It seems that the cash bail system has finally been addressed, although for many people it’s a little too late. After a judge in Chicago gave a ruling that courts in the area are not allowed to hold defendants because they can’t afford the bail amount, it’s only a matter of time before everyone else follows.
Just in case you are not familiar with the cash bail system that is still very much in place, it requires the defendant to pay a specific amount of money before they can be set free during the court case. The bail amount depends on the crime the defendant is being charged for, and they get the money back at the end of the trial.
However, the system has become notorious for being manipulated and used to intimidate defendants. One situation that should serve as a good example is the case of Kalief Browder. As a teenager, he was accused of stealing a backpack. And while he waited for the district attorney to admit they have nothing against him, he spent two years in solitary confinement as a juvenile. He committed suicide shortly after being released, seeing as his conditions during those two years took a mental toll.
Of course, defendants can challenge outrageous bail amounts, but it’s another waiting period and it doesn’t guarantee any success.
But now that the bail reform is coming into play, it will definitely change the way things are handled. And the fact that an innocent person has to come up with all that money, just to get free during the trial, should’ve been addressed long ago.
Unfortunately, it’s going to take some time for this reform to catch on, which means if you are in the same position of not having bail money, you might want to consider speaking to a bail bondsman. They loan you the bail amount, although, you need to pay them a fee for their services. In other words, it will cost you some money, even if you are not guilty of the crime.
Alternatively, you can put up some type of collateral, which typically comes in the form of property or assets. As long as the collateral is the same value as the bail amount, it should get you out of jail during trial.