements that a cosigner should meet. These requirements include a good credit score, proof of citizenship, and employment status. The cosigner should also reside in a similar area with the defendant to prevent them from running away.

Are there any other responsibilities as a cosigner?

Woman cosigning a bail

Being a cosigner is more than offering to pay a certain amount of the bail. It is the cosigner’s duty to ensure the arrested individual attends the court for sentencing. Should the defendant disappear, it is the cosigner’s responsibility to tell the authorities of their whereabouts. When the defendant fails to make the payments to a bondsman as agreed, the bondsman contacts the cosigner. You as the cosigner may end up making all the payments. It is advisable that people agree to be cosigners for individuals they know.

What will happen if the bail amount can’t be repaid?

If both the defendant and the cosigner cannot make the payment, the bail bond company holds the bondsman accountable. When signing the contract with the company, it requires you to offer a valuable item as collateral. When you are not in a position to make the payment, the company sells off the collateral to recover their money.

What are the rights of cosigner?

When signing a contract with the bondsman, you may agree to cosign for a defendant under some instances. For example, you can state that the defendant must complete a rehabilitation program. If a defendant does not meet the requirements, they nullify the cosign agreement.

The decision to have a cosigner may sound a good idea for a defendant. However, it is a risky situation for a cosigner to be in. That is because there are many risks associated with being a cosigner. The risks are even higher when the defendant is a frequent offender or a high-risk individual. Therefore, it is essential that you understand what you are getting into before you decide to be a cosigner for a defendant with a bail bondsman. If a defendant proves to be a responsible person, being their cosigner will be a great way to help them regain their freedom.