What Is an Indemnitor?

When someone is arrested, there are a number of possible outcomes. One is that the defendant awaits his or her next court date while in jail. In these cases, the judge often orders that bail be posted in order for the defendant to be released. Bail doesn’t let a defendant off the hook but instead acts as collateral that allows him or her out of jail while the court case unfolds. When someone posts bail, they are still required to appear for all court dates until the case has been resolved.

If you or a loved one find yourself needing to post bail, the situation can be scary and overwhelming. There are several aspects to even simple bail bond orders and there are terms you may be unfamiliar with. After all, a bail bond is a legally binding contract. At A Way Out Bail Bonds in Arlington, Texas, we understand that the court and jail systems are unfamiliar to many people (and that’s a good thing!). We believe knowledge truly is power, and educating yourself on the “who’s who” of the bail bonds process can make it easier and less stressful should you ever need to use it.

Bail Bonds 101

The judge is the sole person responsible for determining bail amount, and in many cases, people cannot afford to post bail in its entirety. This is where bail bonds come into play. Typically, a licensed bail bondsman will take a small percentage of the total bail in exchange for guaranteeing the remainder to the court.

Most often, bail bondsmen take 10% of the total. This is nonrefundable and serves as payment for their services. In cases where the bail amount is exceptionally high or the defendant is a flight risk, the bondsman may require collateral in addition to the fee. Collateral ranges significantly from case to case, but examples may include a valuable item of jewelry, a car title, or even the deed to a home. 

Assuming that the defendant attends all required court cases, the bail bondsman receives the entire bond back. However, in cases where the defendant fails to appear for any court dates, the court may revoke the bond. Since the bondsman guaranteed that amount, he or she will generally go to great lengths to recover it. If someone has put up collateral in a bail bond agreement, they could forfeit it to the bondsman if a defendant flees.

Who Is an Indemnitor?

Perhaps the most important person in a bail bond order is the indemnitor. The indemnitor is essentially the co-signer of a bail bond, providing legal and financial guarantee that the defendant will appear in court. In other words, the indemnitor is the person signing the bail agreement, paying the bondsman’s fee, and providing collateral, if required. 

Responsibilities of an Indemnitor

Deciding to be someone’s indemnitor is not something one should take lightly. You should be 100% confident in the person you are signing for and be willing to take steps to ensure they go to court. If for some reason the defendant chooses to skip out any court dates, it is the indemnitor who will be held legally and/or financially responsible. 

In situations where the defendant does fail to appear in court, the bail bondsman is legally allowed to take steps to track the defendant down. This most often involves working with a fugitive recovery agent — a bounty hunter — which can be extremely costly, and the indemnitor is obligated to pay for it. If the bounty hunter is unsuccessful in tracking down the defendant, or if the bail bond agency chooses not to hire one at all, the indemnitor is also on the hook for the entire bail amount. 

A Way Out Bail Bonds

If you’re considering being an indemnitor for someone, it’s a good idea to contact a professional bail bondsman first. A Way Out Bail Bonds has provided bail bonds in the greater Dallas area for over 35 years, and we know the process better than anyone. We provide quick jail releases 24/7, have flexible payment options, and se habla espanol! Call us at (214) 760-9978 or (817) 261-2828.

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