A Quick Look at The History of Bail Bonds

County Jail - Cummunity Bails

The business side of bail bonds, as we know it all across the country, originated in California 121 years ago. The very first bail bondsman company was founded by Peter P. McDonough in San Francisco in 1898.

The very idea of paying bail for someone stems from an interesting reoccurrence – lawyers that were frequenting Peter’s saloon oftentimes asked him for money to bail out a client of theirs. After the trial, that money returned to the lawyers and they, in turn, returned them to Peter P. McDonough himself. After that, he came up with the idea of withholding an incentive for making such a transaction possible in the first place. It took the saloon a couple of years to turn into the world’s first bail bondsman company.

In the middle of the twentieth century, the bails set were extremely high, which forced the suspects to stay in jail until trial, for the most part. This wait could last for a couple of months until it finally came the time to go to trial. Unfortunately, the laws and regulations at that time were incredibly lax which caused bail agencies to charge obscene amounts of money for their services.

Nowadays approximately 66% of US citizens waiting for their trial are unable to pay their bail. The key reason behind it is the fact it’s hard for a person who’s currently in jail to work out all the details with their lawyer and come up with a strong defense. In addition to that, people behind the bars are more likely to take the guilty plea.
On average, suspects that are unable to post the bail bond set by the police, are forced to stay in custody for 45 days, waiting to be taken to court. There’s been a case in which the incarcerated individual who has been unable to post the bail was forced to remain in a Los Angeles jail for six years.

While many states refuse to give their people the right to walk out on bail, Florida residents are still able to do that.

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