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History of Bail Bonds


Although the idea of a bail bond seems an inherent part of our modern world, the practice of exchanging money or property for temporary release from jail has historic roots.  The practice of bail bonds was first documented in 13th century England and the idea was to eliminate the advantage the wealthy had if accused of a crime.  Traditionally, only individuals with enough capital to post a bail bond were allowed a temporary jail release.  This meant the middle and lower class citizens would be stuck in jail while the wealthy were granted release.  Realizing this disparity, bail bond companies emerged to lessen the wealth gap and provide an alternative solution for those lacking significant enough capital to obtain a bail bond on their own.


Bail bond companies work for posting the capital for a bail bond in place of an individual.  The return of any bail bod to an individual or bail bond company is contingent on the defendant’s appearance at their scheduled court date.  If an individual who has paid their own bail bond in full fails to appear, then they are out the cost of the bail amount.  If a bail bond company has a defendant that fails to show, they lose the money they placed for released and must find a way to recoup that cost in order for their business model to remain viable.  They collect 10% of the bond for their payment, and often take collateral in the form of property, or information proving they have a steady job and local residence.  This is done to prove that payment for the entire amount of the bond will be possible in the event the defendant fails to appear in court.


Bail bonds have been a part of the United States judicial system throughout the nation’s history.  The process has changed throughout the years in order to make sure bail bonds are set and issued fairly.  Bail bonds provide an extremely important service for the American public by allowing every individual the access to temporary freedom while their trial is pending.

County: Hennepin County
City: Minneapolis