No one ever thinks they will be asked to help arrange Contra Costa bail bonds for a friend or family member. Most people will go their entire lives without needing to hire an expert bondsman. The process can feel both foreign and scary.
The first thing you will want to keep in mind is that the cost to purchase Contra Costa bail bonds is not set company by company. The commercial bail industry is regulated by the Department of Insurance (DOI). The DOI has set the statewide rate at 10%. If the defendant’s bail has been set at $10,000 you can expect to pay $1,000 to hire a bondsman. It does not matter if the person in custody was arrested in a rural town or a large city. The cost will be the same.
The second thing you will want to keep in mind is that when you cosign a Contra Costa bail bonds agreement form you are taking legal responsibility for two things. The most important is that you are guaranteeing the defendant will appear in court. If the person in custody is someone you do not know very well or if it is someone you have not spoken to in a very long time, you might consider having them call someone else. The vast majority of defendants will go to court. The nationwide skip rate is less than 5%. This is not to say it doesn’t happen.
When a defendant skips bail the judge will revoke their bond and issue a bench warrant for their immediate arrest. If this person can not be located within 180 days the bondsman and the person who cosigned the paperwork will be responsibility for paying their full bail amount to the court as a penalty. If the bondsman needed to hire a fugitive recovery agent, also known as a bounty hunter, the cosigner will be on the hook for paying for that expense, as well.
If the cosigner posted collateral it will be considered forfeited.
When a person cosigns a Contra Costa bail bonds agreement form they are also taking responsibility for payment of the bondsman’s fee. Many people will pay up front using a credit or debit card. If you are unable to pay in full and have signed up for a monthly payment plan you will need to make payments until the balance is resolved. If you stop making payments your account will be sent to collections. The default will be reported to the three major credit bureaus and this will have a negative impact on your credit report.
If you have additional questions about the responsibilities you’ll take on by cosigning a Contra Costa bail bonds agreement form be sure to contact a trustworthy bondsman in your area.