During the colonial period, Americans relied upon the existing bail structure that had evolved in England over several hundreds of years. However in 1776, when the colonists declared their independence, they no longer depended on English law, rather they set down policies which closely corresponded to English tradition.
In medieval England, processes to ensure that the accused would appear for trial began as early as the trials themselves. It wasn't until the 13th century that the Sheriffs were allowed to determine when a defendant could be detained for trial and when he could be released with a guarantee or a promise that he would return to stand trial. Unfortunately, the sovereign authority held by Sheriffs was not always equitably disseminated throughout each region. As a result, the Statute of Westminister was established in 1275, and eliminated the discretion of sheriffs with respect to which crimes were and were not bail-able. read more >>
Bail Agents Right to Arrest
Although evolving over several centuries, modern day bail most closely resembles the system, initially designed to keep the King's peace in medieval England, which placed responsibility of the defendant to a tithing or even a whole township in order to ensure that the accused would appear before the court.
Applicable Case Law:
Taylor v. Taintor:
Decided by the courts in 1873
"When bail is given, the principal is regarded as delivered to the custody of his sureties. Their dominion is a continuance of the original imprisonment. Whenever they choose to do so, they may seize and deliver him up in their discharge, and if that can not be done at once, they may imprison him until it can be done. They may exercise their rights in person or by agent. They may pursue him into another state; may arrest him on the Sabbath; and if necessary, may break and enter his house for that purpose. The seizure is not made by virtue of the new process. None is needed. It is likened to the re-arrest, by the Sheriff, of an escaping prisoner" (Emphasis added.)
Additionally, modern statues provide
Bail Agents with the right to arrest an individual out on a bond. Under the Federal statute declaratory of this right, any accused charged with a criminal offense who is released on a bail bond with sureties may be arrested by the surety, delivered to the US Marshall, and brought before any judge or officer empowered to commit for such offense. At the request of the surety, such judicial officers may re-commit the accused to the custody of the Marshall.
What is the Bail Process?
Once someone is arrested on a criminal charge, they may be held for trial unless they furnish the required bail, often in the form of a bail bond. When a bail bond is issued, the person released promises to appear in court at the designated time and place.
If the person released on a bail bond fails to appear in court on their designated appearance date, the bond becomes payable and is forfeited as a penalty. For this reason, a bond usually requires some type of collateral such as cash, title to real property or other types of security.
It is important to note that only a person holding a bail license may solicit the negotiation of a bail bond. Remember, Bail Agents are here to help you through this process.
When an individual is arrested for a crime, most often that person will be taken to a local law enforcement station for booking, prior to confinement. Once the Defendant has been arrested and booked, they have several options provided to them for release - provided the outcome of the case supports their release - They are:
In this instance, an individual must post with the court, the total amount of the bail in cash. This strongly incentives the defendant to appear in court as scheduled as non-appearance results in the forfeiture of the cash bond.
The Surety Bond process requires a contractual undertaking guaranteed by an insurance company which has the assets to fully satisfy the amount of the bail bond. The insurance company contracts with the Bail Agent, and the Bail Agent then assures that he will re-pay the bond if the defendant fails to appear on his schedule court date. Because the Bail Agent has promised his own money, he has a vested interest in ensuring that the defendant will in fact appear in court as scheduled. Bail Agents invests the necessary time and funds required to locate and return an individual who has not honored their commitment to appear in court. It is widely held that Bail Agents have highly effective and efficient methods of ensuring a defendant is in court as scheduled.
Individual may secure release from custody by posting a property bond with the court. In this instance, the court records a lien on property, in the amount of the bail. If the defendant subsequently does not appear in court on the scheduled date, the court may initiate the foreclosure process in order to procure the forfeited bail amount.
Based on a telephone interview with defendant, the staff member of a pre-trial release program will attempt to determine if individuals in custody will in fact appear in court on their scheduled appearance date even without the strong motivator of financial forfeiture as incentive.