The bail system, which allows some incarcerated individuals the ability to pay money to walk free, is a timeless part of the American justice system. It gives non-convicted prisoners the ability to wait for their trials without sitting behind bars. While most bail-bond agents like to be given paper money as collateral, others will take almost anything with material value. Here is a list of some of the strangest items ever to be used as collateral for leaving jail:
Of course, not everyone has the large amounts of money set by the presiding judge, and in this cases, it is up to them to find an item that a bail agent will take in return for their freedom. In one case, a woman, who needed to secure $150 for her ability to walk free, instead offered a horse saddle that she used for work, claiming that it was worth well over the amount of the bail posted. The agent took the saddle with no qualms, securing the object as collateral.
Though men and women are both hard-pressed to part with their wedding jewelry, some decide to relinquish these prized possessions when they wind up behind bars. This is a rather common form of collateral, as it’s easily removed from the finger and is often worth hundreds, or even thousands of dollars.
Cattle and Livestock
Many people don’t have bail money; thus, those living in rural areas have access to vast wealth in the form of cows, horses, and other types of livestock. And although some bail agents are opposed to taking this form of bail, as it is much more difficult to liquidate it in the event of a missed trial, some will accept it and hold it as collateral.
Video Game Systems
It is not uncommon for bail bond agents to hold onto televisions and other expensive electronics, as they can often yield a rather large amount of money. Those who don’t own these electronics can always take a different route by offering up video game systems, either next-generation consoles or even portable devices. As long as the amount of the system covers the cost of the bail, many bail bond agents may see these electronic gadgets as an acceptable exchange for freedom.
For some, pets are a part of the family that could never be traded for anything. But for others, these animals are a reasonable and acceptable type of item to be used for bail bond collateral, with some agents willing to take this in replace of cash. Because many individuals own highly-prized purebred dogs–such as Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Yellow Labradors, and Pit Bulls–they can net a large sum of money or cover a rather large bail bond by trading in these animals until their trial.
Getting Out Of Jail With What You Have
Though most bail bond agents prefer to receive cash for bail, some will take virtually anything that holds value. If you ever find yourself needing to get out of jail, consider trying any of these strange items in your quest to walk free.
Jay Carlson is a freelance legal blogger based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Readers in the Houston metro area who’d like to learn more about bail bond issues should consult with the trusted professionals at OK Bail Bonds.
Image credit goes to spike55151.