When you're securing bail for someone else, you're taking on a significant amount of responsibility. You will have a responsibility to the court, the bond company, and to the person you're bailing out of jail. Your exact responsibilities aren't just implied, they're put in a contract that you have to sign in order to secure the bond.
Many people, unfortunately, are unaware of the level of responsibility that they're taking on when bailing someone out of jail. As with any legal document, it is vital that you understand the terms of the bail bonds contract before you sign it.
Why Should You Review the Contract Carefully?
The world of bail bond companies has all kinds of characters, many of whom don't always have your best interests at heart. In fact, many bond companies have been accused of practices that are not favorable to their clients.
Regardless of how well a company seems to treat you, the real evidence of whether or not they are the right bail company to work with will be in the contract. A contract will define what your legal responsibilities are and also what the responsibilities of the bail company are. Understanding what you'll be legally required to do will save you from future complications.
Which Areas of the Contract Should You Pay Attention To?
Any part of the contract that says what's expected of you is one you should understand. This is important because there can be very serious consequences if you don't do what's expected of you, e.g. letting the bond company know when the suspect skips town.
You should also pay attention to any part of the contract that talks about fees and other charges. Any kind of contract can contain clauses with hidden charges. You could be signing up to pay a lot more money than you realize.
Talk to the Defense Attorney
If there's one person who'll know how to interpret the terms of a contract, it's an attorney. If you're also handling the legal side of the case, you can get the defense attorney to go over the contract you're expected to sign.
The defense attorney has an interest in seeing their client out on bail, since this can also make their job easier. You can leverage this relationship to ensure that you don't sign a contract that is detrimental to you. However, you should also take the time to familiarize yourself with such contracts so you know what to expect.
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