Women’s role in society has changed in many ways over the last century. Unfortunately, not all these changes have been positive. For example, the proportion of women in the workforce has roughly doubled since 1930. That’s good. But the proportion of women in prison has almost tripled since 1930. That’s not so good.
Almost all of the incarceration increase began around 1970. Between 1930 and 1970, there were only four womens’ prisons in the United States. By 1990, there were seventy-one; by 1995, there were one hundred and fifty.
Since female incarceration increase is a relatively recent phenomenon, there are few studies explaining why the female criminal rate has increased so quickly and so rapidly. One thing is certain, however. From start to finish, female criminal matters involve substantially different issues than male criminal matters.
One thing that is almost always certain is that this process includes using the services of a bondsman (bail bond near me). Unless a bondsman intervenes, the conviction rate for both men and most certainly women, is exponentially higher. Essentially, pretrial incarceration (going directly to jail and staying in jail after an arrest without getting out on bond) transforms the presumption of innocence into a presumption of guilt. More on this below.
Male vs. Female Crime Statistics
Although the female incarceration rate has increased significantly since 1920, women still account for less than 10 percent of all jail or prison inmates in the United States. That small sample size is another reason it’s difficult to determine why the female incarceration rate has increased so much.
The nature of the crimes women commit, however, is a different matter. Most male jail and prison inmates were convicted of drug crimes, mostly drug possession, DUI, and assaultive offenses, such as ordinary assault, aggravated assault, and homicide. Most female inmates were convicted of property crimes, such as arson and theft. As outlined below, property crimes specifically require a different legal approach by your representing attorney. This is why it is important to choose an attorney with experience in the field where you are needing your defense so your attorney can more easily help you have a successful resolution to your charges.
So much for adult criminal statistics. Female juvenile delinquency rates show similar trends. Girls almost never got into legal trouble a hundred years ago. At the time, girls were essentially property, so authorities almost always remanded wayward females into the custody of their parents, husbands, or male next of kin family members. That approach probably made the problem worse, but that’s the subject of another blog.
Today, many more girls face legal problems. Similar to adult women, these problems usually involve property crimes. But most boys also get into trouble because of property crimes as well. Violent juvenile crimes, although they always make the headlines, are quite rare.
Female Crimes and Bail Issues
As outlined above, most female arrestees are first-time offenders charged with nonviolent crimes. As a result, they are usually candidates for pretrial release in Montgomery County.
Pretrial release, or OR (Own Recognizance) release, essentially transforms an arrest into a traffic ticket. When officers cite drivers, if the drivers promise to appear in court, officers release them. Similarly, if a review board approves OR release and the defendant promises to appear in court, the sheriff releases the defendant. Robertson County has a similar system.
Unfortunately, the wheels of justice do not always turn quickly. It might take a review board several days to review a case. In many situations, remaining behind bars that long is not an option if the defendant has a family at home, work responsibilities, or is a student. And, review boards do not always authorize OR release, even if the defendant meets the minimum qualifications.
So, many inmates turn to a bail bondsman. For a small premium, of only 10% of the full bond amount, the bondsman at Fizer Bonding Company delivers a surety bond to the sheriff. This surety bond is a lot like an insurance policy. If the house burns down and it was insured, the insurance company usually covers the loss. Likewise, if a defendant does not appear in court or violates another bail condition, such as picking up a new charge, the bonding company usually covers the loss.
Gender should not affect the amount of bail, but it does, at least indirectly. As mentioned, most women do not have criminal records and face nonviolent charges. Additionally, many women have strong connections to their families and social communities. All these factors often point toward a lower bail amount.
Criminal Defense Issues
DUI and possession offenses are usually fact-based. An officer typically witnessed the criminal activity and later testifies about that activity in court. But property crimes are different. Officers very rarely see people burn down buildings or fraudulently use credit cards. These criminal matters usually involve lengthy investigations and non-police witnesses, such as the owner of the building or credit card.
Investigations typically involve paid informers and search warrants. Many times, these foundations are not strong enough to make criminal charges hold up in court.
Paid informers usually receive leniency or cash. Since many people will say almost anything for love or money, these tips are inherently unreliable. The information they provide is only reliable if it includes certain features, such as:
- Specificity: Information like “someone is planning on causing trouble at the corner of Elm and Main” is so vague that it’s almost useless. Information like “Sally is planning on setting fire to her store to collect the insurance money” is much more specific.
- Timing: Informer’s tips usually have a very short shelf life. If the information is more than a few hours old, it’s probably stale.
- Track Record: This factor is probably the big one. If the informer provided accurate information before, new information might be accurate as well. If the informer has lied before, there’s a good chance the informer is lying again. People with no track record at all are question marks. Attorneys on both sides usually look to their credibility in the community, if any.
Search warrants have issues all their own. These warrants must be based on probable cause. That’s one of the highest evidentiary standards in Tennessee law. If the warrant was invalid, any evidence officers seized is inadmissible.
These weaknesses usually make it easier for attorneys to successfully resolve criminal cases involving female defendants. That resolution often includes a deferred prosecution agreement. If the defendant admits guilt, pays restitution, and jumps through some other hoops, the court normally dismissed the charges.
Fizer Bonding Company is a valuable resource that offers FREE Bail Bond Consultations in Montgomery and Robertson Tennessee counties (bail bond Clarksville TN). Our professional bonding agents are available 24/7 every day of the year to get your tail outta jail and we practice Covid-19 friendly procedures. Our family-owned bonding service has filled the bonding needs of Montgomery and Robertson Counties for over 40 years. Fizer Bonding Company is a proud member of the Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents. For more info about Fizer Bonding Company bail bonds, click here.
“We’ll get your tail outta jail!”
Fizer Bonding Company in Montgomery County Tennessee
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