Our society has come a long way since the days of cold, crude, and brutal responses to those who chose to break the rules. No longer do we see punishments as severe as cutting off the offender’s hand, the accused being pelted with stones thrown from a riled up crowd, or a sheriff-sanctioned shoot out in the street. Today, when the law is broken, the court system upholds the due process in order for the accused to be deemed innocent or guilty in a fair and legal manner. And often, a part of that process is the involvement of a bail bondsman.
Why do you need bail and when is a bail bondsman necessary?
Not everyone needs the help of a bail bondsman, but it is good to know about, should that necessity arise. When an individual is arrested, depending on the crime and the circumstances surrounding it, he or she may be released on bail, the amount of which is set by the judge. Paying that bail money allows the defendant to be released from jail, free to return home until the trial, which is held at a later date. The bail amount is typically a pretty significant amount, and acts as something of a guarantee that the accused will indeed show up to their court date, as that money would then be paid back to the person who paid it. Sometimes that amount is too high for a defendant to pay, and if they do not have a friend or family member who is willing or able to pay it, they can turn to a bail bondsman to help.
How does a bail bond agency function?
When a defendant cannot post his or her own bail, that individual will get in touch with a bail bond company. After the defendant pays a percentage of the bail amount to the bail bond service, that agency will pay the entire amount of the bail so that the defendant can be released. The agency offering the bail bonds will keep the original fee paid by the defendant regardless of whether or not he or she shows up to court on the date of the trial. If the accused does dutifully go to court when ordered, the bail bond agency will be reimbursed the money they put up to originally let the defendant go free. However if the defendant does not show up, the bail bondsman is held responsible, and will often employ a bounty hunter to ensure that the accused is found, turned in, and thus allowing the courts to return the bail money to the bail bond agency.
Jails and bails in the United States
Over the course of one year, almost 12 million people went through processing in United States jails. And on any given day, of all the people in jails in the U.S., about 60% of them are those who have not been convicted, but are waiting for a resolution to their charge while they are being detained. The Bureau of Justice Statistics has found that the number of individuals who are in need of money for the purpose of paying a set bail has gone up by at least 30% over the span of about 16 years, and continues to climb. Chances are, you or someone you know might need or be asked for bail money at some point. It is a good thing that there are around 14,000 bail agents who are currently working throughout the United States. Without that system, a lot more people would either be broke, or spending a lot more time in jail.