Why The Bail Bond System Is Enshrined In The U.S. Constitution

Being able to post bail is an important part of the American judicial system. The bail system is explained on this Wikipedia article both for the United States and some other select nations around the world. As this article notes the concept of being able to post a jail bond was enshrined in the 8th Amendment of the American Constitution. The concept of bonds is that a person is more likely to return to court if they have a financial stake in doing so. If it’s a minor crime that a person is accused of the court is not going to require that they post a bond. If it’s a serious crime the judge may decide that the crime was egregious enough to not allow a bond, or if they believe the person is a flight risk. 

For those that the judge decides a bond is appropriate, believing they are likely to return to court, will allow the person to get out of jail if they post a jail bond. The judge will assign the amount of the bond taking into consideration a number of factors such as the severity of the crime. If the defendant doesn’t return to court then the jail bond company has to provide the court with the amount of the bond unless they can get the defendant back into the courtroom. 

Bail bond companies open their offices near courtrooms. This makes it more convenient for a jailed person to post a bond and get out of jail. Domestic jail bonds are issued for people who are alleged to have committed a domestic violence crime. Domestic Bail Bonds Dayton OH can be handled by a number of jail bond firms situated around the Montgomery County Pleas Court on N Perry Street, for instance. 

The state of California recently passed legislation to do away with cash bails. This news article talks about why they are doing so. Their first example is a homeless man who had a $25,000 bond to get out of jail which he couldn’t begin to afford. The judge let him out with a $0 bond provided he stayed at a local drug and alcohol treatment facility while waiting for his court date. 

The law about cash bonds was signed into law in the summer of 2018. It did away with defendants needing to post cash bonds and put in place a system where the judge has leeway in deciding who needs to remain in jail and who can be let out while awaiting a trial. However, after this law was signed a number of bail bond companies forced a referendum vote on the new law by gathering enough signatures to overturn it. 

The people who approve of the new law with more lenient cash bond requirements point out the benefits. People who have yet to be found guilty can spend months in prison under the old system. They say that in Compton around 70% of defendants can’t afford to post bond and so languish in jail while awaiting the court date with most of these people being minorities.

 

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