Bailing someone out of jail is a nice thing to do, but you assume a lot of risk when you sign a bail bond contract. You essentially become responsible for ensuring the individual shows up to all of his or her court appointments. The defendant's failure to appear for even one court date can lead to significant financial penalties for you, including the loss of any collateral you fronted to secure the bond. Thus, if you run into one of these two problems with the defendant, it's probably best to cut your losses and revoke the bail bond contract as soon as possible.
The Defendant Refuses to Follow the Rules
When a judge grants bail, he or she will typically include a list of rules defendants must follow to maintain their freedom. For example, a defendant may be required to stay away from the victim or surrender any weapons he or she owns. Failure to follow the rules will usually result in defendants being rearrested and put back in jail. Depending on the situation, the judge may actually revoke bail for the defendant, which can result in you—the cosigner—losing your collateral or being required to reimburse the bail bond company any monetary losses it sustains as a result of the defendant's actions.
Thus, if you find the defendant is consistently or purposefully violating the conditions of his or her release, you should consider revoking bail. For instance, the defendant was arrested for domestic violence and ordered not to contact the injured party. However, you find out the defendant has been trying to call the person or is even dropping by the person's home or work. If the defendant won't stop the behavior, then cancelling the bail bond will likely not only protect your financial interests but the victim as well since the defendant will be taken to jail as a result.
Other Shady Actions Come to Light
Most times, defendants find themselves in court for singular incidents, e.g. assault at bar or driving while drunk. Sometimes, though, one criminal charge will lead to the exposure of a bunch of other illegal—or at least shady—acts by the defendant. For instance, while prosecuting the defendant for embezzlement, the prosecutor's office may uncover evidence the person was blackmailing another victim.
It's not unusual for prosecutors to pile on charges for the same crime to maximize the chances something will stick. However, if the prosecutor's office starts bringing charges against the defendant for separate incidents or the case just keeps growing exponentially in scope or size, you may want to revoke the bond. This is because the additional charges may spook the defendant, and he or she may risk jumping bail to avoid going to jail forever. And if the defendant jumps bail, you're stuck cleaning up the financial mess in the aftermath.
For more information about cosigning a bail bond or help with bailing someone out of jail, contact a bail bondsman service such as Steele Boys Bail Bonds.