A person called ‘bail bondsman’ is a guarantor who pledges money, securities or property as bail and takes over the defendant’s representation in all parts of the judicial process. As a result, the suspect is not kept in preventive detention and is obliged to appear in court at a scheduled time. The very first contemporary bail bondsman establishment in the US was founded in 1898.
Bond dealers charge 10-15 percent of the total bail amount which they then end up keeping for themselves regardless of how the trial goes and place the accused under their supervision. They oblige him to go to court, not to hurt anybody, follow all the instructions for the temporary protection, stay away from the victim and check in with the probation department. Those are much looser guidelines then detention, GPS monitoring, and other conditions. In case the suspect fails to show up for the trial, he forfeits his bail. Meanwhile, the ones who follow all the rules and appear in every trial, returns his bail. If the suspect doesn’t show up for the trial, a bail bondsman can hire bounty hunters to track him down. In four states of the USA, the bail businesses are legally authorized to take any measure necessary to apprehend a person, including going across state lines and breaking into houses. In 18 states anybody can become a bounty hunter regardless of education, training or previous criminal history.
A right to not be charged with excessive bail is guaranteed by The Eighth Amendment, according to which the bail has to be reasonably calculated and used in the light of the perceived evil and circumstances. The government doesn’t have the right to detain a suspect without cause and not give him a habeas corpus. Unless the perpetrator is charged with a capital crimes or offense with severe threat to the community, he must be granted bail. So, the suspect can be free while still being innocent until proven guilty.
Nevertheless, the bail system is considered by some to be unjust. It’s been a major source of controversy for quite some time now. The frequency and cost of bail have risen dramatically and is disproportionately hurting the poor who are being held solely because they don’t meet the terms of their bail regardless of the charges. It is more lucrative for bail bondspersons to do business with the suspects charged with serious crimes and a higher bail because of the percentage they are promised. On the other hand, the defendants who cannot afford to be bailed out are usually charged with misdemeanors and have to stay in jail until the end of their trial. Staying in jail because one can’t get bail is being punished before found guilty. Some speculate that those occurrences are unjust at best and unconstitutional at worst.
In order to combat injustice and discrimination, more charity funds and community donation programs help the defendants with minor crimes to avoid detention, so that they no longer have to suffer from the discriminations made possible by a faulty system.
There are a few alternative ways that can be chosen as the ones to avoid a bail bond. In several federal courts, judges are allowed to set money bail only if the defendant can afford it. As a result, there are fewer people spending their time behind bars due to lack of money. Consequently, many people debate that such alternatives have to be available for every citizen in every single state. Even though the US justice system is incredibly complex and not as black-and-white as one might think, the aforementioned point is something that many people agree on.