Should You Bail Out a Defendant from Jail?

It happens when you least expect it. One moment you are getting ready to go to bed, expecting to wake up and go to work like usual. And the next thing you know, a friend calls you up and tells you they need your help. More specifically, they ask you to post their bail, because they don’t have the money or collateral to do it themselves.

should you bail someone out of jailNow, out of obligation, love, and loyalty, you start considering your options. It is only natural that you want to jump at the chance of helping your friend or loved one, regardless of why they might be in jail. But is this something you should do without really thinking about it?

The hard answer is no because there is a huge amount of risk involved. And if you are not familiar with the bail posting process, it is time to start paying attention.

How The Bail Process Works

If your friend is in jail for a small crime, the bail amount isn’t going to be much. In fact, they might just be able to pay the bail amount themselves. But if they consider it necessary to call you, then it means the bail amount is more than they can handle. It also means their crime can be very serious.

As a subjective party, you will stand by your friend’s innocence, but you cannot say for sure they are innocent. And if it happens that they are guilty, and you post the huge bail amount, there is a risk that they might try to run.

Back Your Bail Problem:

Where does this leave you? To put this into a better perspective, consider the following example. For argument’s sake, let’s assume your friend has been arrested for a robbery, and he or she is given a bail amount of fifty thousand dollars, that money needs to be paid if they want to be free during the trial proceedings.

Now, assuming you have the money and you pay it for them, they will be released. You will get the money back, but only if your friend shows up for all the court dates. When the trial is over, regardless of whether he or she is guilty, your bail money will be returned to you.

However, if your friend decides to run, the money you paid will not be repaid. You will lose that money, and most likely, your friend. If you didn’t have the money for the bail in the first place, and you used a piece of property as collateral instead, you will lose the property.

Do You Risk Losing Your Bail Money?

This is why you want to think carefully about the situation. Do you trust your friend enough to show up for the court date? Because they do have another option, and it comes in the form of a bail bondsman. If they don’t have the money to bail themselves out, they can contact a bail bondsman. These are people who can afford to post all the bail money, although they charge a monthly fee.

All you have to ask yourself is whether you have the finances to take that risk and go ahead and bail them out of jail?