It is easy to get confused about your responsibilities as indemnitor, the title given to the person who signs a bail bond. For one thing, you are most certainly struggling with the news you have just received that someone you love has been arrested and locked up. Now, you have the added stress of being responsible for hiring a bail bondsman to post bail. Before freaking out and putting yourself in an even worse position, here are some common misconceptions that people have about bail bonds. Connecticut Bail Bonds Group is one of the authority sites on this topic. The following statements are all commonly believed, but completely fictitious.
Bail Bonds are Negotiable
This is certainly a false statement. A judge determines how high to set the bail costs and State Legislation determines what the bail bonds businesses are allowed to charge. In California, for example, a Los Angeles bail bondsman is allowed to charge a fee of 10% of the total bail bond price. This fee is non-negotiable. If a bail bondsman offers a discount or coupon, then he is either lying to you or breaking the law. It is not worth the risk to use a bail bondsman who is operating illegally.
Bail Bondsmen Charge High Interest for Financing
On the plus side, the law mandating that the bail fee also means that interest rates cannot be charged. Some bail bonds businesses offer financing plans for indemnitors who cannot afford to pay the entire sum at once. Usually, you must provide collateral or prove a strong credit history in order to receive a long-term payment plan, but as soon as you are approved, the bondsman is not legally allowed to charge interest on the payments because that would raise the price above the predetermined fee. If a bail bondsman tries to charge extra, you do not have to pay it.
The Indemnitor has no Responsibility after Bail is Posted
This is possibly the most common misconception. After the arrestee is released by your bail bonds contact, you will feel so relieved that you may forget that there is still work ahead. The defendant now has to deal with his court case, including finding a lawyer who can prove innocence. But your main job as the indemnitor is to ensure that the defendant attends all scheduled court dates. If they miss even one without an excuse, the bail bonds business does not receive a refund of the bond and will try to recoup some of their losses through the bond signee. Besides making the arrestee look guilty, jumping bail will also hurt your wallet. So make certain the defendant does not skip trial.