Having yourself or a loved one stay behind bars can be an extremely challenging and terrifying experience. During these times, those involved in the situation often end up making hasty decisions that may lead to even more trouble.
It is unfortunate that despite the struggle of it all, another set of bars awaits offenders within their prison cells.
Questioning the Bail System
Bails are a type of legal insurance that if left unpaid, the offenders accused of crimes must be held in jail until the designated court hearing date. There are certain crimes where paying a bail allows an alleged offender to be released from prison without a full trial or to remain at home while waiting for the hearing schedule. Most judges set bails only according to the charges of a defendant while completely disregarding their previous criminal records – if there even are any – as well as their financial capabilities.
Rafiq Shaw, charged with carrying a firearm in a car that he claimed wasn’t his, was on the hook of the district court commissioner for a bail of $100,000. Shaw only earns around $10 an hour by installing trailer hitches for U-Haul and can never pay the amount all in one go.
Despite the lack of evidence, the court decided that the hearing must continue. After less than half an hour of court deliberation, the jury declared Shaw innocent. The bail fee, however, still stands.
Retired architect Tom Chudzinski was also detained behind bars for the suspicion that he had crashed his vehicle into another parked car at a truck stop near his house. The police had no proof that Chudzinski had driven that day, but he was jailed for 34 days after not being able to pay the bail.
“I just had no choice but sit there,” said Chudzinski while recalling the experience.
Charges against him were eventually dropped, but the unwarranted stay in prison caused him to lose a lot of his belongings and property.
Deceit and Discrimination
Here lies the dishonesty in the discriminatory justice system wherein “current bail practices leave poorer individuals in jail while their wealthier, and possibly more dangerous, counterparts go free,” remarks An-Li Herring from NPR Politics.
Before his official retirement, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman vowed to reform New York’s bail system. He informed the public that 40% of the jail population in New York City are detainees without proper trial only because they lack the resources to afford bail.
“These numbers do not lie,” Lippman remarked in his speech. “Far too many people are trapped in pre-trial detention simply because they are poor.”
When money becomes the only barrier between imprisonment and an open gate, be that in New York, North Carolina, or any other place, the situation can get extremely exasperating.
Who Do You Call?
Several charges in Raleigh, NC have bail fees up to $1.5 million for crimes of marijuana trafficking and robbery. Those who claim innocence yet do not have enough money to pay off the bail charged against them are held back by the court until granted freedom.
If you fear you might come across the same problem, it is best to seek the help of a bail bondsman. Offenders in Raleigh facing bail charges may apply for bail bonds to help lessen their jail time. Bail bond agents take the responsibility and pledge resources to bail their clients out of jail with a minimal interest fee for issuing the borrowed money.
No matter the situation, bail bonds do not discriminate against indigence and are always ready to help those who are in need. Processes are affordable and safe, ensuring a debt-free trip back home.