Bailing A Loved One Out Of Jail

When you or a loved one makes a mistake and finds themselves behind bars, it can be a very stressful time. People cannot work and take care of their families when they are incarcerated, so it's important to get back to every day life as quickly as possible. This is everything you need to know when you find yourself in that situation. 

How do I bail someone out of jail?

You have two options: pay the entire bail or use a licensed bail bondsman. In some situations you may be able to use your property as collateral as well. This can take longer because of the paperwork involved, and the property must be valued at twice the cost of the bail. 

What if I don't have enough money?

If you don't have the money to pay the bail bondsman, you may be able to arrange payments or offer collateral. Things that could potentially be used as collateral include:

  • bank accounts
  • cars
  • credit cards
  • jewelry
  • property
  • stocks and bonds

Can I get my money back?

When you use a bail bondsman, you must pay a portion of the bond. This is nonrefundable. This is the fee for the bail bondman's services. If you pay cash and the incarcerated party follows all of the requirements of the court, you will get a majority of your money back. 

When you bail someone else out of jail, you take on the role of indemnitor. An indemnitor assumes financial responsibility for the the person you bailed out (surety). The surety must follow all requirements or you will find yourself obligated to answer to the court. Not only will you not get the bail money back, but you will be responsible for the entire bond and the costs of apprehending the surety. 

What happens if someone skips court?

If someone does decide to skip their court date, there are a number of things that could happen. First, the court understands that things happen. The person will have the opportunity to call and explain their absence. As long as the surety take initiative to make things right, your bond is generally still in tact. After a certain amount of time, the surety will have a bench warrant issued fro their arrest. At this point, there is a certain amount of time to allow the person to turn themselves in before your bond is revoked. 

Think hard before bailing someone out of jail. You could lose everything to help a friend who, quite frankly, doesn't have the same concern for you. However, if you do need to bail someone out of jail, talk to a bail bondsman in your area.