It may seem like a rhetorical question. What is the purpose of bail? Some would say that the answer is obvious — bail is there to set up release of someone accused of a crime. Is that all there is to it? How did the concept of bail even start?
The History of Bail
If you are suspected of a crime, you may have little interest in how the bail process started. However, the history may offer valuable insight into why bail is available for pre-trial release. According to a presentation by the Pretrial Justice Institute, the concept may be as old as Ancient Rome. In our American court system, bail most likely has its roots from England’s justice system.
Interestingly enough, today’s bail standards are based on the probability that a defendant will show up for trial. There is also some consideration concerning the likelihood that the accused will not go out and commit another crime. In the beginning stages of bail assessment, the determination was made on the feasibility of a conviction. This sounds too much like a presumption of guilt before innocence! Today’s accused are lucky not to be subject to these standards.
Bail Involves Pre-Trial Release
We cannot stress enough that bail is only available to defendants before they have faced trial. After the court has rendered a decision, bail is no longer an option. The defendant must then face the consequences as determined by the judge and/or jury.
In most cases, bail is set when the accused makes a first court appearance. The judge determines bail based on a number of factors. These include:
Only a licensed attorney is authorized to attempt to negotiate bail with the court. The lawyer will cite the reasons that the suspect is not a flight risk and can be depended upon to appear in court. There are circumstances where the attorney is able to convince the court to lower the amount of bail.
After Bail is Set
After bail is set, is important to engage the services a reputable bail bonds agency. It is up to the bailbondsman to do the legwork on your behalf. If you or your loved one is in jail, you will be interviewed regarding available resources. This may include assessing collateral resources or co-signers who can be of assistance.
At Andrew Pizzo Bail Bonds, we take a matter-of-fact and compassionate approach to assisting our clients with pre-trial release. We work on the bottom line to come up with an effective solution to get the accused out of jail. Contact us at any time to learn how we can assist you.