How Bail Bonds Work in Criminal Cases

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Unless you work in the criminal justice system, you may not know much about bail bonds, but they are essential to keeping communities safe and encouraging engagement with the justice system.

The video on this page is a great introduction to the importance of bail bonds. When someone is arrested after committing a crime, they first go to jail to await trial.


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However, in our justice system, people are innocent until proven guilty. It wouldn’t be right to keep someone in jail if they really hadn’t committed a crime, and it will only be clear that they should be incarcerated after their case is concluded.

The bail system addresses this issue. After a quick hearing, a judge assigns a bail amount to the case. This amount is the minimum expected amount of money that will incentivize a suspected criminal to attend all of their court dates. If they can’t pay the amount out of pocket, they can work with a bail bond agent to pay it for them. As long as they make all of their court dates, they won’t be on the hook for the full bail amount.

With this system in place, everyone is encouraged to stand trial for crimes they are accused of committing.
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