The History of the Bail Bond

Hello, and welcome to our very first blog! At In-N-Out Bail Bonds in Waco, we understand bonds. Our entire business is built around the bond system, but we understand that not everyone has a firm grasp on what a bondsman actually does. In today’s blog, we are going to cover the history of the bond system in America, and give a little insight into what this system entails.

Bail Bonds are Old. Really Old

The bail system used in the United States can trace it’s roots all the way back to England. Like many of our laws, bail bonds are rooted in English common law. As the new world was being developed, it became apparent that it was much easier to copy the majority of the laws already in place in England as opposed to making up an entirely new system for America. Because of this, the bail system was carried over into the American justice system, and has been a part of American law for as long as there has been an America. The Statute of Westminster, drafted in 1275, limited local sheriff’s power in regard to granting bail. Before this statute, sheriff’s had complete sovereignty in granting bail to people arrested for crimes. In 1689, the English Bill of Rights, dictated that excessive bail should not be required for certain crimes, and laid the foundation for what would eventually become the American bail system.

America Builds Upon the English Bail System

An important step for the American bail system was The Judiciary Act of 1789. This act stated that any person accused of a non-capital crime (i.e. not a federal crime) could be granted bail. This act laid the legal precedent for the modern bail system, and ensured that judges could not impose excessive bail requirements on a person accused of a crime. This legal precedent was further upheld by the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution which states, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial” and that an individual will be able to find witnesses to represent them in the trial. This amendment sets up the basis of our “innocent until proven guilty” legal system, and coupled with the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits excessive bail, solidified the legal precedent of the American bail system. Finally, the Bail Reform Act of 1966 and the 1984 Bail Law provided accused individuals with a statutory right to bail, provided they were not a flight risk or accused of a capital crime.

Bail Bonds Today

Today’s bail system is ruled mostly by the surety bond. A surety bond is when someone other than the accused individual, typically a bondsman, accepts the responsibility of ensuring that the accused shows up to court. If the accused party doesn’t show, the bondsman is responsible for the full amount of the bond. With this bail bond, the accused pays a fee to the bondsman, usually around 10 percent of the total bond amount, to retain their services. Because most people cannot afford a full bond amount, the surety bond is their best option.

If you or a loved one are in need of a bail bondsman in the Waco, Texas area, contact us today at In-N-Out Bail Bonds. We handle all forms of bonds, and stand by our services 100 percent