Questions to ask before you agree to post bond

Often times we have defendants who call our agency and tell us to contact their ex-wives, relatives who live out of town, co-workers or a casual male or female acquaintances will they say will help them get out of jail. This means that person would be putting up the cash to pay our fee and indemnify or guarantee that the defendant will show up for court.

Since it is our Agency’s position that we actually serve the person putting up the bail and not the defendant we often find ourselves in the position of discouraging those very people from posting bond.

So to that end we decided to provide our clients a list of issues that you may wish to consider before posting bond.

1) First of all do you truly know the defendant? You might think that question is a “no brainer” if you are posting bond for your husband, son or daughter but we’d ask that you think twice before helping the new guy on the job or the sweet young thing you met at the local watering hole last week

2) Are they reliable? Even if this may be a relative you’ve not seen for awhile you should ask the bail agent to check the computer to see if they have a record of failing to appear. Other serious issues to consider would be:

 Do they have a severe alcohol or drug problem?
 If they have a mental disorder are they medication compliant?
 Are they responsible enough to show up for court?
 How serious of an offence have they committed?
 Are they U.S. citizens or could they be subject to deportation?

 It is one thing to bond out your friend or neighbor who is a family man who is
 buying his home and has been arrested for driving on an invalid license. It is
 quite another to post bond for someone you barely know, especially if they just
 moved here from another state and have been living for the past two weeks in a
 flea bag motel. Please note that if they are a member of some notorious biker
 gang and have been arrested for drug trafficking and attempted murder
 most agents would be more than glad to refer you to one of our competitors.

 Also keep in the back of your mind that even the most law abiding citizen when
 faced with a long prison term might consider leaving the jurisdiction for parts

Frank Kopczynski
Host & Director of the Criminal Justice Forum
Also the co-owner of Action Plus Bail Bonds http://www.actionplusbb.com