When a loved one is arrested and charged with a crime, it can be a stressful and confusing time. One of the first steps in the process of getting them released from jail is to sign a bail bond contract. This contract is a legally binding agreement between you and the bail bond company, and it outlines your responsibilities in ensuring that the defendant appears in court as required.

Understanding the Bail Bond Contract

Before you sign a bail bond contract, it is important to understand the terms and conditions. The contract should include the following information:

  • The amount of the bail bond
  • The name of the defendant
  • The charges against the defendant
  • The court date and time
  • The responsibilities of the defendant and the co-signer

Your Responsibilities

As the co-signer of a bail bond contract, you have several important responsibilities:

1. Ensure the Defendant’s Appearance in Court:

Your primary responsibility is to ensure that the defendant appears in court for all scheduled hearings. If the defendant fails to appear, you may be held financially responsible for the full amount of the bail bond.

2. Supervise the Defendant:

In some cases, the bail bond contract may require you to supervise the defendant’s activities. This may include restrictions on travel, contact with certain individuals, or curfew requirements.

3. Notify the Bail Bond Company of Any Changes:

If the defendant’s address, phone number, or other contact information changes, you must notify the bail bond company immediately. Failure to do so could result in the defendant being considered a flight risk and the bail bond being revoked.

4. Pay the Bail Bond Premium:

Most bail bond companies require you to pay a non-refundable premium, typically 10-15% of the bail amount. This premium covers the bail bond company’s expenses and ensures that you have a financial incentive to cooperate.

5. Comply with the Contract:

You must comply with all of the terms and conditions of the bail bond contract. Failure to do so could result in the bail bond being revoked and the defendant being returned to jail.

Consequences of Breaching the Contract

If you fail to fulfill your responsibilities under the bail bond contract, there can be serious consequences:

  • Forfeiture of the Bail Bond: The bail bond company may forfeit the bail bond, which means you will be responsible for paying the full amount of the bail.
  • Issuance of a Warrant: The court may issue a warrant for the defendant’s arrest, and you may be charged with a crime for aiding and abetting a fugitive.
  • Damage to Your Credit: Forfeiture of the bail bond can damage your credit score and make it difficult to obtain future loans or credit cards.


Signing a bail bond contract is a serious responsibility. Before you sign, make sure you understand the terms and conditions and that you are prepared to fulfill your obligations. By following your responsibilities, you can help ensure that the defendant appears in court and that the bail bond is discharged successfully.