Do you have a friend or family member in jail who has asked for you to be the guarantor on their bail bond? It is common to feel like you are pressured to make an immediate decision, not allowing you the time to learn about what is really being asked for you. Ultimately, you could be held responsible for paying the bail bond if the accused person doesn't show up to court on the agreed-upon date. That is why it helps to ask these questions before you agree to help.
Does The Accused Person Have A Permanent Residence?
Anybody that has been released from jail on bond is going to need to receive legal correspondence regarding their upcoming court date. This can be a big problem if the person doesn't have any sort of permanent address, either through a place they currently own or rent or a place where they are temporarily staying.
If you do not know where the person is currently living, and they cannot provide you with that information, this should be a huge red flag. Their address needs to match up to what is on their ID. If they do not have a permanent address, they won't be able to receive those important court communications. If they do miss their court date because of this, you end up paying that bond amount.
A bondsman will also receive relevant notifications of pending court dates. As the guarantor, you could request that the bondsman notify you about anything mailed concerning court dates or legal paperwork.
Is The Accused Person Easy To Reach?
Think about how easy or hard it has been to contact this person in the past. Are they the type of person that you can easily reach by a phone call or a text message, or do you find that it takes them a while to finally call you back? Know that the bondsman will rely on you if they have problems contacting the person you are helping.
Does The Accused Person Have A Car?
The person released on bail should not have any excuse for missing a court appearance, especially if you are their guarantor. Consider how easy it will be for your friend or family member to head back to court for any meetings that they need to attend. A lack of transportation, such as a car, will make it harder for them to show up on time. This means you will be responsible for providing their transportation when the time comes.
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