Has Your Friend Been Arrested? What To Know Before Agreeing To Post Their Bail

Posted on: 16 August 2021

It is normal to feel a strong desire to help a friend if they contact you with an urgent need. In a situation where the friend has been arrested and has come to you with a request that you post their bail, it is important that you fully understand the potential ramifications you may face if you grant their request for help. 

You may be able to pay a small percentage of the bond amount

If you have never posted bail before, you may not fully understand the financial costs related to doing so. If the arrest is based on an offense that occurred in a state where bail bond companies are allowed, you may be able to bail your friend out of jail by paying a small fee to a bail bond company. This fee is usually ten percent of the total bail amount, paid upfront, plus a non-refundable administrative fee, instead of the full bond amount.

Your friend's conduct can be financially risky for you 

Before agreeing to post a friend's bond, you should also understand that their conduct can carry a financial risk for you after you post their bond. For example, both you and your friend will have to sign a legally binding agreement that spells out the terms of their bond as part of the bonding process. If your friend fails to honor any of the terms of the bond, the bond can be forfeited, your friend will be subject to arrest and you may become financially responsible for the full bond amount. 

For example, a bond agreement that costs you just $500 (10 percent) at the time of posting could make you legally responsible for 100 percent of the bond amount, or $5000 dollars, should your friend miss a court date or fail to comply with any other terms of their bond. If the alleged crime was more serious, the bond amount could be much more expensive, putting you at even greater financial risk.

You should try to avoid using property to secure a friend's bond

Some states allow real estate or other types of valuables to be used to secure bonds after an arrest. Before agreeing to any type of property bond, you will want to fully understand that using your home, vehicle, or other valuables as collateral for a bond puts you at risk of losing them, should your friend not obey the exact terms of their bond. 

The decision to post bond for a friend should never be taken lightly. If you have received this type of request, take time to discuss the situation with a bail bond agent before agreeing to help.