In California, the law allows co-signers to take their name off your bond and withdraw from the bail bond agreement. Unfortunately, this action can have severe consequences, which we discuss below.
Co-signers may take their name off your bond for various reasons. The main reason at the pre-release stage is loss of trust. Guarantors may no longer believe you can adhere to bail conditions and don’t want to risk losing their money because they discover more about your criminal history.
Co-signers may also take their name off the bond if they are going through financial hardship. For instance, unforeseen medical costs can be a significant driver of removing names from bonds.
Some co-signers remove their names following new charges or escalating evidence against you. Guarantors may be sympathetic to defendants they believe are innocent, but not so much if they think they are guilty.
Finally, co-signers might take their name off your bond if there was some form of misrepresentation when they signed. For instance, they might discover information in your criminal record about previously skipping court appearances that you didn’t provide initially. Sometimes, they might remove their names if you don’t tell them you are adding them.
Removing A Name: Consequences of Taking A Name Off a Bond
The consequences of taking a name off a bond can be severe and may require you to renegotiate your bail conditions from scratch. Here’s what to expect:
Law enforcement will usually rearrest you if a co-signer takes their name off your bond. That’s because the guarantor is the only reason you are on bail.
Fortunately, you can renegotiate your bail in custody by getting another co-signer or using property as collateral. This process can take a few hours to several days to complete, but you shouldn’t need to remain in jail until the court date.
Financial And Legal Repercussions
If you are the co-signer, what happens if you take your name off someone’s bond?
Unfortunately, you could also face financial and legal repercussions. For instance, you may remain liable for the total bail payment until law enforcement can arrest the defendant. (Hence, it doesn’t help your case if the defendant fled).
You could also face legal action from the bail bond company for breaching the bail agreement. However, such action is rare.
Finally, credit bureaus may lower your credit rating if the bail bond company provides information relating to your withdrawal.
Cosigner Rights: Can a Cosigner Revoke a Bond?
Co-signers have various rights to revoke a bond under California law. Therefore, contracts aren’t always binding. However, guarantors must fulfill legal requirements to remove their names from bail bonds.
The best approach is for co-signers to remove their names before defendants leave jail after their arrest. This approach minimizes risk considerably while enhancing the likelihood of success. You may be liable if the defendant commits a crime or breaks their bail conditions after release.
Fortunately, California law permits some circumstances where you can take your name off the bail bond. These include:
- When the defendant acts inappropriately or puts you in danger
- When the bail bond agent cancels the bond because the defendant (or their family) doesn’t pay it
- When the defendant fails to meet the conditions imposed by the court, such as attending mandatory drug rehab
- When the bail bond agency added the co-signer’s name to the bond without proper consent
Co-signers can get their name removed from bonds by filling out a release form. A notarized document is usually sufficient.
Implications of Removing a Name: What Happens if You Take Your Name Off Someone’s Bond?
If you are a co-signer and take your name off someone’s bond, it will have a significant impact on the case (and the life of the defendant). As mentioned above, law enforcement will typically re-arrest the charged individual and send them back to jail. Then, they must find some alternative arrangement to secure their re-release.
Here are the implications based on when co-signers decide to withdraw their names:
Withdrawing early in the co-signer process (following the defendant’s arrest) will delay their release. That’s because it takes time to find another guarantor willing to take their place.
Sometimes, defendants can find new co-signers. However, that might not be possible. In these situations, incarcerated individuals must find other ways to get out of jail. Unfortunately, many defendants only use co-signers after they exhaust other avenues. Therefore, they could return to prison for some time.
Withdrawal After Posting Bail
You can withdraw after posting bail at any time. However, it depends on the defendant’s actions.
For example, you can withdraw from a bail agreement if the defendant is meeting their court obligations. In this case, law enforcement will re-arrest the individual, and they will need to find alternative arrangements to get out of jail. However, if they breach any bail terms, you could still be on the hook for money, as discussed.
That’s why co-signers take action to ensure that defendants adhere to bail conditions. Strategies could include monitoring them day and night, sending them to rehab, or paying for counseling during the pre-trial period.
Bonding Agreement: Understanding the Impact of Name Removal
As discussed, taking your name off a bail bond isn’t always possible. However, bail bond agents responsible for the paperwork and agreements can sometimes help.
The consequences of name removal include:
- The loss of freedom for the defendant
- The need to go through extensive paperwork
- Working with a professional attorney could have financial ramifications
Now You Understand What Happens If Someone Takes Their Name Off Your Bond
The main repercussion for the defendant when a co-signer takes their name off a bond is re-arrest. However, guarantors also put themselves in a perilous position. Sometimes taking a name off is possible, but it isn’t if the defendant broke any bail terms. Therefore, co-signers should seek to remove their names as early in the process as possible.
For more information on taking names off bail bonds, talk to our team.