The Dos And Don'ts Of Posting Bail For A Loved One

Finance & Money Blog

It can be overwhelming watching a loved one be arrested and spend time in jail. Therefore, you may feel the need to help this friend or family member out by co-signing and posting bail for this individual. In most cases, posting the entire bail amount is not possible due to financial restrictions. In these cases, bondsmen allow you to pay a 10 percent nonrefundable fee to ensure your loved one can be released. However, there are many restrictions and guidelines that will be required of your loved one once they are released. Unfortunately, if this friend or family member does not take their situation seriously, you will experience a good amount of physical, emotional, and financial stress. Here are a few dos and don'ts regarding the process of posting bail for a loved one so you can protect your well-being.

The Dos

One of the most important things to consider before you post bail for someone is the extent of your relationship. You should never post bail for anyone unless you have a strong relationship that is filled with honesty and integrity. Even if you feel a great sense of love or compassion for this individual and their situation, make sure you really know the person before placing your finances on the line.

It is imperative to understand the crime, as well. Be sure to ask numerous questions before making your decision on whether to post bail or co-sign for their bail bond. You should have all the details of the crime and what they are being charged with in addition to penalties they may be facing.

When you meet with the bondsmen, ask any questions you may have about the process. This is especially important if you are co-signing for the bail bond, since you will be legally liable if your loved one does not follow up with payments and show up for their court date.

Request stipulations before co-signing on the bail bond, as well. For example, if your loved one has been arrested for a crime related to drugs or alcohol, you can include requirements for periodic drug/alcohol testing. Or, request that they enter a treatment facility.

Giving the bondsmen accurate and honest information is also necessary. Do not mislead the bondsmen in hopes of protecting your loved one. Make sure you provide accurate contact information, including both your and your loved one's telephone number and address.

Lastly, keep in contact with your friend or family once they are released from jail. If you have a good relationship, this should not be hard. Your loved one should check in with your occasionally, reducing any fear or worry you may have regarding the risk of them missing their upcoming court date.

The Don'ts

Never forget your responsibility after co-signing for your loved one's bail. Avoid feeling any guilt over constantly checking in with your loved one once they are released from jail.

You should never try to hide your friend or family member if they have missed their court date. Avoid protecting them and making excuses for their behavior. By hiding your loved one or lying to your bondsmen about their whereabouts, you will be placing yourself at risk of legal ramifications.

If your loved one has missed court after you have co-signed for their bail, do not hide or run from your responsibilities because signing for a bail bond is legally binding. The bondsmen have all of the necessary tools and incentives for finding not only your loved one, but also you since you will be held somewhat responsible.

Understanding the process of bailing a loved one out of jail is essential. With this guide, you will learn the dos and don'ts of the process to protect your physical, emotional, and financial health. To learn more, check out websites like


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