Posting a bail bond for a loved one isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Bail bondsmen take a 10% fee off whatever the bail amount is to cover their services. That’s money that you won’t get back. Whether that’s $200 or $2,500 makes no difference if you’re not in a position to give that up. Likewise, if you place your personal property as collateral, you could lose it should the defendant miss their court date. So before doing this, ask yourself these four important questions, and determine if bonding out your loved one is the right decision for you. 

Are they a flight risk?

If the person you bond out of jail skips bail, you’ll lose any collateral you placed. You’ll also be on the line to cover the full bail amount. Now, just because you can afford the 10% doesn’t mean you can afford to cover thousands of dollars in bail. There’s nothing wrong with bailing a loved one out of jail. In fact, we encourage it because no one should be left to struggle in a Harris county jail if they haven’t been found guilty. However, you should never put your financial security at risk or struggle to pay your own bills because you were graciously helping a friend or family member. 

How well do I know them?

You may empathize with an acquaintance or friend who has recently been incarcerated. Maybe it’s all a misunderstanding and they have a family at home. You would understandably want to help them out in this situation, especially if it’s not an inconvenience. Unfortunately, if it’s someone you don’t know well, many things that could be going on behind the scenes. Things you may not know about.

 They could have a substance abuse problem, a lengthy rap sheet, or they may have just committed a serious crime. You might like them, but getting them released from jail could quickly turn into a problem for you if you’re not informed.

Am I okay with not getting 10% of the bail amount back?

When you post bail, you must pay 100% of the bail amount and you’ll only get it back once the trial concludes. Many people can’t afford to post that much money, much less not have access to it for months. 

That’s why so many people choose to hire a Houston bail bondsman. This way you only have to pay a 10% non-refundable fee and the bonding company is responsible for paying the rest. A bond is a great solution to get your loved one out of jail, but first, you need to decide if you’re in a financial position to pay that cost if the defendant doesn’t pay you back.

Likewise, you could be on the line for thousands of dollars if the person you bond out jumps bail. It’s likely that the 10% won’t be repaid unless you’ve already discussed that with the accused party. Worst case scenario, you might owe the entire bail amount if they don’t show up to their court date. 

To protect yourself, you should at least consider getting the defendant to sign a promissory note. 

Why do you want to post this person’s bond?

Many people may feel that it’s their responsibility to get someone out of jail. That could be a parent, ex-partner, spouse, friend, or anyone else. While it’s nice of you to consider posting bail for them, it may not always be in your best interest. Has your incarcerated spouse been unfaithful, your parents abusive, or your friend frequently unkind? Then, it’s completely understandable if you choose not to put your neck on the line for them. People who have hurt you in the past are more likely to continue doing so. This means you may end up losing the money you put up when they selfishly miss their court date. 

Honest Houston Bail Bond Company

Today we listed some of the red flags we think well-meaning friends and family members should consider before posting a bail bond. However, most of your friends and family members won’t fit into these categories. They’re good people who love you. They may have made a mistake or been caught up in a misunderstanding, but that doesn’t mean they should be left to rot in a Harris county jail until their trial commences. If you answered these questions and were left positive answers, give ABC Bail Bonds a call. We offer fast Houston bail bonds and can get your loved one out so they can begin planning their defense.