Being able to count on other family members or close friends is an important part of developing a close, supportive personal community in today's complicated world. A request to act as a cosigner for a loved one's bail bond is a situation that often arises without warning and that requires relatives to make a quick decision on whether or not they should comply with the request.
If you have just been notified that a spouse, child, sibling, or other close family member or friend has been arrested and they have asked you to cosign their bail bond, here are some of the best reasons for doing so.
Protecting jobs and dependents
One of the most compelling reasons to agree to serve as a cosigner for your loved one's bail bond is the fact that doing so can help them maintain a more normal life as they work through the legal issue or issues for which they have been arrested. When a defendant must remain in jail for days or even weeks while awaiting trial for the crime for which they have been accused, their employment is often at risk. Employers may be unwilling or unable to retain their position for an unknown period of time while the court case moves forward.
Perhaps even more upsetting is the fact that minor children in the home may be more at risk of being placed into foster care if their parent is being detained in jail, even if the jailed parent is merely awaiting trial and has not yet been convicted of any crime. A defendant who is free on bond while awaiting trial will be better able to maintain their employment and meet the financial and care needs of their family and household.
Providing hope and constructive advice
It is normal for someone who has just been arrested and formally accused of a crime to begin to feel hopeless. This is especially true when they are forced to remain inside a jail cell before their trial because they are unable to put together a bail bond on their own. When a family member or friend is willing to step up to help the defendant by agreeing to cosign their bond, they are also helping to provide the accused with hope during a low point in their life. A caring cosigner can also use the experience to offer constructive advice and guidance so that the arrest can be a turning point for improving their life and that of their family.
Including safeguards and contingencies
It is normal to have some questions or reservations when first asked to cosign a bail bond. Prospective cosigners should clearly understand that they do have options to exert some control on the terms and conditions of the bail bond agreement. This is particularly important in situations where the cosigner knows that the defendant might be best served by being ordered to undergo addiction treatment or counseling or where there are other issues that need to be addressed within the agreement.
If the defendant does not comply with all the terms and agreements of a bail bond agreement, their cosigner retains the right to revoke the bail bond agreement. When this occurs, the bail bond agent works with the court and law enforcement to locate the defendant and return them to the appropriate holding facility until their court date arrives.
Signing a bail bond agreement is a serious financial commitment, so it is important that prospective cosigners fully understand the process and their potential liability. To learn more about cosigning a bail bond agreement or to get specific answers for your loved one's situation, contact a bail bond company like Sanctuary Bail Bonds.