When your friend or family member is facing jail time, you may also be facing a new and stressful situation. If you haven’t considered it before, you may wonder whether you’re willing to help pay the bail amount. It’s reasonable to want to know more about the situation before turning over any of your cash or property.
1. How much will it cost?
Your costs are determined by the amount of bail. ManyÂ bail bond companiesÂ charge a percentage of the bail price and may also charge a fee. If your percentage of the cost is too high for you to pay immediately, some agencies allow you to make payments toward your share. They may also require something as collateral, such as a vehicle or a property deed.
2. What does it mean to be a co-signer?
When you co-sign for your friend or family member, you are accepting the responsibility to pay the bail money and to make sure your loved one attends all required court dates. This is a lot of responsibility so carefully consider your risks before accepting them.
3. How can I decide whether to become a co-signer?
Judges consider several factors before offering bail and setting a bail amount. You should also consider these factors. Does your loved one have a criminal history? How serious are the charges? Are there patterns of drug or alcohol abuse? How sure are you that your friend or family member will attend all court dates? Remember that you won’t get your money or property back if your loved one doesn’t comply fully with the judge’s orders.
4. How soon will my loved one be released?
After you’ve completed the paperwork with theÂ pennsylvania bail bondsÂ agency, it may be only a few hours before your loved one gets out. This can be affected by the workload of the agency and the jail. It’s important to remember that release times may also vary by county.
5. What happens if I don’t post bail?
If you don’t post bail, your loved one will remain in jail or be moved to a detention center. He or she will remain in custody until the case is resolved. All of this time in custody will be considered part of time served when sentencing is complete.