A Brief History of Bail in the United States

If you or your loved one has ever been in trouble with the law, the term bail bonds is probably not foreign to you. Bail bonds help you pay off a bail amount when you can’t afford to. A bail bond company only requires you to pay 10% of the total amount, while paying the rest on your behalf. You also need to deposit some collateral to secure the bond. After all the court hearings have taken place and the case comes to a close, the company keeps the fee as commission.

Here’s how bail bonds have evolved over the years, especially in the US.

The Anglo-Saxon era

The years between 410 and 1066 are popularly referred to as the Anglo-Saxon period. It was during this time that the concept of bail came to the fore. In those days, the defendant had to look for someone who could act as their surety and pledge to pay the amount to the victim in case the defendant flees. Back then, there was no need to actually pay for release. The defendant was only required to arrange for someone who could pay the settlement, if need be.

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Early American Period

For years, friends and families served as sureties for defendants. It was only during the early years of the 21st century that things changed. This is when America was introduced to the concept of commercial surety. Before this, the idea of getting a bond agent to consign your release was banned. This was also the time when the personal surety system started being put on the backburner.

America witnessed what many call a cultural shift at this point. More and more bail bond agents started emerging. Moreover, law enforcement institutions started enacting laws that regulated the bail bond mechanism. In order to make their business more profitable, bail bond agents started charging non-refundable commissions.

Modern American Period

The Federal Bail Reform Act of 1966 changed everything for the bail bond industry. These reforms focused on more non-financial ways to help detainees who couldn’t afford to pay the bail amount. Between 1960 to 1980, the focus of these reforms shifted to detention. This was done for security reasons and to ensure that the defendants appear in front of the court.

Other than that, setting high bond prices to a point that it takes away the defendant’s right to counsel was also prohibited.

DeLaughter Bail Bonds is a commercial bail bond service which operates across various counties of Indiana. We are open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to ensure quick release for our clients. Contact now for further details.

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