Bail Myths Propagated by Movies and TV
Ask anyone from your grandparents, parents, and your own generation to name some of their favorite TV programs and you’re likely to hear titles like Perry Mason, Law & Order, and NCIS. These and countless other programs and movies have mined the criminal justice system for storylines for as long as there have been movies and TV, and that trend shows no signs of slowing down. That said, one side effect of using the judicial system as fodder for fictional stories is that those stories often propagate fictional notions of things like bail and bail bond agents, and those myths ultimately wind up finding a place in the public consciousness.
In the spirit of setting the record straight, the team at Urban Bail Bonds will take this opportunity to skewer some of the most popular bail myths propagated by movies and TV.
Common Myths Surrounding Bail and the Bail Bond Company
Here are some common myths about bail made popular by movies and TV shows.
ONE: The “One Phone Call” myth
If you believed what you saw on TV you’d be convinced that if you ever got arrested you’d only be allowed a single phone call and you’d have to choose between calling your loved ones or calling the bail bond agent. This is simply not true. In reality, you can call your wife, your parents, your lawyer, your buddy, and the bondsman. Basically, anyone who will accept a collect call from you. It’s strongly recommended, however, that you make the first call to the bonding company in order to set the wheels of your release in motion.
TWO: The Judge Sets Bail
Most of the time this just isn’t so. To movie and TV producers, bail schedules are typically seen as boring. They much prefer the dramatic possibilities and energy that they can infuse into a courtroom scene such as a bail hearing. And so most of the time you’ll see the accused appear before a judge to learn what their bail will be. In real life, however, the police usually inform the accused of the bail amount which they read from a bail schedule.
THREE: Bail is Denied
It is possible that if a defendant is held over for a bail hearing that the judge or magistrate could deny bail. But only a tiny percentage of cases in Broomfield County ever wind up in bail hearings, and of the ones that do, only a small number of accused individuals end up having bail denied.
For a judge or magistrate to deny bail these days the alleged crime needs to be significant such as an act of terrorism, a mass shooting, or large-scale drug trafficking. Someone who committed another crime while already out on bail may also wind up back in jail. But in the vast majority of cases, people are arrested, have their bail read from a schedule by a police officer, contact a bail bond company, and are out in a couple of hours.
FOUR: No Strings Attached
Movies and TV shows often imply that once a person is released on bond they’re free to do what they want until their court date. Not true. All bail comes with some conditions. At the very least the accused will be forbidden from leaving the state. In some cases the county where their case is being adjudicated. Other restrictions may include wearing a tracking device, not drinking, staying away from certain individuals, or reporting to an office of the court on a set schedule.
The Bottom Line
Don’t believe the myths. If you are arrested in Broomfield or a nearby area, Urban Bail Bonds is here to help. We provide affordable bail bonds 24 hours a day. Call our bail agents at (303) 736-2275 for immediate assistance, or send us a message through our online contact form.