If someone you know was arrested, it is natural to want to help them get out of jail. One of the best ways to help someone get out of jail is by posting or co-signing a bail bond for them. When it comes to signing on a bail bond for someone else, you are not just signing something that doesn't matter; you are putting your name on a legal document, so it is essential to understand exactly what you are agreeing to.

#1: Agreeing to Pay

First, you are agreeing that you are going to pay the bail bond agent's fee. You may be asked to pay that fee upfront to get your friend out of jail. Or you may be able to be put on a short-term payment plan that will last for a few weeks or a few months to pay off the fee. The fee is generally dictated by state law. You are saying that you will pay that fee or are taking on the responsibility to pay if the person you are assisting with getting out of jail can't pay that fee.

#2: Agreeing to Collateral

It is not only the initial fee that you need to worry about. When you sign on a bail bond for someone else, you are going to be asked to put up collateral. Collateral only comes into play if the person you are helping to get released breaks their bail bond terms or if they don't show up in court. In either of those cases, you are going to be responsible for paying the collateral. The collateral is the full amount of their bail that the agency which posted bail will have to forfeit to the courts.

#3: Agreeing for the Defendant to Appear in Court

Next, when you sign on a bail bond for someone, you agree that the person, formally known as the defendant, will show up in court. You agree that the person will show up in court, and you will work with them to help them show up in court. That means you will be aware of their court dates, and you will work with them to ensure that they get there.

#4: Add Stipulations

Finally, it is essential to know that as a co-signer, you have the right to ask for stipulations to be put on your friend, the defendant's bail conditions. These should be conditions that will help the defendant to live an upright life. For example, you could ask that the defendant enter a substance abuse program or take anger management classes or refrain from drugs and alcohol usage.

When you add your signature to someone else's bail documents, you are signing on a legal document. Reach out to a bail bondsman like one at Steele Boys Bail Bonds for more information.