How Bail Bonds Work: The History of Bail Bonds in Florida

by | May 1, 2017 | Bail Bonds

The practice of bail bonds has been around for centuries, far before the modern world. The act of imprisonment dates back even further, and the regulations that govern both have changed extensively ever since. But before we dive into the history of bail bonds, it’s important to learn how bail bonds work.

How Bail Bonds Work

When someone is arrested, they are held in jail for a period of time before facing a judge. When the arrested person faces the judge, the judge may place a bail for the defendant’s release, depending on the severity of the crime. The bail can range from a few hundred dollars to upwards of a million dollars. If a bail is set, it can be paid to ensure the defendant’s release until the court date. Many times, the defendant or the family and/friends of the defendant cannot afford to pay the full bail.

In the event that an arrestee is unable to satisfy the required bail payment, they may be eligible to borrow the necessary funds from an institution specializing in the provision of bail bonds; bail bonds are provided as surety loans that can vary in requirements for an initial payment–bail bonds percentage rates can range from 5 to 50% depending on the gross amount of the required bail payment.

That being said, the typical bail bond is instituted by a bail bondsman in the form of 10%. Upon the repayment of bail to the arrestee who has appeared at their hearing, the bail payment is then transferred to the bail bonds institution.

With a bail bond, the defendant or family/friends of the defendant can pay a percentage of the bail to the bail bondsmen, and the rest is covered. The rest of the bail is covered under the pretense that the defendant will appear in court on the date assigned. There are several types of bonds, including a collateral bail bond.

Collateral and Bail Bonds

In certain cases, a form of collateral will be expected to be exchanged for the bail bonds dispersed by that institution; this is in addition to the required initial payment.

Collateral is something that must be forfeited to a bail bondsman in order to secure a defendant’s release from jail. Many times, a bail bond company will require some sort of collateral to ensure that the defendant appears in court. This especially goes for defendants who are high risk and have missed out on court dates before.

The majority of bail bond collateral is in the form of cash or real estate, but other forms of collateral are accepted such as the title to vehicles, assets, or credit card payments.

Not every bail bondsman will accept a credit card for payment, but it is a growing trend. More and more bondsman are allowing people to pay for bail with a credit card. Regardless of what got you, a friend, or a family member behind bars there is most likely one thing that you are not concerned about when using a credit card to post bail. How does this affect my credit score?

Having a bail payment on your credit card report does not change your credit score. It registers as just another payment.

When collateral is put up for a bail bond, the bondsman will hold the collateral until the defendant appears in court. For example, the bondsman will hold the titles to the vehicle, the deed to the real estate, or will charge the credit card. Many bail bonds don’t require collateral, but in most instances, it is required for repeat offenders who are considered to be high risk to ensure they show up in court. When the defendant does appear in court, the collateral is returned.

Should the defendant decide not to appear in court, they risk forfeiting the collateral or the person who put up the collateral risks losing it. After the first missed court date, there is a waiting period of 120 days for either the defendant or the attorney to set another court date. If the time period for the trial passes before the court date is set, then the collateral is forfeited. However, there is time for the indemnitor to put up cash to get the collateral back. Otherwise, they will not be able to retrieve the collateral and the bail bond company will keep it.

The History of Bail Bonds

The history of how bail bonds work began many years ago. Many years ago the practice of imprisonment and the court system, in general, could be considered cruel and unjustified, the modern day prison system is bound by certain laws and regulations that create a much more fair and humane judicial system.

Before being placed in the hands of judges, the job of deciding a bail amount, and if bail was even given was in the hands of several different individuals. In England, it was first in the hands of the sheriffs to decide if bail would be set. This allowed some to abuse their power until a statute better defined bailable and non-bailable offenses. The job of handling the issue of bail and bail amounts would eventually fall upon the judges. Without a proper system of checks and balances or regulations, the amounts issued for bail could range from reasonable to being simply impractical.

As we come to the modern age of man and our judicial system, we created a more efficient way of handling the law. One change made in the system of appointing bail can be found in the 8th Amendment to the Bill of Rights. In this Amendment, it was stated that “Excessive bail ought not to be required.”

This new amendment allowed a much more reasonable and effective system of court. Some changes and regulations have occurred since, but all were built on the ideas expressed in the 8th Amendment. When these changes are combined with how bail bonds work today, including those from companies such as Daytona Beach’s Alliance Bail Bonds, people are given new and better opportunities to post bail before their court date.

Justice and Bail Bonds

The justice system is a complex set of regulations put in place to ensure the safety of the populace. It has been refined for thousands of years, ever since the idealisms of right and wrong were brought into existence. Since its creation, it has evolved to better work with the people that it protects. 

Mankind, much like the universe in which we inhabit, is in a constant series of trial and errors to create a more functional and free society. In the early journals of history things as small as petty thievery held severe punishments that far outweighed the crime. Punishments as severe as amputation of the hands if the accusers decided it necessary.

Thankfully such things are now punishable through the judicial system in ways such as isolation from society in a prison cell.

For other small crimes, there could exist even lesser punishments, such as merely requiring community service be performed. The punishment in question is decided upon in a court hearing. Luckily for some, bail may be set and paid to secure an early release before the court date. 

To push the progress mankind has made in dealing with crimes, bail bonds have become an even more common alternative to paying the bail on your own. When someone is awaiting their court date, and the bail is set higher than can be afforded, a friend or family member may request the services of a bail bondsman. 

Alliance Bail Bonds 

Now that you know how bail bonds work, if you or a loved one has found them in the unfortunate situation of being imprisoned, contact us at Alliance Bail bonds, today. Defendants will be assisted to the best of their ability, and you will be shown the ins and outs of the bail bonds process. Alliance Bail Bonds main mission is to serve its customers and help defendants with the arduous bail process.

 Call 386-257-5116 for more information.