When a person was accused of a crime several centuries ago, instead of putting the individual in jail, he or she was offered the chance to go home and continue working the field or tending to the family. To make sure he or she would return to stand trial in good faith at the appointed time, the accused offered a goat, chicken, or cow as a form of bail. With the growth of class systems in an explosive population, only the poor had access to livestock, so the wealthy began using money to post bail when they were charged with a crime. If the judicial system feared the accused would run to avoid trial, the accused were allowed to turn in jewelry, guns, and swords – along with cash. When the wild outlaws of the American country escaped to the western states to avoid trial, the bounty hunters were created to chase the criminals down. Over time, the bail system has become an ingrained and integral part of the legal system.
Continuing the old patterns, the modern bail system uses offices such as the bail bond company Allentown PA to help individuals seek freedom from jail. Using cash, property, or bonds, most people can easily find a way to get bail and continue working or tending their children while waiting for trial. There are some restrictions, however. The accused can not carry firearms, use illegal drugs, or leave the judicial area.
The system of bail has morphed into a thriving business that includes property, signature, recognizance, and surety bonds. Each comes with its own stipulations, restrictions, and penalties. One thing they all have in common is that the accused must not miss a court-ordered date.
When you need bail for yourself or a loved one, make sure you understand the documents you are signing. Bail is a contract, and you must keep your part of the bargain.
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