Money and property were exchanged for a short release of the accused as far back in history as the 13th Century. England had a class of elite aristocrats that liked to play hard but didn’t like to stay overnight in jail. Since the lads had money and property, and the state needed both, the exchange seemed inevitable.
A refinement of the process occurred in the Judiciary Act of 1789, when an American law was passed stating that any crime that did not warrant the penalty of death would allow the plaintiff to find bail. The bill also said that if the crime was a capital crime, the judge could decide if bail was allowed. The act further limited the court’s ability to set bail because so many justices had been setting prohibitive or excessive bail amounts.
The Bail Reform Act of 1966 reformed the pejorative system that was keeping poor people in jail and ruining their lives with no evidence presented that the individuals were guilty. As President Johnson signed the act, proponents celebrated the fact the poor would finally be able to get a fair hearing before being kept in jail for months without a hearing.
A major revision of the bail act came in 1984 to prevent the discrimination of the poor and to close a loophole that allowed felons to receive bail even if they were thought to be flight risks. The text demanded that serious criminals, dangerous individuals, repeat offenders, and mentally incompetent individuals be held with no potential for bail.
The laws are much the same today as they were 40 years ago, and now your Montgomery County bail bonds representatives are bound by the laws to make sure you have the opportunity to pay your bail and leave the confines of jail. By helping you stay out of lockup, your bondsman is also helping the court system keep the numbers in jail to a minimum.