Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Bail and Judicial Treatment
Marian R. Williams
Bail is providing security, usually in the form of money, to guarantee a defendant's return to court for subsequent court dates. When an offender is arrested, that individual must appear before a lower court judge (e.g., a municipal court judge) for an initial appearance or for the first court appearance after arrest. During this court appearance, the judge determines whether or not the defendant is required to make bail to be released pending the defendant's next court date. If a defendant can pay the bail amount, the defendant is released into the community and ordered to return for future court dates. If the defendant cannot pay the bail amount or bail is denied, the defendant is placed in jail for the duration of the case. There is no constitutional right to bail; in fact, the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution only prohibits the use of excessive bail. A judge's ...