History of Bail Bonds

Today, bail bonds in Los Angeles are the common means to release an arrestee from a jail, sheriff’s station or holding facility. But how did the tradition of using bail bonds get started in the first place? Here is a primer on how bail evolved into its current state.

European Bail Bonds

The origin of the bail bonds concept dates back to ancient Greece, where “Bajulus” (or bearers) were charged with upholding the laws. The word “bajulus” later changed to mean “protector” in Italian.

The original concept of bail bonds dates back to medieval English law. Sheriffs had sovereign authority to hold or release prisoners for whatever reason and for however long they determined necessary. The sheriffs often exploited this power by charging outrageously high bail bonds.

Created to protect the rights of prisoners, the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679 states, “A Magistrate shall discharge prisoners from their Imprisonment taking their Recognizance, with one or more Surety or Sureties, in any Sum according to the Magistrate’s discretion, unless it shall appear that the Party is committed for such Matter or offences for which by law the Prisoner is not bailable.” This essentially guarantees subjects the right to have bail and be released after an arrest.

Later in 1689, the English Bill of Rights granted the right to increase the amount of bail depending on the severity of the crime, but also allowed less extreme criminal actions to warrant a reasonable, non-excessive bail amount. It also protected against cruel and unusual punishments. Both of these provisions would be adopted into the US Constitution’s 8th Amendment.

Modern Bail Bonds

Today, the purpose of United States and California bail bonds is to prevent jails from overcrowding and arrested people from fleeing after getting released. By allowing suspects to get out of jail, continue their normal lives, and prepare their defense, jails do not risk becoming too full for further criminals.

Likewise, the indemnitor, or person who signed the Los Angeles bail bond, is responsible for the full monetary amount should the defendant jump bail. This enforces responsibility to the indemnitor and defendant to attend all court dates.

Los Angeles Bail Bondsman

If you would like to get in touch with a Los Angeles bail bondsman, simply call 1-800-BAIL-BOND (1-800-224-5266) to hire an agent, ask questions, or locate an arrestee in a Los Angeles county jail.

For more information on bail bonds in Los Angeles, read the following blogs: Bail Bond Agents and DUI Bail Bonds in Los Angeles

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