Juvenile Bail Bonds: Do They Exist?

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According to the American Civil Liberties Union, there are almost 60,000 minors incarcerated in the U.S. In many adult cases, depending on the severity of the accused’s possible crime among other factors, the judge sets bail. This is an amount of money that may be paid to secure the temporary release of the suspect. Lehigh County bail bonds businesses pay the amount for those without ready funds in return for a percentage of the fee. Bail is meant to ensure the individual actually returns for the trial. However, juvenile cases (involve those under 18, or, in some places, under 16) are different from adult ones. Whether or not juveniles get bail is a common query.

The Answer

In general, youths do not possess the same constitutional right to bail as adults do. However, some states permit juvenile bail while others expressly forbid it. This is due to a number of reasons. One is the ideology behind the juvenile system. In contrast with the adult one, which seeks to punish, its ultimate goal is to rehabilitate the minors and return them to society. Another is the way juvenile cases work. In many instances, the youths are simply released into the custody of a parent or legal guardian until the hearing date. Said adult generally bear the responsibility for getting them to court, so bail is seen as unnecessary.  In certain ones, the judge may order them to remain detained instead. In the latter, the arraignment is usually scheduled quickly. 

The Exception

In states where juvenile bail is banned, there is one situation where juveniles may qualify for bail.  Minors being charged as adults may be entitled to it. In such cases, the same bail rules applying to legal adults also apply to them. 

Whether or not juveniles can get bail is dependent on two factors, the state they are tried in and if they are charged as an adult. They are not guaranteed it as a constitutional right.


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