The Responsibility of an Indemnitor
Most of the people that get arrested in the state of California are eligible for temporary release while they make a court appearance. This form of release is called Bail. However, this release is never free, and people have to pay a refundable fee to the court in order to secure the release. However, some bail amounts can exceed $20,000 and not everybody has that kind of money sitting in their bank accounts, so this is why bail bonds agents charge a 10% fee of the bail to secure the release of your loved one.
Indemnitors are more known as co-signers who co-sign the bail bonds on behalf of the person arrested and usually provide the financial part of the bail that the bail bond companies usually require when bailing someone out of jail. When signing for a bail bond, you must know all the obligations and duties you as a co-signer hold, because otherwise the future may have some financial surprises. Below are the 4 most common duties an indemnitor (co-signer) has when obtaining a bail bond with Avolevan Bail Bonds:
Guaranteeing the defendant will appear in court.
The main duty accepted by anyone who acts as an indemnitor on behalf of the person in jail is to ensure that he or she will show up to EACH and EVERY one of their court dates scheduled by the court. If the indemnitor fails to ensure that the defendant shows up to court, then the second responsibility automatically kicks in.
Paying to track the defendant down.
If the defendant fails to show up to court on his due date, the company who issued the bail bond has to take the necessary measures to track down the defendant and this usually involves hiring people specializing in this known as Fugitive Recovery Agents. If the bail bond company decides to hire these specialized people, the indemnitor has the obligation and responsibility to be financially responsible for these costs.
Paying the Full Bail Amount
In some cases, fugitive recovery agents are not able to locate the defendant to bring him down to the court within the given time. Also, the bail bond company may have chosen not to hire a fugitive recovery agent to start with. In either of these situations, the indemnitor known as the co-signer automatically shares the responsibility to pay the court the full cost of the bail amount that was originally posted on behalf of the defendant. If a form of collateral was taken when signing for the bond, you would automatically forfeit all forms of collateral and the bail bonds company will use the proceeds from it to pay the court.
Very important things to think about.
In legal terms, the bail bonding company has the right to assume that anyone acting as an indemnitor for the release of a defendant under a bail bond knows the defendant well enough to assume the financial risks and obligations that come along when bailing someone out of jail. Once the paperwork is signed, under no circumstance does the bail bonding company have any responsibility to change its mind. What this means is that you the co-signer can no longer decide at a later time that you do not want to share these responsibilities and get off the hook for someone who violates the terms and conditions while obtaining a bail bond through a company.
As an indemnitor, you are free of all responsibly when the defendant completes all his or her court hearings scheduled by the court and the bond has been exonerated. At that time, you will no longer have responsibilities with the bail bond company. However, this changes if you have any outstanding payment obligations you agreed and signed for, then whether or not the defendant’s finished his or her court dates, you are legally responsible for fulfilling these terms of that agreement. Once this is fulfilled collateral will be released.
Due to the risks that this involves, bail bonding companies take their time to walk you through the process of bailing someone out. They will make sure that you understand each every part of the process, so that you can decide whether bailing out is something you want to sign for. This way family members and or loved ones know their roles as an indemnitor. Before rushing to sign, it always a good idea to ask yourself if you trust the defendant and know their moral character well enough to make sure they will show up to court.
If you have any questions, please feel free to call Avolevan Bail Bonds at 909-721-8204. One of our licensed agents is available 24/7 to help explain the bail bond process.