No one likes to think about what would happen if they or a loved one found themselves in jail. One thing is certain — once behind bars, the goal is to get out as quickly as possible. In many cases, the arrested person is given the opportunity to post bail. This payment serves as a type of insurance that allows the person to go free until their trial. Read on to learn more about how bail bonds work and their fascinating history.

Bail Bonds in Medieval England

The practice of posting bail in exchange for one’s freedom dates back to the 13th century. In England during this time, it was common for currency or goods to be exchanged for release until the trial date. This practice remained relatively unregulated until 1677 when the Habeas Corpus Act was passed. This Act stated that the terms for an arrested person’s bail were to be set by a magistrate. Excessive bail was prohibited by the 1689 English Bill of Rights.

Bail Bonds in Colonial America

The bail bonds practice was carried over to colonial America from England. The Judiciary Act of 1789 required arrestees to be informed of the exact nature of the charges being brought against them. This act also stated that all crimes that do not carry the death penalty as punishment are bailable. These are called noncapital offenses.

The Bail Reform Act of 1966

The practice of posting bail didn’t change much until the Bail Reform Act of 1966. This act was passed under President Lyndon B. Johnson. President Johnson cited cases of individuals who were jailed and remained behind bars for months because they could not afford the high cost of their bail — who were then acquitted of the charges against them. Although they eventually went free, their lives were destroyed. While sitting in jail, they lost work and some never recovered from the devastating financial loss.  President Johnson enacted the Bail Reform Act to give people a way to get out of jail at an affordable cost while awaiting trial.


Bail Bonds Today

These days, bail can help you or a loved one get out of jail fast. If you cannot afford the full amount of bail, you need a bail bondsman. Bail bonds allow the arrested person to pay a small percentage of the bail cost (usually 10 percent) and the bail bonds company pays the rest. As long as the accused appears at all their court dates, the money gets refunded to the agency who then takes the initial percentage as their payment for services.


Let’s hope you never need the services of a bail bondsman. But if you do — call or email us now! We offer 24/7 service, and we also make housecalls. Our agency serves the Northern California area including San Jose, Dublin, Fremont and Redwood City. Service is fast and professional, and your information is always kept strictly confidential. Agents are available now to handle your bail bonds needs!