It was a little over a year ago that Atlanta City Council members approved a bail reform ordinance that would eliminate the Municipal Court’s cash bond requirement for low-risk offenders charged with nonviolent misdemeanors and smaller city ordinance violations. The move was made in an effort to reduce the number of poor, small-time offenders clogging up the jail system for inordinate amounts of time because they couldn’t afford their bail. But a year later, it seems that preliminary info indicates that many defendants are skipping bond and aren’t showing up for their court dates — 71% more than the previous year, to be exact.
The Case for Bail Bonds
Because it’s not likely that everybody would simply have cash for bail just sitting around and readily available to them should they ever find themselves in the unfortunate circumstance of needing it, using a licensed bail bonding company can help you or your loved one get out of jail as quickly as possible.
While sentencing reform is necessary and nobody wants impoverished, small-time offenders jailed for long periods of time unjustly, there is a correlation between bail bonds and a defendant appearing for their scheduled court appearance when their reappearance is tied somehow to money, generally in the form of a financially secured bond issued by a licensed bonding agent. Simply put, studies have shown that a defendant’s chances of obeying the law by re-appearing in court increase for those on financial release versus those released with their mere signature.
In addition, even though the severity of the crime is much less for those released on their own recognizance, the public generally tends to feel safer as a result because the defendants continue to stay on the right side of the law by continuing to appear for their court-mandated appearances. Plus, if a bonded defendant actually fails to show in court, their time as a fugitive of the law can be cut shorter because bail bondsmen utilize the services of bail enforcement agent — also known as a bounty hunter — to recover fugitive defendants.
Additional Benefits of Bail Bondsmen
There are many more benefits to using a trusted, reputable bail bonding agent. In this case, not only can a bail bondsman offer the financial means with which to get out of jail fast, but they also provide a greater deterrent that might help to keep defendants accountable and out of further legal trouble.