Have you suddenly found yourself needing to bail a friend or loved one out of jail? Then there are a few bail-related terms you’re likely unfamiliar with if you’ve never needed to get a bail bond before. One of these terms, indemnitor, refers specifically to the individual who’s signing for the bail bond. Is that you? If so, read on to learn what you need to know about being an indemnitor and the responsibilities the role entails.
Who Is the Indemnitor?
Whether you’re planning to bail someone out of jail with a cash, property, or surety bond, that bond requires a cosigner, also referred to as an indemnitor. If you’re securing a bond for a loved one, and you plan to sign off on that bond to secure the person’s release from jail, you become the indemnitor. Essentially, you’re qualifying for the bond on behalf of the person you are bailing out of jail.
What Does Being an Indemnitor Involve?
When you sign as the indemnitor of a bail bond, you become legally and financially responsible for the individual whom you’re bailing out of jail. As the indemnitor, you accept complete liability for the full dollar amount of the defendant’s bail should the accused violate his or her bail terms. That means that if the defendant fails to appear in court as instructed or violates bail in any other way, you’ll incur financial consequences.
Essentially, you’re agreeing to make sure the defendant shows up to all mandatory court dates and adheres to any other court-mandated, bail-related obligations.
Being a Bail Bond Indemnitor: How It Works
When you cosign a bail bond, that bond will secure your friend or loved one’s conditional release from jail while they await the conclusion of their case. Here’s how the process works:
- If you’re paying cash bail to the court, you’ll sign as the bond indemnitor there.
- If you’re using the services of a bail bond agent, you’ll need to pay a premium (usually around 10% of the total bail amount) to secure a surety bond. You may also need to provide some form of collateral as a guarantee. You’ll cosign for the bond with the bail agent, and at that point, you assume responsibility for the defendant.
- After the defendant is released, you must make sure the person does not violate the terms of his or her bail.
- If the defendant appears in court as directed and adheres to all other bail terms, then when the case closes, you’ll get your cash bail back (if you paid bail at the court) or your collateral back (if you got a bond from a bail bond company).
- If the defendant violates bail, you’ll lose any cash you paid the court (for a cash bond) or any collateral you supplied (for a surety bond from a bail bond company). If you’re working with a bail bondsman, you may also be liable for paying back the cash supplied by the surety bond you acquired.
- If you’re working with a bail bond company, regardless of the outcome of the case, you will not get your premium back. It serves as a nonrefundable fee for the bail bond company’s services.
Understanding the Gravity of Becoming an Indemnitor
If you’re planning to sign as the indemnitor of a bail bond, understand that you may be taking on substantial financial risk. Before you sign, you should be fully confident in the defendant’s ability and willingness to adhere to all court-mandated bail conditions. You should also have the financial means to pay back the full bail amount, or you may end up in serious financial trouble should the accused violate bail.
Bottom line: Do not sign as an indemnitor if you don’t trust that the defendant will adhere to the conditions of his or her bail.
Need a Bail Bond in the Arlington, Dallas, or Fort Worth Area?
If you need to get a friend or loved one out of a DFW jail and need financial help to do so, don’t hesitate to rely on our team at Just Bail Bonds. Our licensed bond agents are here for you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we’ve proudly served the DFW metro area for over 26 years. In addition to our in-office services, we can also issue bonds by phone or email, so get in touch with us today to discuss your options. Feel free to give us a call at 817-303-3400 (Tarrant County) or 214-495-1363 (Dallas County) or contact us online, and we’ll be in touch.