Do you have a loved one in jail and aren’t sure what type of bail bond to choose? We understand that this can be an overwhelming and confusing time, so we want to help make it easier for you. If you are cosigning a bond so your loved one can get out of jail, there are few things you many want to know about surety bonds. Here are five things you need to know about Surety bonds in the State of Texas.

What Is A Bail Bond?

A surety bond is a type of bail bond and is often a more popular option when it comes to bail bonds. Because a cash bond may be very costly, many people turn to a surety bond if the total bail amount is too high to afford. There are three parties involved in a surety bond – the defendant, the arresting agency, and the bail bondsman.

Why Choose A Bail Bond Instead of Paying Cash?

If your loved one is in jail and you want to help them with their release, but you don’t have the full amount of cash for the bond, you may need a surety bond. With a surety bond, you can pay the premium (generally around 10 percent of the bail) and get your loved one out of jail. Hiring a bail bondsmen is an advantage, as you won’t have to worry about your money being used toward the defendant’s court fees, fines, etc.

How Does It Work?

The family or friend of the defendant will pay a premium upfront, which is usually about 10 percent of the total bail amount and is non-refundable. Then the bondsman or surety insurance company will cover the rest of the bail. To ensure that the rest of the amount is covered, the co-signer may sign a contract where property is used as collateral.

What Are The Risks Involved?

The main risk is if the defendant skips bail. This is when the bondman can get a bounty hunter involved to bring the defendant back to the arresting agent. If the bondsman thinks that the defendant may skip bail or the total amount is high, they may have the cosigner secure the surety with their property, usually their home if they own a house. Be sure to note that surety bonds are only backed by property, not actually secured by property.

What Are The Advantages?

Even though there is a risk of the defendant skipping bail, most of the time they won’t if they feel obligated to their friend or family member who cosigned their bail. If you, the cosigner, pays the premium for their bail and has collateral on the line, such as your house, your loved one will most likely feel compelled to show up in court.

In the end, this type of bond is popular and is a good option if you don’t have the funds for paying the full bail amount, and you trust that your loved one will not skip bail. Because every contract is different for each bail company, the best thing to do is speak with a bail bondsman.

We hope that we have made it easier to understand the advantages and risks of surety bonds. As always, we would be more than happy to answer your questions and help you find the best solution for you and your loved one.