Low-cost cash bail sparks complaints against Utah County judges

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SPANISH FORK — Millions of dollars are spent each year to take criminals off the streets. Now a practice in Utah County has sparked a courtroom controversy involving bail bondsmen, judges and seemingly cheap bail for many jailbirds.

Take, for example, Teige Carson. He was arrested for a felony and bailed out of jail for $350.

“The $350 cash-only for my felony that I had was actually less than I had to pay for an underage alcohol ticket when I was 19 years old,” he said.

Not all bails in Utah County are as low as Carson’s was. But by sifting through court records and visiting 4th District Court in Provo, KSL News identified cases where defendants who had been arrested for felonies were given an option to bail out of jail for a couple hundred dollars, which is collected by the courts.

The practice cuts bail bondsmen out of the process, they say, and is in turn harming their businesses. They believe the public should be concerned, as well. ….credit ksl

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