Posting Bail For A Friend: Is It The Right Choice?

Getting the call that a friend needs to be bailed out of jail can sometimes put you in an uncomfortable position. Before you agree to help out a friend, there are a few things you should consider. Use the following guide to help you in the event that you get this call.

Consider the Friendship

While you might want to be a good friend to anyone who needs help, it's important to consider the relationship you have with the person in need of help. If you know that this person isn't trustworthy, you may want to reconsider. Remember that the bail money you put forth can be forfeited should he or she not meet the court's conditions of bond. However, if the person calling is a close friend you trust, helping out might be the right choice.

Look at Your Finances

Even if you have enough money to cover the bond payment, you should consider whether or not you can afford to be without the money for an extended period of time. Bail isn't typically returned right away, and even if your friend follows all conditions of bond, the court can retain part of the bail to cover fees and fines. A good rule of thumb is to only pay cash bond if you can still pay your bills for several months or more even after paying the bond.

Consider a Bail Bond

If you can trust the person asking for help but you don't have the required amount of money available, one option is to hire a bail bondsman like those at Justice Bail Bonds. This option provides you with a way to cover the amount of bail without having the cash in hand. You may be required to put up collateral, such as a home, boat, or car, in exchange for the bond payment. This is typically referred to as a surety bond. Your bail bondsman will go over the details of the bond and the court's requirements with you and your friend to ensure the conditions of release are followed and to help ensure you don't lose ownership of your collateral. Remember that you will likely have to pay fees to the bail bondsman, which are not refundable. This is essentially the cost of doing business with a bail bondsman.

If you aren't sure whether or not to bond out a friend, consider meeting with a bail bondsman. He or she can help you weigh the risks and give you more insight into how the process works. With the right information, you can make an informed decision about your friend's incarceration.