Questions To Ask As You Consider Bailing Someone Out
Being in the position of having to bail someone out is tricky. While you don't want to leave your friend or relative hanging, you also don't want to put yourself in a bad situation, financially or personally. Here are some questions you can ask to help evaluate the situation.
What Is the Person's Record?
Is the person a first-time offender who has an otherwise solid personal record? Then, it might be well worth it to help this person out and bail them out of jail. If this is a repeat offense, the costs of bail are something to give more scrutiny to. You might be called upon to provide court bonds again in the future, for one. And your money might not go that far if the person will land back in jail in the near future.
How Has the Person Tried to Help?
Has the person tried to use their own funds or connections to bail themselves out of jail? Ask about whether they have tried to pay the bail themselves. Perhaps they can contribute part of their own money to posting bail. Or, they could use their own property to act as collateral for a bail bond. If you are getting the person involved in their own bail, it is a great deterrent for them to avoid court dates or other obligations that could cost you money.
What Is the Person Doing to Correct the Problem?
It's also helpful to see how the person feels about their trial. Are they on top of their court dates, and have they already sought out the help of a lawyer? Someone who is repentant about the situation and is taking steps to remedy the problem is someone who you can count on to fulfill their court obligations.
What Bail Options Are Available to You?
Finally, check on the options you have for posting bail. If your personal credit history is solid, then perhaps the best way to go is to sign a surety bond through a court bonds or bail bonds company. Then, you won't need to pay the money up front. The bail bonds company will help facilitate the process of posting bail for you. If the defendant should break the terms of bail, then you would be responsible for paying the bail and any costs incurred by the bail bonds company for bounty hunters. Make sure that you read the fine print and are ready to enter this financial contract on behalf of your friend or loved one.