When a friend calls you to bail them out of jail, you really need to think carefully as to whether you trust that your friend will attend court on time. If your friend skips out of court, you will be left responsible with paying the entirety of the bail. The latest reports released by the VERA Institute for Justice in 2009 indicated that the average bail for felonies was $55,400. If you decide to post bail by taking out a bond, here are 3 ways you can keep an eye on your friend to make sure that they attend scheduled court meetings.
Stay Within the Same City and Schedule Regular Check-Ups or Meetings
It's hard to keep an eye on someone if you are not living nearby. It's even more difficult to keep up with what they may be doing. If you plan on bailing a friend out by signing for a bail bond, you definitely want to make sure that you are living within the same city as the person you are bailing out. This way, you'll at least be able to go see them immediately should any issues arise.
To make sure that your friend will not skip out on their scheduled court dates, schedule regular check-ups and meetings with them. In short, you want to stay in touch to make sure that they are not falling on hard times or even having any thoughts of skipping town. In the event that you are having any suspicions or feel uncomfortable with your friend, you should consider contacting their arresting officer immediately to see what you can do.
Keep Their Passports or Valuable Items
To make sure that your friend won't leave you hanging with the full bail amount, you should also consider working out a deal with them before posting bail. Ask them if they would be willing to give you their passport for the time being. This will make leaving the country considerably more difficult for them.
You should also ask them to give you some valuables to hold onto until they go to court. This way, you'll rest assured knowing that your friend won't have the means to run away. Valuables can include any jewelry that they may have or even their car. In general, ask for valuables that will cover the cost of the bail bond should your friend decide to skip out on court. Keep in mind that liquidating the valuables can be difficult, so you want the valuables to be worth more than the cost of bail.
Take Them to Court on the Scheduled Date
You could still be responsible for paying a huge chunk of the bail bond amount if your friend forgets to go to court or is even late. To prevent this from happening, plan out the day of the court hearing with your friend. If possible, take the day off from work so that you can accompany them in order to make sure that no surprises come up.
Plan out when you will be picking them up on the day of the court hearing and how you will both get to the courtroom. Make sure to plan ahead of time so that you'll arrive early. This way, even if unexpected circumstances are to arise, neither of you will be late.
Don't jump head in and post bail for a friend if you're not comfortable with them, as you could be held responsible for the entire amount of the bail bond should your friend skip court. With that in mind, a bail bondsman will generally walk you through the risks involved with signing for a bail bond, and will give you some tips on how to protect yourself throughout the entire process. Contact a company like All-Mobile Bail Bonds for more information.