The first thing most people do when they have been arrested and charged with a crime is to contact a lawyer to discuss the matter and get the wheels of their own defense turning. The second thing they do is try and arrange for bail. Most will call their wife or husband while many others, especially younger offenders, call their parents. Should family members not be available some people call their friends or anyone else they have a personal relationship with to contact a bail bonds agent.

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The Indemnitor

Whoever positively responds to the request for aid will likely contact a bail agent and agree to be the “indemnitor” for the accused. That is, they agree to put up collateral to secure the assistance of the bondsman and sign a contract that makes them responsible for the person being bailed out. But is it always necessary to have an indemnitor? And if you contact someone for help do they always need to put up collateral?

Last Things First: The Collateral Issue

While your typical Adams County, Broomfield County, Weld County or Denver bail bonds agent is a fine upstanding citizen they are not in the charity business. Bail bonding is in fact an extremely risky proposition wherein a bondsman is asked to take a chance that someone he’s never met won’t jump bail after being released and leave him holding the bag. Perhaps in a perfect world where everyone’s intentions were pure as the driven snow this kind of trust would be possible. However, in this world snow festers in the gutters mixing with garbage and dirt. So, asking the bail agent to simply trust you is like asking a bank for a no interest loan. Not gonna happen.

Protecting the Bail Bonding Agent

As such bail agents insist that whoever comes to them for help provides some sort of guarantee so that, should the offender hightail it out of Dodge and the bail be revoked, the bondsman has a way to get his money back. That only makes sense. So the indemnitor typically puts up something of sufficient value - such as a house or expensive car or even stocks and bonds - as collateral and if their loved one runs the bondsman comes knocking with a court order allowing him to seize that collateral. It’s a good system that protects the bonding agent so they can go about their important work in a timely and secure fashion.

The No-Collateral Option

But what if the loved one or other person doesn’t want to put their house on the line to cover someone else’s butt? Do they have any options? Of course. They can pay cash, in which case the collateral issue is taken off the table and there’s no need to enlist the services of a bail bonds agent. (Keep in mind that even if they pay in cash they still become the indemnitor of the accused, accepting responsibility for the person they’re bailing out.) “So why doesn’t everyone just put up cash?” you ask. For a few good reasons actually.

  • First, very few people have enough cash lying around to bail someone out. Especially if the charge is serious and the bail is a 5 or 6 digit amount. When someone uses a bail bonding agent they only need to put up 10% and the agent puts up the rest, with his share protected by the collateral.
  • Second, if the accused runs after being released on bail the person that put up all that cash to have them released loses it all. Every penny.
  • Third, even if the defendant doesn’t run that cash is going to be held by the state until the legal process related to the charge is finished at which time it will be returned. But that could take months and, in some cases, years. During that time the person who put up the money won’t be able to touch it.

So as you can see, while cash might seem like a simple option it’s also an option with several significant downsides.

Is it Always Necessary to Have an Indemnitor?

While they won’t come out and say it most states prefer that a person have an indemnitor. That’s because the odds of a defendant fleeing while out on bond are significantly less if they know that by fleeing the person who helped them will suffer. The odds that they will run are even more remote if the indemnitor is someone they have long-standing emotional ties to, like a parent or sibling. If they handle everything themselves they may consider fleeing a victimless crime and head for the hills.

But back to the question. No, it is not legally necessary for the accused to use a bail bonds agent or to have an indemnitor. They can choose to post bond themselves if they have sufficient resources or they can simply choose to stay in jail while awaiting trial. Alternatively, they can always hope to convince the judge to release them on their own recognizance; a strategy that is not likely to work if any sort of serious charges are being leveled.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of whether a person has been arrested in Adams County, Broomfield County, Weld County or Denver proper they will need to know their options when it comes to making bail or posting a bond. Call RR Bail Bonds at (720) 988-8304 to find out more.