The Role of Bail in the California Criminal Justice System

Table of Contents

Today’s blog post is a guest post from California bail agent Sean Cook.  Sean is the owner and operator of Premiere Bail Bonds and an authority on the bail industry in California.  Thanks for the post Sean!

Bail began out of old British law for the purposes of guaranteeing appearance by both a plaintiff and an accuser. It was born to guarantee that a plaintiff wouldn’t make false accusations in hopes of having someone imprisoned on their accusation. The other side of bail was to guarantee that a defendant would appear in court to face their charges. The bailees were required to deposit some form of collateral with the King to promise that they would appear at their court date. After a while the King became the courts and the courts were unable to hold collateral in the form of farm animals (which were the usual form of collateral). So they began to charge a fee known as Premium. This then gave birth to a new industry of people that would facilitate this entire process called Bail Bondsmen.

 With all that said today bail is for the sole purpose of guaranteeing a defendants appearance in court to face their charges. Bail Agents have roughly a 98% appearance success rate and for the other 2% they are usually captured by the Bondsman and returned to court. When Bail Bondsmen get involved in a case it usually becomes a family affair. Meaning, the defendant will call a family member to post bail for them and then the family member will call the bail agency to assist. This is a very important process since often times courts release people without bail on their written promise to appear. This can have an adverse affect on the defendant in that they are never required to involve their family and their potential legal problems may continue since there is no accountability or potential embarrassment by their family. 

Over the years we have had many clients tell us that they didn’t even know their son had a problem until they needed to post bail for them. They are also quite shocked when we tell them they are posting bail for their son’s 3rd DUI or 2ndor 3rd time drug offense or not completing their drug diversion program. It is usually a rude awakening for the parents to learn their son has been to jail several times but that the court continues to release them. Many clients tell us that don’t want to see us again but that they wish this had happened years earlier so they could have gotten them the help they needed.

While we know bail sometimes costs a lot of money and is usually unexpected it is a very important service and we offer many different types of payment plans and payment structures.

Sean Cook

Premiere Bail Bonds

About the Author

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