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History of Bail Bonds

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The opportunity to post bail in Dallas is not just a right, but it's a privilege in most first-world courts of law. But it hasn't always been that way. The evolution of the bail process throughout the British Parliament and U.S. Congress has been an interesting journey.

In 1677, the English parliament passed the Habeas Corpus Act, which, among its provisions, established that magistrates would set terms for bail. The English Bill of Rights of 1689 declared restrictions against excessive bail.  The United States’ bail bond system evolved from this English system. It later inspired the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, which states that all people under arrest must “be informed of the nature and cause of the accusations they face." It also allows a person to demand bail if he or she is accused of a bailable offense.

It was the Judiciary Act of 1789 that established legislative roots for American bail law. It stated that all non-capital offenses (crimes that did not carry the possibility of the death penalty) were bailable. In the case of capital crimes, the possibility of bail was at the judge’s discretion. The act also placed limits on a judges’ powers in setting bail. The Sixth and Eighth Amendments of the Constitution provide essential rights for a speedy trial, good counsel and reasonable bail.

Between 1789 and 1966, American bail law remained relatively unchanged. In 1966, the U.S. Congress passed the Bail Reform Act. It was designed to allow for the release of defendants with as small a financial burden as possible. Before signing the act, President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke about the history of the bail system and its punitive effect on American citizens. One poignant example involved a man who spent two months in jail before being acquitted. During that period, he lost his job, his car, and his family was split up. It took him four months to find another job.

Other anecdotes related similar stories: poor people spending months in jail, only to later have the charges dropped; others were forced to sit in jail, unable to work, later to be found innocent of all charges. In short, the bail system was biased against the poor and filling jails with people who should be out on bail.

The Bail Reform Act of 1984 replaced its 1966 predecessor. It established the bail hearing for those eligible for bail. While the previous Reform Act had helped to overturn discrimination against the poor, a serious loophole remained that allowed many dangerous suspects to receive bail as long as they didn’t appear to be flight risks.

This new law stated that defendants should be held until trial, if they were deemed dangerous to the community. The law also established new categories outlining who could be held without bail. These were applied mostly to those charged with very serious crimes, repeat offenders, the potentially dangerous and anyone who might be a flight risk.

The staff at Murphy-Hill Law Group is committed to protecting the freedom of our clients and fulfilling the spirit in which these revolutionary laws were created. Call us 24/7 for all your legal defense needs at 214-524-5782.

Jail sucks! Getting bailed out doesn't have to.

Don't let the name fool you. We take your freedom very seriously.

When you, a relative or loved one is arrested, our number one goal is to help you get you or them out of jail. You can take comfort in knowing that our licensed attorney-led team of Dallas TX bail bond lawyers are ready to help with all your bail bond questions and concerns.

Dallas Bail Bond companies can provide bail bonds pursuant to all applicable bail bonds laws. However, as licensed defense lawyers, we can facilitate your jail release and represent you if and when you case goes to court. This doesn't mean we're more expensive than the other guys, but it does mean that we're the defense attorneys you can trust when you need us the most. Call today.

Eric C. Hill, Attorney

Eric C.Hill can do more for you than a licensed Dallas bail bond agent. Why? Because he is a licensed defense  lawyer who's been serving the Dallas area for 15 years. When your freedom is in question and your reputation is on the line, he's the one you want at your side.

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Amanda L. Murphy, Attorney

Amanda L. Murphy is a Dallas criminal defense lawyer experienced in Texas DWI and Texas DUI law and federal criminal bond issues. As your legal advocate, she protects you and your rights when your defenses are down.

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John Doe, Attorney

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Jail and Court Locations

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