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September 6, 2022  |  Posted by Balboa Bail Bonds Team  |  Bail Bonds

When a loved one has been arrested in the State of California, it’s likely that you will act fast in a bid to get them out of jail. In most cases, posting their bail through a bail bond agency will be the best way to secure their quick release. 

Once the dust has settled, though, the realization of what responsibilities accompany a cosigner may make you want to surrender the bond. So, how do you revoke a bond in California? Here are the answers to some of your key questions regarding this subject.

Who are the key people in a bail bond agreement?

Before entering a bail bond agreement, it is important to understand how bonds work and who the important parties are in this type of agreement. 

The bond is essentially a surety that guarantees the person who was arrested will attend all court hearings. It means that they can be released from prison without paying the full cash bail figure, which is likely to be in the tens of thousands for most crimes. The people who feature in this agreement are;

  • The defendant – this is the person who has been arrested following the accusation of committing a crime.
  • The judge – while they will use guidelines by the State of California courts, the judge will set the bail amount.
  • The indemnitor – usually a loved one, who will pay the bail bond premium on behalf of the defendant.
  • The agent – a bail bond agent will, along with the indemnitor, guarantee the defendant’s court appearances.

If you are the indemnitor, your role is to take on the financial responsibility of the defendant’s bail via the bail bond agent.

Why would you revoke a bond agreement?

While helping your loved one post bail is a nice thing to do, it’s important to keep your best interests in mind too. Bail is offered to defendants against most crimes covered by the State of California penal codes. While a bond doesn’t pass on any aspect of the accusation on to the indemnitor, cosigners do take on the financial responsibility.

In many cases, this does mean putting down collateral to guarantee the full cost of bail should the defendant try to flee. So, if you begin to feel uncomfortable at any stage between their release and trial date, you may wish to revoke the bond agreement. Common examples include;

  • You are worried that the defendant will commit another crime or fail to attend their scheduled hearings.
  • Since posting their bail, you’ve had a falling out with the defendant or discovered more about their case.
  • The fear surrounding the potential financial problems has caused sleepless nights or increased stress levels.

It’s not an easy decision to make. However, it’s not one that many people consider without good reason.

How do you revoke a bond in California?

If you want to revoke a bail bond in California, you will need to make it an official decision. As such, you must interact with the bail bonds company and the courts.

If the defendant is likely to post bail by themselves, you can advise them of your decision and work together so that they can stay out of jail while building their defense. If you think that the defendant will make things difficult, you will need to;

  • Inform the bonds company that you wish to withdraw your responsibilities,
  • Wait for the bonds company to advise the courts,
  • Inform the courts of where the defendant is so that they can be arrested.

Unfortunately, the bail bond company is potentially at financial risk too. As such, they will use additional means to locate the defendant, like calling a bounty hunter. If this happens, your costs as a cosigner will increase. So, it’s in your best interests to ensure that the cancelation can be made smoothly.

Once the defendant is back in custody, you can officially revoke the bond to gain your independence from the case. At least from a financial perspective – you will still probably want to support your loved one.

What happens to the defendant after the bond is revoked?

Once the bail bond has been revoked, the defendant will return to custody. And they will need to restart the pretrial process. They have the right to a trial within 30 days from their arraignment while in custody. Ultimately, though, they will have three options to consider once back in custody. They are;

  • Remain in custody until their trial date arrives,
  • Post bail themselves,
  • Get another bail bond agent and cosigner to help.

Alternatively, they could be released from jail without charge depending on any developments that have occurred.

How else could a bond be revoked?

In addition to revoking a bond as the cosigner, the authorities may revoke the bail bond as a consequence of various issues. It doesn’t tend to happen unless there is a genuine reason for the courts to act in this manner. The most common reasons are;

  • The defendant is hard to track because they do not wear their GPS tracker,
  • They engage in illegal activities or ideas that do not satisfy their bond agreement,
  • The defendant has shown signs that they are a high flight risk.

While it is the court’s or bond company’s decision, it can free the cosigner from any liability. It could be very useful in situations where you don’t want to admit that a loved one could break their bail conditions.

What other steps can be taken to protect yourself?

Before cosigning on behalf of a loved one, it is important to reduce any personal risks that you could have faced. The best way to do this is to introduce several additional conditions into the agreement. For example, you may request that the defendant;

  • Sets up a repayment plan to cover what you’ve spent,
  • Attends meetings to overcome underlying issues,
  • Does not leave California, even if they are legally allowed.

Many people are worried about taking these steps but the defendant will understand and still feel very grateful for your support. You haven’t broken the law and will ultimately be helping your loved one, but it has to be right for you.

Whatever stage of the process you’re at, call Balboa Bail Bonds to secure the best outcomes for all parties.