An NBC News report may make people think twice before using a bail bondsman to get them out of jail. In the report, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) claims the bail-bond system is undermining justice and taking advantage of the poor. Per the NBC News piece, the bail bond industry brings in around $14 billion a year. The ACLU alleges that the bail bond industry’s profits are tied to keeping poor offenders in debt even after they have been cleared of criminal charges.
The ACLU says the bail bond system is designed to force people who cannot afford bail to choose between staying locked up or borrowing money from a bail bondsman to get out of jail before their trial. For those who choose to forego debt and stay locked up, research shows they are less likely than those who post bail to win their court cases. However, those who borrow money from a bail bondsman are often stuck paying off the debt for months or even years.
Can My Lawyer Bail Me Out of Jail?
If you cannot afford to post bail, your criminal defense lawyer can help you get out of jail by posting an attorney bond. This is often a better option than using a bail bondsman, because your defense attorney can begin defending your legal rights even before you get out of jail. In addition, having your lawyer handle posting your bail as well as your criminal defense can simplify both processes and make getting out of jail much more affordable than it would be if you used a bail bondsman.
Do you think that there should be more affordable options to enable people who have been arrested to get out of jail?