Part 2: Bail is NOT a “get out of jail free card”
While doing a recent interview with KIMT (a CBS affiliate news station covering north central Iowa and southern MN) regarding a bail bond posted on behalf of Julio Baez, the reporter asked me, “Isn’t bail kind of like a get out of jail free card?”
The answer is absolutely not.
Editing the majority of my interview served to be a great disservice to the viewers in that community. Those uneducated in how bail works were misled to believe as though private bail allows defendants charged with serious offenses to just “walk out of jail” after paying a small amount of money to a guy with a bond. The portion of the interview explaining that the entire $50,000 bail is required to be paid was omitted.
If Mr. Baez paid the minimum amount down of $15,000, he is required by Minnesota state law to make good on that promissory note within 12 months, by making 12 equal payments to the bonding company. If Mr. Baez defaults on these payments, a confession of judgement is filed, and the bonding company is required, by law, to take civil action against Mr. Baez and any other co-signers or indemnitors that contracted themselves to the surety to guarantee his appearance(s) before the Court. Mr. Baez could also face additional sanctions, such as the revocation of his bail, and even jail, if he misses future payment(s).
Law enforcement is stretched thin, over budget, short staffed, and under political pressure. Most departments do not have the resources to investigate and track individual defendants who have failed to appear in District Court. Without a bail bond company, the defendant may only be made available for prosecution if police happened upon him in the state of Minnesota. What happens if he flees to another state? Unless the warrant has full extradition that includes the other state, and an officer just happens to have contact with the defendant, and the officer is able to identify the defendant as the person who has the warrant, that person will be able to evade prosecution. If that defendant had posted bail, an agency like ours can cross state lines, enter dwellings without a warrant, and conduct a thorough investigation to secure the defendant’s recognizance.
There is no such thing as a “get out of jail free card” when using a bail bond company.
Director of Investigations
Twin Cities Apprehension Team
310 4th Avenue South
Fugitive Unit, Ste 5010
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Thanks to Stew Peters, a friend and colleague of AAA Bonds, for contributing to our blog and addressing questions about the bail bond industry. His three part series will review public perception of bail bonds, review case examples, and highlight the benefits of using a bail bond company.