Getting to Know the History of Bail Bonds
Posting bail is a process meant to help people get out of jail as quickly as possible. However, the whole process has quite a colorful history as we’ll explain the post below.
The system of posting bail money in exchange for a temporary release while awaiting a trial can be traced back to the 13th century England. At this time, people accused of crimes would do whatever it would take to avoid their court date, since punishment at that time was typically burning at the stake or water torture. Moreover, local towns had no magistrates and it would take a few weeks before the judge would hold court.
But where exactly did the bail bonds come into the picture? Well, the practice originated from the need to balance the rich, poor, and middle classes when individuals were accused of a crime. Parliament, in 1275, passed the Statute of Westminster, which ideally provided a list of crimes classified as bailable offenses and those that were not.
In the U.S., the congress didn’t really find a breakthrough with the bail process for a few hundred years until 1966 when the Bail Reform Act was instituted. The Act stipulated that any defendant facing a trial for a non-capital offense is eligible to be released on personal bond or personal recognizance. Furthermore, the judge could take it a step further and pick a more severe punishment alternative for the defendant, including limiting the travel of the defendant or executing an appearance bond, which would be refunded when they appeared in court.
The Bail Reform Act was however associated with a major flaw some of the released defendants committed more crimes while they were out on bail. For this reason, the Congress enacted the District of Columbia Court Reform and Criminal Procedure Act of 1970, which allowed the judges to take into account the potential danger of the defendants. The Justice System also made some additional tweaks by accounting for the safety of the community factor when passing the Bail Reform Act of 1984. Under the Act, a person can be detained if they:
- Pose a considerable risk to the community
- May intimidate witnesses or jurors, or otherwise obstruct justice while out on bail
- Commit a drug-related or violent crime, any felony while already having a serious criminal background, or an offense carrying a penalty of life in prison or death.
Bail Bond Service
If you or a family member is booked into jail, time is really of the essence. At such a time, you need an experience bail bondsman by your side. Look for a trusted Bail Bonds with years of experience in the field. We provide fast, friendly, and confidential service when you need it.
When working with a bail bond company, we know that you want one that genuinely cares for your situation. With us, you can feel comfortable knowing that our licensed and trained bail bond agents are friendly and always happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have about the process.