Only those who are guilty of some terrible crime go to prison, right? Wrong. The greater majority of the prison population consists of people who have not even been convicted but are only awaiting trial. People can land in prison for anything from simple misdemeanors to complex crimes. That’s why one of the most important constitutional rights is the right to seek and be granted bail, pending the outcome of the trial. For many people, putting together the money needed for bail can be a problem, but a bail bond agency can help by standing surety instead.
The right to seek bail
The Eighth Amendment, which is part of the Bill of Rights, guarantees the right to seek bail: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” In other words, people who have not been convicted have the right to their freedom until proven guilty in a court of law.
There are many good reasons for this. The overcrowding of prisons makes them dangerous and unhealthy places. Prisons cut people from the support they need from family and friends, as well as their legal support. People can lose their jobs and even homes, relationships are stretched to breaking point, and families suffer as well.
Bail bond services are an essential part of the judicial system
If a defendant is not considered violent or dangerous, and does not pose the, risk of flight, the judge may set bail. Bail amounts are typically in a few thousands, but most people don’t have even that much money saved up. But a bail bond company can help someone who has been granted bail by standing surety that they will continue to show up in court to attend their hearings until the conclusion of the case.
The prison system is overcrowded
The nation’s prisons are overcrowded and so, consequently, is the judicial system. As of 2014, there were 6,745,600 people in prisons across the country. That’s the highest prison population anywhere in the world. Not surprisingly, prisons across the country have been operating at 91% capacity since 2000.
And perhaps the worst news is that 60% of the prison population have not yet been convicted of any crime. They’re just waiting for their cases to make their way through the courts. In effect, they’re serving their sentence even before the verdict has been handed down.
How a bail bondsman can help
In this situation, a bail bond agency can provide a lifeline to freedom. For people who can’t pay the full bail amount, a bail bond company will stand surety in exchange for a percentage – usually 10% – of the total amount. While this amount is not refundable, it enables the defendant to regain their freedom and to continue to fight their case while resuming their normal life.
Bail bonds are thus an important part of the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. If you or someone you know needs help, for anything from misdemeanor bonds to more serious cases, a bail bond agency will work with you for the best possible outcome.