The History of Bail In The United States

Bail is something that many people will come up against or at least hear of in their lifetime. Though they might not need bail money, someone in their family or a friend may. So, where did the concept of bail come from? Keep reading to find out.

How Long Has Bail Been Around and What Is It?

Bail is a concept that a sum of money or a property is put up against the assurance that a person is going to come back or show up for their trial. Instead of keeping a person in jail until their trial, someone can be bailed out for a sum of money pending their trial and sentencing. When the trial occurs, the money is returned to the person that put it up.

Bail as a business has been around since 1896. The first instance of a bail bondsman was brothers Thomas and Peter McDonough. They started the process of paying bail for other people for a fee in the year 1896 from their saloon. Bail as a practice has been around since the country was first established and much longer in other countries.

Am I Eligible for Bail?

In terms of bail eligibility, that is determined by a few different factors. First, the chance that the offender is going to come back for trial and sentencing, the chance that the person is going to offend again, and the chance that the person is going to run. If it is your first offense and you have something tying you to the area like a child, job or home, you are likely to qualify for bail.

Next, the severity of the crime is another factor. Someone that gets a speeding ticket or a DUI is more likely to get bail set than someone that is up for aggravated assault or murder. If you have strong ties to the area and it is not a terrible offense, you are likely to qualify for bail.

Lastly, the circumstances of your arrest are going to be a factor. If you went quietly and without a struggle and followed the orders of the arresting officer, you are more likely to get bail than someone that fights back and causes a stir. If you do not have the money to put up your own bail or to get your friend to put it up, you can always contact a bail bond company to get your bail set and to set up a repayment plan.

Bail is something that is necessary to keep jails from being too crowded, to help get offenders that are not likely to abscond or cause more trouble out, and to give those individuals that need time to build a case the freedom to do so and to defend themselves.

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