Do you think you know what bail is?  Maybe you are wrong

Suppose you’re arrested for stealing a automotive. You can be taken to the police station, the place the officer on responsibility will inform you the worth of your launch. Underneath the 2022 model of the Los Angeles Superior Courtroom Felony bail schedulewhich is a violation of the California Penal Code part generally known as grand theft auto, you should gather $35,000 with the intention to get residence.

For those who stand trial, you’re going to get your a refund, even in case you are discovered responsible.

However few individuals stroll round with that form of cash. On this case, you may contact the bail bonds firm, and the agent will promise to pay the complete quantity to the courtroom if you don’t present up to your hearings. Bail bond brokers sometimes cost 10%, on this case $3,500, for the service. Even in case you keep out of bother and attend all of your courtroom dates, you’ll by no means be capable to get that cash again.

Learn extra: Editorial: How the poor are locked up and the rich are released

If you cannot get the ten%, you will go to jail – no less than till you are charged just a few days later.

What are all these funds known as? That is essential, as a result of disagreements or misunderstandings about terminology exacerbate confusion about justice coverage. These with a stake in the established order—the bail bond trade, the police, and a few politicians—can use this confusion to advance their targets.

Most bail bond brokers will inform you that depositing the complete quantity with the courtroom is “bail.” The fee or promise {that a} bail bonds agent sends to the courtroom is called a “bond.”

Learn extra: Editorial: The Tehama shooting is deadly proof that California needs to reform its bail system

However in observe, using the phrase “bail” is extra sophisticated. Definitions in Glossaries Dictionaries utilized by courts and bail bond brokers Others Typically battle. There is no such thing as a single right definition.

The phrase “bail” was used to imply the best to launch; Efficient launch, topic to situations comparable to journey restrictions; Cash paid for his or her launch; The one that bears duty for the launched suspect; And lots of different issues moreover that.

The phrase “bond” can be utilized to explain your promise to look in courtroom, whether or not or not it entails a bail agent.

Learn extra: Editorial: The “justice” system that frees up money and imprisons the poor does not deserve this name

New terminology was invented to tell apart between bail without any consideration to launch no matter fee, and bail as fee to buy launch. For instance, some use “cash bail” or “money bail” to check with a system that requires fee.

However others insist that “money bail” refers completely to the defendant depositing the complete refundable quantity in courtroom, which is completely different from utilizing a bail bond agent. Nonetheless others say it might embrace depositing a proportion with the courtroom, however not the bail bonds agent.

Learn extra: Editorial: “Zero bail” and release from prison are not the same thing

Confusion across the time period worsened through the top of the pandemic, when California courts quickly dropped bail for numerous crimes to “$0” to cut back the jail inhabitants and cease the unfold of the virus. Because of this these arrested for many non-violent crimes couldn’t be jailed for failure to pay bail as a result of there was nothing to pay. Courts name it “zero bail,” however police and different critics typically shorten it to “zero bail,” which seems like no bail however means the alternative.

Learn extra: Editorial: No, criminals are not running rampant across California because of our zero bail policy

New Los Angeles Superior Courtroom Pre-recall release protocolTo incorporate New bail schedules Eliminate paying money As a situation of launch for many crimes, not together with critical crimes comparable to homicide. The sponsorship program consists of zero {dollars}.

These within the bail trade prefer to level out that bail is a proper that belongs to the defendant. Subsequently, they suggest that canceling monetary bail undermines the defendant’s proper. However that is only a intelligent approach to make use of the numerous meanings of the phrase “bail” as a political software. As acknowledged within the state structure, the best to bail means the best to be launched and doesn’t essentially embrace cash — irrespective of what number of methods individuals deliberately or by accident outline the phrase “bail.”

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This story initially appeared on Los Angeles Times.

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