Bail Clause Law and Legal Definition

Bail clause refers to a clause in the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which prohibits excessive bail. Eighth Amendment prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishments. Bail must not be so heavy as to exceed the capacity of the defendant to pay; yet it may be set sufficiently high as to guarantee a person's appearance for trial at a later date.

Eighth Amendment's proscription of excessive bail has been assumed to have application to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment. [Schilb v. Kuebel, 404 U.S. 357, 365 (U.S. 1971)].