Little-Known Facts About Bail Bonds

If you’ve researched bail bonds before, then you likely know what this form of financial assistance entails. You know that once the bail amount is paid, you promise the authorities that you (or another individual) will show up in court. You know that you must put down some item as collateral for the bond. You even know that failing to show up in court has serious consequences.

However, there are some things concerning bail that you might not be aware of. Below, we’ve listed several little-known details about bail bonds so you can better understand this legal aid and how it really affects you or a loved one.

Bail Stems From Early Legal Documents

Signed in 1215, the Magna Carta was a charter the Archbishop of Canterbury drafted to create peace between King John and rebel barons. The document promised several different things, but one of the biggest benefits of this document is that it protected the barons from illegal imprisonment.

Likewise, the Writ of Habeas Corpus, which was drafted in 1679, established that the legality of a person’s arrest and imprisonment should always be evaluated.

Although the Magna Carta was repealed from statute books sometime between the 19th and 20th centuries and the Writ of Habeas Corpus was suspended in 1861, these two documents served as a foundation for the modern bail system-a system that allows arrested individuals the opportunity to be released from jail, depending on the circumstances.

Bail Amounts Are Predetermined

Bail amounts are actually predetermined, not assigned based on a whim. These bail schedules are the suggested monetary amounts for bail, and the amount is set based on how severe the crime is and what kind it is. The more dangerous and serious the crime is, the higher the bail amount is.

Bail Can Be Denied or Revoked

In some instances, bail can be denied. For instance, if an arrested individual is deemed a flight risk or a danger to society, the judge can deny bail. To learn more about why a judge would refuse a defendant bail, read through our previous article, “Why Did the Judge Deny My Bail? And Other Frequently Asked Questions About Bail.”

Additionally, bail can be revoked after it’s been paid. If the released individual violates the conditions of his or her release (which we’ll discuss more below), bail is revoked and the person is sent back to jail immediately.

Bail Can Require Conditions of Release

As previously mentioned, some arrested individuals must adhere to conditions of release before they can be bailed out of jail. For example, some of these conditions may include:

  • Staying away from the victim of the crime you were charged with
  • Submitting DNA samples or fingerprints to the authorities
  • Not consuming alcohol or drugs
  • Obeying all federal and state laws
  • Living and traveling in certain areas of town
  • Not committing another crime while on bail

Before the judge or authorities allow bail to be set, they will consider if the arrested individual requires conditions for release. They’ll take several factors into account, such as the person’s legal charges and admissible evidence, employment, family ties, finances, mental condition, character, substance use, and prior convictions.

Bail Bondsmen Might Not Work With Some People

Usually, bail bondsmen will work with anyone who needs their services. However, bondsmen may occasionally choose not to help someone seeking bail. When you co-sign for a bail bond, you take full responsibility for the defendant and you ensure that he or she won’t miss his or her court appearances.

However, if you are too young, not financially stable, or don’t have sufficient collateral, a bondsman may feel that you aren’t a strong enough signer and will only pay for bail if a stronger co-signer is present.

Rearrests Can Relieve a Co-Signer’s Liability

As stated in the section above, co-signers take full liability for an arrested individual who was bailed out of jail. However, if that individual gets arrested again before his or her court appearance, the bond is surrendered and the co-signer is relieved of his or her liability.

The Bail System Is Split Into Federal and State Cases

Crimes can be classified as federal or state cases. As a result, bail bonds are issued based on federal or state statutes. For example, if a person was arrested and will be tried in a federal court, then federal statutes guide the bail process. Likewise, state regulations dictate the bail process for non-federal crimes.

Immigration Bonds Exist

If a loved one is arrested for issues relating to his or her immigration, this person can be released from jail on an immigration bond. There are two kinds of immigration bonds: delivery bonds and voluntary departure bonds.