Bail Bonding Companies Help Keep The System Working

People are often uneasy about the idea that people who are being charged with a crime can be released from jail while they await trial. To the public, this is a particularly big issue when there is a trial going on that attracts a lot of media attention, and a defendant who seems to be out in the world enjoying himself instead of being punished. The system is designed to presume innocence, however, and this makes it a grave injustice to keep people locked up for extended periods of time when they haven’t even had a trial yet. Tools have been constructed that allow the authorities to let people go free while feeling reasonably certain that they will come back for the appointed court dates.

The major mechanism for this is bail. This is a sum of money, set by the judge, that the authorities hold as a guarantee that a person will appear. Judges set bail with consideration of both the amount of money the defendant has and the nature of the crime. Someone with many millions of dollars will generally be expected to pay more, because it’s assumed that it will take more money to motivate him. More serious crimes likewise require more, and in very serious cases or situations where it’s believed the person will flee the option is removed altogether.

For people who can’t afford to pay the bail themselves, it’s bail bonding companies that help the system to work. These post bail on someone else’s behalf, usually in return for a fee of 10 percent of what is at stake. Depending on the state, the company may have a standing arrangement with the authorities where they keep a pool of money on deposit that can be used toward these arrangements, so that they don’t have to actually make a separate deposit each time.

The companies serve an important purpose for both prisoners and the public. For prisoners, they offer an option to continue living life while awaiting trial. For the rest of the country, they help to keep the expense of housing prisoners under control while also working with the authorities to guarantee that people will appear as scheduled.