It's not unusual for the cosigner of a bail bond to have second thoughts after securing a person's freedom. Being a cosigner comes with a lot of risks, and your legal responsibility to the bond agency is quite significant. When most people feel they've bitten off more than they can chew, they will move to surrender the bail bond.
However, it's unlikely that the person you had released from custody will simply walk back with you to be taken back to jail. Therefore, if you're planning to surrender the bail bond, you'll need a different approach.
Meeting with the Agency
The first step to surrender a bail bond is to meet with the agency or the bondsman that secured the suspect's release. You'll need to fill in some paperwork and you may also be asked why you're surrendering the bail bond.
You'll need to provide the bail bondsman with the location or whereabouts of the suspect so they can return them to custody. It's only after the defendant has been taken into custody and the necessary paperwork processed that you'll be officially released from the terms of the bail bond.
Your Responsibility to the Defendant
You're not required to let the defendant know that you'll be surrendering the bail bond. In fact, doing so may not be advisable if they pose a threat to your safety or if they're likely to flee.
However, you can still choose to let the defendant know of your decision beforehand. This can give them enough time to find a second cosigner, reducing the amount of time they'll have to spend behind bars. If the defendant isn't given any notice of the surrender, they'll need to start the process anew, probably while in custody.
Your Financial Responsibilities
Bear in mind that surrendering bail bonds doesn't mean you'll get back the fees you'd initially paid. This fee is deemed non-refundable the moment the defendant is initially released from custody.
However, depending on the terms of the bond agency, you may get this fee back if it's the agency that surrenders the bail bond and not you.
You will also have to cover any costs incurred in capturing the defendant and taking them back to jail. The agency may need to hire bounty hunters and there may be other processing fees involved. Therefore, before you start the process, ensure you have what you need to take care of such costs.
To learn more about posting or surrendering bail contact a company like Hand In Hand Bail Bonds.
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