The purpose of bail, as I understand it, is to ensure the subsequent appearance of the released in court.
The amount of bail should be sufficient to deter the individual from fleeing.
For instance when the police recently arrested Mel Gibson and then let him go on bail,the bail was set to a ridiculously low level $5000.
Surely it’s not a deterrent for a billionaire he is.
So what’s the point?
You either lock him up if you consider him a flight risk or release him on
say …50 or 100 mil bail.
I’m aware that there are certain limits on the bail size, but still $5 K just doesn’t make sense.
Related cynical question: do courts consider granting a bail an easy source of revenue and by setting the amount to a low level they actually encourage people to ignore it?
There are other things that reduce the risk of someone fleeing besides bail. It would be virtually impossible for Mel Gibson to flee because he doesn’t exactly blend in anywhere. He is being followed by paparazzi all the time, even if he ducked them somehow, he couldn’t show his face anywhere in the world, and if he had a warrant out the cops could pick him up in five minutes.
Bail can be used as a deterrent. In Mel Gibson’s case, other deterrents to fleeing are so powerful that no amount of money could put as much pressure on him to appear. So a token amount was set- actually, the jail probably has a bail schedule for most crimes; $5,000 seems pretty normal for a first-time DUI.
Think about if it was Bill Gates getting a DUI. He has more money than God so the judge would need to set the bail at something like $30 billion before he gets the message. Bill would have to instantly sell loads of Microsoft stock sending the tech sector into a tailspin eventually hitting all economic sectors in the U.S. and around the world. Six months later, a global depression sets in.
The current bail guidelines were created with just that scenario in mind.
Not really. Most crimes are misdemeanors and really not that big of a deal. If bond is set too high, nobody would get out of jail, then the government would have to pay for room and board until the court date. They want them to leave. The revenue is collected at sentencing when fines are imposed.
Maybe it is nowadays, but when I got my DUI in 1990, I was released on my own recognizance- no bail amount required. I was kinda surprised that Mel had to post bail, but maybe in these days of being extra tough on crimes of moral trupitude, things are tougher.
Maybe it is nowadays, but when I got my DUI in 1990, I was released on my own recognizance- no bail amount required. I was kinda surprised that Mel had to post bail, but maybe in these days of being extra tough on crimes of moral turpitude, things are tougher.
Myself, bail wouldn’t be a deterrent to me. The bail bondsman would.
Bail bondsman typically charge you ten percent of your total bail. If you skip bail, they hunt your ass down. The bail bondsmen here in Carson City are pretty ruthless. They don’t kill, obviously - then where would their money come from? Half the time all they do is scare the living piss out of you. But a few years back a guy skipped bail and the bondsman found him and beat the crap out of him.
So yeah. Bail doesn’t bother me. Money is money. Bail bondsmen, on the other hand…
Mel Gibson isn’t going to skip bail. The penalty for doing so is much greater than the bail bond he would lose. If he went into hiding he wouldn’t be able to make any more movies. There is no way on Earth that he would do that to avoid a DUI. There is zero flight risk. So the state had no need to set a large bail, nor did Gibson have any need to oppose it.