The Risks of Bailing Out a Friend or Family Member

It’s completely natural to want to help someone you care about when they’re in need, such as when they stand accused of a crime. There are many ways you can do that with little risk, but posting bail for them isn’t always a good idea.

While you will be supporting them to gain freedom and spend much needed time with their family and friends, there are several risks you may not be willing to take. Your decision not to put up bail should not be seen as failing your friend, you can always recommend he or she acquire a bail bond instead. They can take charge of their own freedom, without putting themselves or someone they know in a potentially uncomfortable position.

You May Not Get Your Money Back

There are two ways this can happen. First, you can’t guarantee that your friend or family member will attend their court hearing. If they skip this, the money you’ve put up as bail will be declared void in default by the court, and there’s not much you can do to get it back short of turning the accused in to the police. You may have plenty of money lying around and not miss it, but this is unlikely. Most people go to great lengths to secure someone’s release, but they can be left in a dire financial position if the defendant decides not to show up for court.

Even if you’re sure your friend will attend court, you’re still likely to have fees and interest deducted from your payment that you weren’t expecting. The full bail amount will also be held until the resolution of the case, which could last months or even longer.

Don’t put yourself at unnecessary risk. It’s much easier, and safer, to speak to a bondsman about securing a bail bond for your loved one.

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