A Brief History Of Bail Bonds In America

Imagine what this country would be like without a bail bond system? The founding fathers used a bail system that was similar to England’s. People were kept in jail for long periods of time until a magistrate would come through town. In some areas, the Sheriff decided who would get out of jail. This was a system that was ripe with fraud and bribery. However, as soon as 1776, Virginia’s constitution included a provision that “excessive bail ought not to be required.” The eighth amendment to the U.S. constitution took its wording from Virginia’s constitution. It reads, “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”


In 1789, Congress passed the Judiciary Act. This act formed the basis for the country’s bail structure, and stayed intact for two hundred years. The Act stated what crimes were eligible for bail. Further, the law put the burden on judges to decide whether people were given bonds for capital offenses. Congress changed the act in 1966 with the Bail Reform Act. The Bail Reform Act said that defendants charged with a non-capital offense should be released pending trial on his/her own recognizance, or on personal bond. In essence, the 1966 act told courts to release suspects easily to make sure they appear at trial. The system is basically the same today. Inmates can get 24 Hour Bail Bonds in Atlanta. Free at Last Bail Bonds has several locations in the metro Atlanta area.

The bail system stayed basically the same until 1984. There was a lot of concern about crime in communities. Congress changed the law so that defendants could be detained without bail. Conditions wherein the defendant could be detained included:

* he or she posed a risk to the community

* committed a violent act or drug offense

* committed an offense that carried the death penalty or life in prison

* committed a felony already having a serious criminal record

* may intimidate witnesses or jurors

Today, a defendant has the right to a hearing if he is held without bond. The prosecution and defense make a case, the judge renders the ultimate decision. It’s good that people have evolved since the colonial days. Now, people can get 24 Hour Bail Bonds In Atlanta.

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