Today I want to provide you with a bonding illustration. Hopefully it will help you better understand what the bonding process looks like. Obviously, not every situation is the same. Therefore this post obviously will not cover all of the possibilities that could happen. It is not meant to provide a comprehensive explanation but an overview of the typical simple process.
John Doe’s Bond
John Doe (this name is fabricated and not meant to refer to any actual person) has a $5000 secure bond. John’s family contacts a bonding company: the state of Virginia allows a bondsman to charge 10-15% of the bond amount as well as reasonable fees for travel, processing, etc.
John Doe’s mom agrees to sign for John Doe. She meets the bondsman, pays $550, non-refundable since this is the fee to retain the bondsman’s services. John is released with his next scheduled court date on May 1st. He goes to court on May 1st and the case is postponed until May 15th. John shows up for court on May 15th, his case is finalized and the bond is over.
Alternative Bonding Scenario
However, lets say John misses his May 15th court date. The court issues a new arrest warrant and sends the bonding company a notice. The bonding company contacts John’s mom, she will have the option to meet and surrender the defendant back to custody or she will have to pay $5000 in full. But she can either pay with payments starting right away and having paid in full within 4-5 months or paying in full.
Important Bond Notes
All court dates related to the original charges must be attended! The bond is not done until all the charges are finalized with the court. It is important as a cosigner to understand the full extent of the responsibility that comes with cosigning a bond for someone. If the defendant misses the court and will not turn themselves in to the appropriate authorities then the cosigner is responsible for the full amount of the bond. If the cosigner chooses to not communicate with the bonding company and uphold their agreement then the cosigner could be facing legal action from the bonding company.
The cosigner is signing a legal agreement that can/will be upheld in court and is subject to legal action.
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