Because of the industry’s association with crime, the criminal justice system, bounty hunters, and the like, many people are wary of bail bond agents and the services they provide. This explains why questions like, “How do bail bonds work?” and “How do bail bondsmen make money?” are often top searches on Google.
The answers: to obtain your release from jail, you can pay a bail bondsmen a small percentage of your total bail amount in exchange for them providing the full up-front bail amount to the court. When you appear for your court date, the court will refund the entire bail amount to the surety bonding company. If you do not appear in court when called, they will not refund the bail amount, you are in violation of your bail bonds agreement, and the bail bonds agency is obligated to hire a bounty hunter to bring you to justice and recover your payment.
So, as long as you appear in court when called, bail bonds provide a safe and affordable way for folks in a tough spot to walk free until their fair trial. Beyond this, however, the bail bonds industry benefits our larger society in a number of important ways. In today’s post, we’re looking at five things that bail bonds do that benefit all of us. Read on to learn more, and if you or your loved one needs bail bonds services in Rogers County or elsewhere in Oklahoma, you can contact us 24/7 for prompt assistance.
1. Bail Bonds Reduce Jail Overcrowding
If the bail bonds system did not exist, our jails would overflow with people unable to pay enormous up-front bail sums. Surety bond companies offer a way for people to walk free until their court appearance without having to drain their bank accounts to make bail — and without taxpayers having to foot the bill to incarcerate people who can’t make bail at all.
Some people argue that the for-profit bail bonds system incarcerates non-convicted people and impedes everyone’s right to presumed innocence, and that as an alternative, we need to pursue a government-run pretrial system for monitoring and assessing offenders. However, this would cost far more in taxpayer dollars — and in any case, wrongful incarceration is the fault of the system that sets bail amounts (the courts and judges) and not the bail bondsmen who pay them.
In its present form, the criminal justice system needs surety bond companies to help reduce overcrowding in jails and to enable people to walk free until they have received a fair trial.
2. Bail Bonds Encourage Timely Court Appearances
Research suggests that on average, people who hire a bail bondsman to post bail are 20% more likely to appear for their court date than those who were released on personal recognizance (i.e., those who did not have to post bail). If the offender’s family or friends worked with a bail bond company to post bail, they are particularly likely to appear when called, since they know that their loved ones will have to bear the financial burden if they skip court. Even without involving loved ones, most people wouldn’t want to risk having a bounty hunter hired to recover them.
In this way, the bail bonds system helps criminal justice proceedings to run more smoothly.
3. Bail Bond Agents Boost the Economy
We have already talked about how bail bonds reduce the taxpayer burden of housing and feeding people awaiting trial in jail. Bail bond agents also contribute to a healthier economy by paying insurance premium taxes on every jail bond that they write; reducing the taxpayer need to pay law enforcement officers to track down court skippers; and providing jobs to more than 25,000 people nationwide.
4. Bail Bonds Help the Criminal Justice System Succeed
Although there are some who argue that the bail bonds industry is exploitative and has no place in a first-world criminal justice system, studies show that places where bail bonds have been abolished have since seen higher recidivism rates (i.e., more convicted criminals reoffending) and higher rates of failure to appear in court.
Without a commercial bail system, both the United Kingdom and Canada have struggled with crime waves, and China has sent representatives to study the U.S. bail industry to model reforms. Even within the United States, states that have previously banned bail bonds (like Oregon, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C.) are reconsidering reinstating the practice to increase court appearances and decrease recidivism rates.
5. Bail Bonds Affirm the U.S. Constitution
Did you know that our current bail system is actually provided for in the United States Constitution? The 8th Amendment states that bail shall be based on “sufficient surety” so that the defendant will appear in court when called, and that citizens should not be subjected to excessive bail. This second clause led to the creation of the U.S. bail bonds system, providing a way for people to post bail even when the amount exceeded what they could afford on their own.
Find Affordable Bail Bonds in Oklahoma
If you or your loved one are facing misdemeanor or felony charges in Oklahoma, and need the help of a reliable surety bond company to get you out from behind bars until your court date, please contact our bail bond agents at Affordable Bail Bonds. Our phone lines are open 24/7, and from the moment we receive your call, we’ll be on our toes working to get you back home as quickly as possible.
We offer flexible payment plans at 0% interest, so call today for help posting bail ASAP. Our team is standing by and ready to help.