Bail is a procedure by which a Judge or a Magistrate sets at liberty one who has been arrested or imprisoned, upon receipt of security to ensure the released prisoner's later appearance in court for further proceedings. Release from custody is ordinarily affected by posting a sum of money, or a bond, although originally bail included the delivery of other forms of property, such as title to real estate. The principal use of bail in modern legal systems is to secure the freedom, pending trial, of one arrested and charged with a criminal offense. The purposes of bail pending trial in criminal cases are to avoid inflicting punishment upon an innocent person (who may be acquitted at trial) and to encourage the unhampered preparation of his defense. The amount of bail is generally set in relation to the gravity of the offense charged, although some magistrates take into account other factors, such as the strength of the evidence, the character of the accused, and his financial ability to secure bail. Failure to consider financial ability has generated much controversy in recent years, for bail requirements may discriminate against poor people and certain minority groups who are thus deprived of an equal opportunity to secure their freedom pending trial.Read More
There are five basic release options available. The five options are: Cash Bail - Cash bail means a person must give the court the total amount of the bail in cash. The cash will be held by the court until the defendant appears to all of his/her court cases and the case is concluded. Full cash bonds provide a powerful incentive for the defendant to appear in court. If the defendant appears for all of his/her scheduled court appearances, the cash bail should be returned in full. Surety Bond - An alternative to cash bail is a surety bond. This process involves a contractual undertaking guaranteed by an admitted insurance company having adequate assets to satisfy the face value of the bond. The bail agent guarantees to the court that they will pay the bond forfeiture if a defendant fails to appear for their scheduled court appearances. The bail agent’s guarantee is made through a surety company and/or by pledging property owned by the bail agent. For this service, the defendant is charged a premium. Prior to the posting of the surety bond, the defendant, friend or relative must contact a licensed bail agent. Once a bail agent is contacted, an interview or appointment will be immediately scheduled.Read More
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