Bail allows for people to get out of jail while they are waiting to have their case taken to court. It is a legal right that dates back hundreds of years ago and has been reformed many times throughout the centuries. US bail policy is the result of many years of legislators working hard to try to balance the civil liberties with the needs of public safety. One of the largest concerns from civil libertarians is that the bail system can discriminate against the poor.
There have been numerous reforms in the US over the years which can ensure that people who don’t have a lot of money can still be able to get released from jail with as little financial burden as possible. When bail reform was addressed in the 1960s, it was good news for individuals who had spent a long period of time in jail only to discover that the changes against them were dropped or that they had to get acquitted. In these situations, the people had gone through many financial burdens and other social issues because they had been held in jail when there was actually no need for it at all. Reforms that were introduced into laws regarding bail since that time have made it possible for people who aren’t dangerous to be able to have their freedom until their case is handled. Commercial bail bondsmen allow these individuals to post bail for a fraction of the amount that is actually required in these circumstances.
Understanding Bail Bonds
A bail bond, also known as a surety bond, is defined as a “formal, legally enforceable contract between a first party (the principal or obligor), a second party (the customer or obligee), and a third party (the surety, such as a bank, bonding company, or insurance company) whereby the surety guarantees payment of a specified maximum sum, or to otherwise compensate (indemnify), the obligee against damage or loss caused by the actions (or a failure to perform) of the obligor)." Bail bonds guarantee that the defendant will appear in court every time that he or she is ordered to do so based on requests by the court.
If the defendant doesn’t attend court as requested, then the bond will be forfeited and the defendant will be issued an arrest warrant. The statutes for this vary from state to state, although in most cases the defendant will be subject to apprehension and arrest. The cost for bail bonds tend to vary from state to state and may be based on statutory rates or rates that have been filed by the insurance company that has underwritten the bond. Depending on the defendant’s criminal history (if any), collateral may be needed. A collateral receipt should be provided when the bond is written. The return of the collateral is based on statutes in most states; it should be held in trust for the party that is arranging the bail.