If a family member or loved one has wound up on the wrong side of the law, you may be asked to co-sign on their criminal bond. If you are considering taking this step, it’s important to understand the risks and rights that you will be assuming by attaching your name to their bail bond.
Criminal bonds in Angleton can help defendants maintain employment as they navigate the court system. They can also minimize the harmful effects of extended periods of being placed in law enforcement custody.
Co-signers are usually expected to put forward some type of collateral, such as a car, so that the bail bondsman can recover their expenses if the defendant flees. Co-signers do have a number of rights, however, that can protect them throughout the process of helping their loved ones through the criminal justice system:
- You are agreeing that the defendant will appear in court: You are risking your credit and collateral on the belief that the defendant will appear on the date that is specified by law enforcement. You are assuming a responsibility to help ensure that the accused will indeed appear in court on their specified appointment date. If you are concerned that the accused may not show up, it could be best to seek out other options.
- You agree to pay for the bondsman’s services: Co-signers will typically arrange to either pay the bondsman upfront for their services, or may arrange a payment plan depending on the cost of the bond. The fees associated with criminal bonds in Angleton are usually dependent on the size of the bail that is set by the courts when the defendant is first arraigned.
- The defendant will be released from jail: It is important that co-signers understand that the accused will be released from law enforcement custody once their bail is paid. If co-signers have concerns about the defendant’s release, they should discuss these with their bail bondsman. Frank, upfront discussions can minimize the potential loss of credit, assets and collateral.
- You can request stipulations: One of the rights afforded to co-signers is the ability to request stipulations associated with the terms of the defendant’s release. For instance, if a co-signer is concerned that the defendant may abuse alcohol or drugs and subsequently miss a scheduled court appearance, they can ask that the accused be placed in a substance abuse treatment program upon their release.
- Co-signers can return the accused to jail: If you become uncomfortable with the defendant’s behavior following their release and are worried that they may miss a court date, you can request a cancellation of their criminal bond from the bail bondsman. In other cases, if the accused does not appear before the court on their scheduled date, you can inform law enforcement of their whereabouts and assist with their re-arrest.
If you have more questions about the processes, laws and regulations surrounding co-signing on criminal bonds in Angleton, reach out to Brazoria County Bail Bonds today. Our team has been serving the communities around Angleton, Pearland and Surfside Beach, TX for more than two decades.