To Bail or Not to Bail? The Decision to Post a Bail Bond

Being a friend means being there in a time of need.  Answering the call when he needs to talk about a breakup.  Bringing her some chicken soup when she’s feeling under the weather.  But what if your friend asks you to bail him out of jail? Should you do it?

Posting a bond to get someone out of jail is not a request that should be taken lightly.  It’s a big decision that could have significant consequences for you. It’s something that you should take into careful consideration before you decide to do it.

What is Bail?

Bail is a monetary amount the court determines that a person should pay in order to be released from jail.  It’s not a payment; it’s an incentive. The defendant puts money up for bail and gets released. The court holds onto the money until the defendant’s scheduled court appearances, and once the case has been tried or settled, the defendant will get the money back.  The amount of bail that the court chooses is dependant on the nature of the crime, criminal history, ties to the community, and previous incidents of skipping bail are all taken into consideration. Bail is meant to incentivize the defendant to show up in court because if he posts bail and then doesn’t show up for court, he loses the money he put up for his bail.   

What is a Bond?

Because bail is usually too high for the accused, a bond system was created to make it more affordable.  This allows the accused to pay a smaller amount, a 10% non-refundable premium to a bail bond agent who will put up the rest.  It’s the same deal as putting up the full amount of the bail with the court and if you don’t show up for court, the bond is forfeited and instead of owing the court the bail, you’ll owe the bail bond agency and they’ll send a recovery agent to get it. 


Before you agree to post a bond for your friend, there are some things you should take into consideration.  

Is this a good friend?  It’s your money.  Are you willing to potentially lose your money for this person?

Will he skip town?  Do you think he’ll show up for his court appearances?  He’ll tell you he will but will he do it? Once you sign the papers to bail out your friend, it’s your responsibility to ensure that he shows up in court.    

Can I afford to lose the money?  There’s an old saying that says you shouldn’t lend a friend money unless you never expect to get it back.  Essentially, you’re lending your friend money if you post bail.

Can I afford to lose the collateral?  Bail bond agents usually accept collateral of something of value such as cars, real estate, or jewelry.  If your friend skips on bail, this will be sold to pay for the bail. Be sure that you aren’t putting up your mode of transportation or your home as collateral. 

Does he have someone else who can do it?  Why is he asking you to do it?  Are you the only person he has that can help or does he simply not want to ask a relative or to use his own money.  Is he simply too embarrassed to tell his family that he needs help?

All of this is a lot to consider.  The first thing you want to do is help your friend but the last thing you want to do is lose your home doing it.  At Mercy Bail Bonds, we can help. We can answer any questions or concerns you may have about the bail bond process and if you decide to go through posting bond for your friend, we can get the ball rolling to get him out of jail fast.  Call us today at (727) 856-7775. We’re open 24/7 to help!