"Due process of law is one of the most important principles of our civilization."

In six chapters, five appendices, a foreword, preface, introduction, and conclusion, author Plotkin, founder of Angels Bail Bonds, a prominent southern California bail bonds service, shares many decades of experience in releasing tens of thousands of inmates from jail before trial. He succinctly explains how bail secures the appearance of the defendant in court and how commercial bail agents have become the primary source for pretrial release.

Until this volume, little has been available to "aid, educate, and guide ordinary people in a time of need through the release of their loved ones from jail." This book offers a valuable framework to decipher what to do in most situations. Clearly written basics are provided, laying out the purpose of a bail bond agent, the benefits of making bail, alternatives to bail, and explaining who qualifies. Common charges and bail amounts are clarified, as are the steps to be taken once a loved one has been arrested. The process to hire the right agent is simplified, and the steps to working with an agent are made clear. How to face trial and exonerate a bond are also demonstrated in plain language. Additionally, which courts to go to for what and what types of pleas to make are covered, as well as what can happen in court, what can happen to fugitives who run from the law, and the role and function of bounty hunters.

The glossary of bail terms is very useful, as is the brief history of bail law provided, the bail premium guidelines by state offered in Appendix IV, and the websites and contact information of numerous bail resources given in Appendix V. Families under stress as well as individuals involved in the system will appreciate the wealth of information presented in this crystal-clear guide to the bail bond process.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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