Bail Bond Services Help Financially Disadvantaged Defendants

Advocates for bail reform view the criminal justice system as unfairly punishing financially disadvantaged defendants. They consider this to be an important human rights issue. While some individuals have no problem paying more than $10,000, others cannot pay even one-quarter of that amount. Bail bonds offer these defendants the possibility of release before trial.

An Unequal System

Men and women with substantial savings and excellent credit can quickly pay with various methods. They might liquidate a certificate of deposit or charge the amount on a credit card. An immediate family member might apply for a personal loan from a bank. Real estate could be used as collateral.

In contrast, someone who struggles financially does not have these options. Bail is refundable after the case ends, but that does not help a defendant without the money.

How Bonding Service Works

These services assist by sending a bond to the court in lieu of cash bail. The fee for this service usually is 10 percent of the bail amount. Now the person is released from jail and can return to work and other obligations.

These services are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Arrests don't always take place during regular business hours. Defendants want to get out of jail as quickly as possible. 

Compassionate Service

Usually, a family member or close friend is responsible for obtaining the bond since the defendant is in jail. Those individuals may feel nervous and embarrassed about calling the agency, but they shouldn't. The agents provide discreet, compassionate service and don't judge their clients. Some clients are innocent, while others have made questionable decisions. No matter what the situation, defendants should be presumed innocent unless guilt is admitted or proven in court. 

The Chance for Reform

Several jurisdictions throughout the country are trying different methods. For example, some are releasing many more defendants on their own recognizance, which means not having to pay bail. Depending on the circumstances, these individuals may be required to check each day or risk being arrested again. Until this reform becomes more widespread, other defendants must pay bail or obtain a bond.

Concluding Thoughts

Most men and women have never been asked to help a loved one be released from jail. When they get that phone call, they might panic. They have no idea where to acquire that amount of money. With the option of bail bond services, there is a more affordable way to help their friend or family member.