If you’re channel surfing, you’ll likely flip through a show or movie about crime. Many of these shows highlight the arresting and booking process, including the process of posting bail.
Here are some of the most popular shows about crime and bail.
1. Law and Order
This popular show follows the work of two groups of people: the police department and the legal department. The first half of each show depicts the police department finding, capturing, and arresting the criminal. The second half depicts the legal department trying the criminal in court.
Bail plays a key role in Law and Order. For example, in an episode entitled “Bailout,” a woman is hit by a newspaper truck. Investigators soon learn that this was no mere accident. Two accused criminals are each held for $500,000 bail.
In this long-running show, a team of crime-scene investigators use their sharp investigative skills to catch criminals. The Las Vegas team is headed by a forensic entomologist and a blood-spatter specialist. The original show inspired three related shows—CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, and CSI: Cyber.
Bail bonds are also mentioned in CSI. In the episode “I-15 Murders,” Investigator Warrick Brown mentors a teenager. When the teenager gets arrested, Brown pays the boy’s bail.
3. Criminal Minds
This crime drama is set at the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. The characters in the show use behavioral profiling to catch criminals.
Bail comes in during this show as well. In the episode “Soul Mates,” family-man William Harris is arrested for the murder of several young women. He claims that he is innocent and that his wife will post the $5 million bail. However, investigators continue to find evidence to incriminate him and an accomplice.
4. The People v. O.J. Simpson
This new crime anthology series chronicles the notorious O.J. Simpson murder case. The series covers the work of the prosecution to convict him against a high-powered defense team.
In the O.J. Simpson case, we see an example of bail not being permitted. The presiding judge decides to hold Simpson without bail because of the double-murder charge.
5. A Time to Kill
In this movie based on a John Grisham novel, two racist men attack a young black girl. Their actions motivate her enraged father, Carl Lee Hailey, to kill the men. As Carl’s court proceedings unfold, violence unleashes between Carl’s family and white supremacist leaders.
As with The People v. O.J. Simpson, the judge denies bail for Carl Lee Hailey.
6. How to Get Away with Murder
In this new drama series, a criminal-defense attorney and law professor, Annalise Keating, is accused of murder.
In Annalise’s bail hearing, her defense attorney tries to convince the judge that other suspects had motives to kill the victim. However, the judge denies her request for bail and moves that Annalise wait for the trial in prison.
7. Perry Mason
This still-watched show from the 1950s and 1960s shows the enduring popularity of crime shows. Perry Mason is a criminal-defense attorney who takes on the toughest of cases.
As with other crime shows, bail plays an important role. In the episode “The Case of Constant Doyle,” attorney Constant Doyle bails a man out of jail before defending him for murder.
Psych adds a more humorous take to the crime-show drama. Amateur detective Shawn Spencer has powerful investigative skills. However, he pretends to have unique psychic abilities—causing the local police department to seek his help.
In the episode “Zero to Murder in Sixty Seconds,” a police officer’s car is stolen. Shawn traces the crime to a man named Wally. At one point in the show, Shawn asks Wally why he didn’t post bail. Wally replies, “Oh, it’s all good. You know, I’m gonna just do my time with good behavior and go on with my life.” This adds more evidence to Shawn’s theory that the crime is more complex than he first believed.
Why Are Crime Shows So Popular?
Since the beginning of television, shows about crime have been continuously popular.
Criminology professor Scott Bonn suggests this may be because of the jolt of adrenaline viewers receive when witnessing violent crime. Viewers seek a rush of fear, but they prefer to do so in a controlled environment—such as watching television in the safety of their homes.
Another popular aspect of crime television is that it allows viewers to solve complicated puzzles and uncover the truth. This aspect makes for particularly engaging television.
Many of the crimes depicted in these shows are overdramatized or fictionalized. However, crime and arrests are a reality, and the bail process helps many people each day.
If you or a friend was arrested in Las Vegas, call All Star Bail Bonds. We make the bail process quick and easy, and we’re open 24 hours a day to help you.