Apparently now you have a chance to put up personal items as bail money in case you cannot afford to cough up the dough.
A judge in Massachusetts accepted a pair of new Nike sneakers from a man who confessed he didn’t have money to pay as bond money. Apparently, he managed to convince the judge that he wouldn’t be a flight risk by offering to post his new Nike sneakers as bail.
In response to the offer by 39-year-old Jason Duval, who was facing jail time on an outstanding warrant, Framingham District Court Judge Douglas Stoddard said, “OK, we’ll take them.”
Duval was charged with illegal possession of a controlled substance. Additional charges included driving to endanger in 2012. After a brief period of litigation, Duval’s lawyer proposed payment of $450 in court costs to have the charges against his client dismissed. Apart from agreeing to cease possession of the controlled substance, Duval was to pay the money by the end of December.
However, Duval failed to cough up the cash, and as a direct result, cops turned up on his door and arrested him on New Year’s Day. Once again in court, Duval pleaded to the presiding judge that didn’t have any money for bail because he was going through an ugly divorce. Though sympathetic to Duval’s current predicament, the judge said he didn’t want to release him without bail because he didn’t believe Duval would come back and pay what he owed.
The judge was rightly concerned that Duval would once again play hooky with the judicial system, and the entire process would have to be repeated, thereby adding to the costs that the law was incurring on Duval. Hence, instead of mandating Duval pay the money, the judge offered to wipe the debt if Duval agreed to spend a few days in jail. Expectedly, Duval declined the offer.
Anticipating his response, Judge Stoddard said to him, “I’ll give you a chance to be creative. If you can come up with a creative idea to convince me that you’ll come back, I’ll work with you.”
Sure enough, after a brief recess, Duval suggested the judge accept his new pair of Nike shoes. He assured the judge that the shoes were brand new, and he had gotten them as a Christmas present. Duval estimated the street price of the shoes to be $85.
Clearly a negotiator, Judge Stoddard said he would return the sneakers if Duval paid $100 in $25 weekly installments beginning January 13, or if he completed 10 hours of community service in the same period. Though Duval has accepted the Judge’s proposal, it is uncertain how he would respond.
[Image Credit | Jankovic Jelena]