Bail is security and is typically money that is given to the court in exchange for the release of an arrested person as a guarantee that the arrested person will show up for their trial. Bail can be set high or low depending on what the judge feels is appropriate. If the arrested person has a previous criminal record, bail may be denied or may be set at a high amount.
Bail is often set very high in cases that involve huge crimes and violent crimes. A person that has never been in trouble with the law and is suspected of committing a smaller less severe crime will often be given very low bail. If the judge feels that the suspect is not a threat to society they may even release them without the collateral of money, called release on recognizance.The way that bail works is the suspect or someone acting for the suspect puts up the money as a guarantee that the suspect will be there for their trial. If the suspect fails to show up to court, or jumps bail, the money that was put up is forfeited. The idea of bail is not a new one and has been around for centuries.
Not everyone that needs the bail money has it and that is how bail bondsman came about. The bail bondsman will put up the necessary money with only a small percentage paid by the suspect. This process is not without its costs, not to mention the penalties for skipping out on the bail.
If you skip out on bail and the bondsman loses their money they will send out bounty hunters to catch the suspect so that they can get the money back form the courts. It is a dangerous business but one that is highly useful for many folks.
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By: Jason Montag