Arrested Development? What Parents Should Know About Bail Bonding Their Kid
Dealing with a difficult child is something that many parents face while raising their families. This is especially true when raising a teenager who insists on testing their boundaries in every area of life, even the legal ones. Parents in this situation may find themselves on the receiving end of a difficult call from their child informing them that they have been arrested and requesting help with a bail bond. If you have just received this kind of call from your child, here is some information you need to know before you sign any bail bond agreement.
Opting for cash or a bail bond
If you have available cash and are able to pay the money directly to the court, you may not need a bail bond. However, if your funds are limited or any available cash may be needed for an attorney or other expenses related to your child's arrest, opting for a bail bond can make more sense. In most cases, a bail bond will require an initial out-of-pocket payment of about 10 percent of the bond amount.
Understanding the legal obligations
Signing a bail bond agreement to free your child from jail is not a decision that should be taken lightly. In reality a bail bond is a legal contract that requires specific actions and includes serious penalties if the actions are not performed. Much like co-signing a consumer loan, parents who sign a bail bond for their child can be held financially liable if the child does not meet all their responsibilities.
When a bail bond is written, the actual responsibilities your child must meet can vary, depending on the charge upon which they were arrested and local laws. However, all bail bond agreements will require the defendant to attend all mandatory court appearances.
Ramifications for failing to appear
Failure to attend any mandatory court appearance will have at least two consequences. When a defendant does not appear in court as ordered by the judge handling their case, the bail bond become subject to revocation. The judge will also issue a warrant for arrest.
When a defendant is arrested on a warrant for failure to show up at court, they usually are not allowed to post another bail bond, forcing them to remain in jail until their court date. Parents must also be aware that their child's failure to meet the obligations of their bond will also result in forfeiture of any bond monies or property used in the bail bond agreement.
Before signing a bail bonding agreement for their child, parents should take time to discuss all the terms and responsibilities involved with a reputable bail bond agent in their area.