What is a Surety Bond?

When someone you love is arrested, it’s a very traumatic experience for friends and family with an urgency that most people are unused to. Many parents cannot stand the idea of letting a child of theirs sit in jail, and there are many practical reasons to make freedom a better choice for most defendants, not the least of which being that they can return to their normal responsibilities and continue to work in their jobs. They will likely need that money for their defense or court fines or fees.

But before you turn over a large sum of bail money, there are some questions you should think about:

  • Is the defendant a flight risk? If you believe there’s a chance that your loved one will not show up to court, you should not put up the bail money yourself unless you have the knowledge and the expertise to return them home before that date. Once their court date passes, you have 28 days to return them or forfeit all the money you have paid.
  • Is your loved one a danger to himself or others? You likely have more information about the trustworthiness of your loved one. Sometimes jail, as bad as it is, is not the worst outcome for an unfortunate situation to have.
  • Can you afford to lose the money? If you cannot afford to lose the money or will need the money for some pressing expense in the next few months, you should not post the bail yourself. Money can be one of the worst wedge issues between people. Often those who borrow or take it do not fully understand how much damage not repaying it can cause to a relationship. And even if your loved one does show up for his court date, fines and fees can be taken out of posted bail money, and the courts are often slow to refund it. If paying the bail amount will cause you real financial hardship, you should not do it.

Fortunately, for people in the above situations, there is still a solution available – the bail bondsman. An experienced bail bondsman is very capable of advising you on how to help get your friend or family member out of jail. Bondsmen offer the option of surety bonds – for a percentage of the total bail amount, the bondsman will post the entire bail amount for the defendant and take care of all the paperwork necessary for the court. He assumes the risk, then, that the defendant may not show up at court and he will have the resources necessary to locate him if this should happen.

While the price of the surety bond is non-refundable, it’s a fraction of the cost of the total bond, and you will not have to worry that the outcome of your loved one’s trial will determine in some way your own fate. Giving peace of mind and help in stressful times is what the bail bondsman’s job is. Call Michigan Bail Bonds today, if we can be of assistance to you.

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