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The legal structure of American bail law can be traced back to English bail laws predating the original colonies. When the American colonies emancipated themselves in 1776, the legacy of British influence on the bail system remained intact as bail laws were incorporated into the Constitutional amendments and individual laws. The eighth amendment is the most recognized as the root of bail law. This guarantees excess bail may not be used to hold suspects who rightfully are entitled to bail. The sixth amendment ensures one knows if they are entitled to bail under the law, it does not give them rights to bail already existing in law. Further legal law was established during The Judiciary Act of 1789. This did not clarify between the use of bail before and after conviction. In 1946 The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure decided that it would be at the discretion of the judge, regardless of crime, if one would be released after a conviction pending an appeal or an application for certiorari. Then in 1966, the first major change to the bail laws occurred since the 1700's. The Bail Reform Act of 1966 enacted into law that defendants, for non-capital crimes, shall be released prior to trial on their own personal recognizance or on personal bail bond unless a judge determines that these incentives will not adequately assure their appearance at their criminal trial. Essentially a judge is compelled to select the least detrimental and restrictive means to assure that the defendant will be released and consequently appear in court as ordered. Thus, the defendant may be released but with conditions such as paying bail, posting a bail bond and restrictions on their travel. Individuals charged with a capital offense or who have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing or appeal are subject to a different standard. They are to be released unless a judge has a reasonable doubt that there are no conditions that "will reasonably assure that the person will not flee or pose danger to any other person or to the community." The Bail Reform Act of 1966 essentially set a standard that defendants must be able to secure release with as little burden as possible that will reasonably motivate them to appear in court as ordered. The likelihood that a defendant will appear in court is the only basis for the bail decision is made by a judge in non capital offenses. Unlike capital offenses, in noncapital cases the Act doesn't allow the court to consider a suspect's dangerousness to the community. While legal elements pertaining to bail laws has changed somewhat over time, the right remains the same today as it has been for years. Someone who has been arrested has the right to be released if the judge believes they will appear in court as ordered Learn more about bail bonds. Stop by Jillian Hughes's site where you can find out all about using bail bonds to help a loved one.
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"Bail Bonds Through The Years "Please download to view full document