Getting a call from a family member or friend saying that they’re in jail and that they need bail money is certainly a jarring experience. You may be asking yourself what they did, why they did it, and can you afford to help. The more important question to ask yourself, however, is should you help. Bailing someone out of jail is a little more of a commitment than just loaning them a few hundred dollars.
While sometimes bail is set at only a couple hundred dollars that you can pay directly to the courts, in most cases, it is a higher dollar amount that people don’t readily have on hand. In these cases, you can go through a bail bond company and put up a portion of the funds or use collateral against the amount and they will guarantee the remainder. Should the defendant not appear for their hearing, the entire amount will be lost and any portion unpaid to the bond company will be due. So, for example, that $200 you put up to get your cousin out of jail is now $2000 that you owe to the bond company if he skips out on the court.
The most important thing to keep in mind when deciding whether to help someone who is in legal trouble is whether they will follow through with their court hearings as scheduled. When you post bail bonds West Chester PA courts then hold you accountable for the person accused of a crime. It is up to you to ensure that they arrive at court for their hearing. If you don’t have faith that they will do as they are required, it is best to turn down their request for help.
Whether to help out a friend or family member who needs bail money is strictly a personal decision. If you feel that they will follow through with court or that you can stand the full financial loss, then you can make your choice comfortably to lend a hand.