When someone is arrested and incarcerated, that person will likely qualify for bail, which will allow for a temporary, conditional release from jail while they await their court dates. But before a defendant can post bail, someone must cosign the bail agreement, and that individual is referred to as the indemnitor.
If you need to bail a friend or loved one out of jail and plan on cosigning for their bail bond, you should understand what being an indemnitor entails. Read on to learn what’s required of an indemnitor, the responsibilities an indemnitor holds, and the potential financial risks of cosigning for a bail bond so you know what to expect.
What’s Required for an Indemnitor to Secure a Bail Bond?
If you plan to use the services of a bail bond agent to bail someone you know out of jail, the first thing you should know is that getting a bail bond isn’t free. If you’re going to cosign for the bond, you’ll need to pay a nonrefundable service fee to the bond agent, which typically amounts to 10% of the total bail amount issued by the court.
The bail bond company may also run your credit to make sure you’re not a serious financial risk, and you may also be asked to supply a form of collateral to back the bond. Collateral can be a property deed, the title to a vehicle, or other articles of personal property that hold considerable value.
Signing As an Indemnitor: What Are Your Responsibilities?
When you go to a licensed bail bond agent for help bailing someone out of jail, you’ll need to sign something called an indemnity agreement to secure the bond. Signing that agreement makes you the guarantor of the bond. That means you immediately become responsible for the full dollar amount of the bond in the event the defendant violates the terms of his or her bail agreement.
Given the financial obligation you take on by becoming the indemnitor, you hold the following responsibilities while your friend or loved one is out of jail on bail:
Ensuring the Defendant Appears Before the Court
One of the conditions of bail is that the defendant must appear in court for all assigned court dates. Missing even one court appearance is considered a violation of bail, and if this occurs, you will become liable for paying back the full dollar amount of the bond you were issued. Given the serious financial implications of this situation, it’s in your best interest to make sure the defendant shows up to all required court appearances.
Making Sure the Defendant Doesn’t Violate Any Other Bail Conditions
Aside from mandatory court appearances, bail comes with a few other conditions too. Depending on the case, these conditions may include travel restrictions, refraining from substance use, and avoiding specific people or places. If the defendant violates any of these conditions, the court may revoke his or her bail, and you’ll become liable for repaying the full bail amount. Like court appearances, it’s also in your best interest to make sure the defendant complies with all conditions of his or her bail agreement.
Paying to Locate the Defendant If They Skip Bail
Should the defendant fail to show up in court and neither you, the bail agent, nor the court has any idea where they’ve gone, efforts to locate the person will ensue. As the indemnitor (guarantor) of the bond, you become financially liable for any costs incurred to locate the defendant and return that person to police custody.
Speak With a Licensed Mississippi Gulf Coast Bond Agent Today
Ready to bail a friend or loved one out of jail? Looking for a reputable, licensed bail bond agent on the Mississippi Gulf Coast? Get in touch with our team at D&D Bail Bonds today to learn more about your bond options. Our licensed agents are available to help you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We offer affordable payment plans, and our offices specialize in multiple types of bonds. To get started, feel free to give us a call today at (228) 539-0700 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation, and we’ll be in touch promptly.