How does the system really work?
1.The Law Enforcement Departments
Police, Sheriffs Departments, Highway Patrol, State Police, FBI, ATF, DEA, and all law enforcement have arresting powers. Highway Patrol, Police, and Sheriff's Departments go out on calls to locations and pull people over in cars. Meanwhile, undercover officers (police, sheriff, HP) and Federal Agents (FBI, ATF, ICE, Secret Service, and DEA) do "stings" to catch criminals. When they find an alleged violation of the law, they have a few choices.
1.Let the person go.
2.Give them a Ticket.
3.Arrest them & take them to jail.
Guilt, or Innocence, does not come into play at this point, since that is up to the District Attorney, the Judge and jury. If you have been arrested, you have a few choices.Â
1.Stay in jail & wait to go to Court.
2.Post the full amount of the Bail with the Courts & give them Cash, or Cashiers Check.
3.Call a Bail Bondsman and pay 12%(Louisiana) of the bond.
2. The Arrestee
When you, or a Relative, or friend, or co-worker etc., have been arrested for an alleged crime & taken to jail, you have 2 choices.
1. Stay there until your appearance in front of a Judge, (Maybe you get released R.O.R., Released on your Own Recognizance, if a misdemeanor crime with no priors, or awaiting Trial, or a large Bail set in a major felony), or
2. Bail out of Jail by calling some person you know for help, or call a Bail Bondsman on the jail list. Jail is a very unpleasant experience to say the least & no one really wants to be there. Bad things can and do happen there.
3. The Jails & Jailers
Jails are where the arrested, now prisoners are taken to & held until Court, or bailed out. A person wants out of Jail for a variety of reasons. It's not a nice place to visit, much less live there.
A Bail Bondsman is really, A Jailer! By paying a Bail Bondsman, you are Substituting who you want to be your Jailer. You are still Technically in Custody & the Bondsman can Surrender you back to the Jails at any time, for any reason. However being in the Custody of the Bondsman is much better as they let their Arrested;
1. Go to work so they don't lose their Jobs
2. Go home to see their spouse and children, or significant other.
3. Have a Beer, or any one of hundreds of reasons. The Bondsman provides the FREEDOM to do all those things, for a Fee (The earned premium of 10%-12%) and the promise (With security, collateral and/or Co-signer) to go to Court & get the case resolved.
You can post 100% of the Cash for a Bond with the Courts (Example $10,000 Bond = $10,000 Cash, or Cashers Check) but most people don't have that much money and if they do, they more then likely do not want to tie it up with the Courts for a possible long extended period of time.
Also, if the Courts know they have that much money already tied up, what do you think they may base a Fine on??? Make no mistake, the Courts/The Legal System, is a business, first & foremost.
4. The Bail Bond Companies
A Bail Bondsman generally gets a call from the person under arrest in jail, or that person calls a family member, or friend to call a Bail Bondsman and get them out of jail.
The Bail Bondsman really only cares about 2 things;
1.Collecting 100% of his Earned Premium.
2.The exoneration from the Courts.
To secure the client going to Court, the Bondsman requires 3 things,
Once the client either gets exonerated by going to Court, (Sometimes not having to go to Court as the charges were dropped) the Bondsman will return all collateral and release the Co-signer from any further liability.
In the event the client does not go to Court due to negligence (forgot the Court date) the Bondsman can help the client get rescheduled back on calendar, or surrender the client back to jail.
If the client skips (Leaves the area, on the run) the Bondsman will send Bail Enforcement Agents (Bounty Hunters) after them & they lose the collateral & the Bondsman may also go after the Co-signer for further satisfaction in paying the Bounty Hunters and/or paying off the Bond to the Courts.
The Courts must be satisfied for the Bondsman and the Client to be released from liability on any Bonds written. Who satisfies that is the responsibility of the Client.
If the Collateral must be sold, or the Co-signer having to pay, or a final Judgment from the Courts (Dismissed, Fine, Community Service, Probation, Jail, or any combination of those) again, the Courts must be satisfied. If any Appeal Bond is needed, the same basic situation applies all over again.
5. The Lawyers
It is highly recommended you always get a Lawyer for every alleged crime, from Traffic Tickets to Murder and everything in between. The Lawyer knows the procedures of the Courts, Motions to file, can plea bargain, get fines reduced, change Court dates, change locations of the Trial (Change of Venue) etc..
A lawyer who specializes in your type of alleged type of crime has seen it all & knows the loopholes and how to deal with any situation that comes up. Always find a Lawyer who is well experienced in the particular type of crime you are charged with. A Lawyer who specializes in Traffic Tickets is great for that type of crime. But if you had a Murder Trial, you would not want him, but some one who specializes in that crime.
Many times a Bail Bondsman can refer you to several Lawyers that you can interview who specialize in your alleged crime, as they become quite familiar with what Lawyers specialize in and they have heard great success with from clients. Again, always retain a good Lawyer.
6. The Public Defenders Office
The Public Defenders office generally help the poor people when they have no money & no other way to go. You are Guaranteed a lawyer even if you cannot afford one, (Miranda Rights). They are there to protect your rights to that effect. In my humble opinion, never use one.
Get a Lawyer who knows what he is doing, whatever the cost. It is well worth it in the long run, Believe Me! They are nice people, don't get me wrong. But like major Surgery, do you want a Doctor fresh out of Medical school, or a Doctor who has done Thousands of Surgeries operating on you???
7. The District Attorney Office
The District Attorney & his Deputy D.A.s, are there to prosecute you to the fullest extent of the Law on behalf of the State and the people. The Burden of Proof is on them to prove you committed the alleged crime. It is always better to have your Lawyer deal with them. They have a tremendous case load.
Generally 400 to 500 cases to handle at any one time and more coming in all the time. If they can plea bargain a small case, or 1st offense, etc., they are more likely to do so with your Lawyer. You are better off NEVER, EVER talking to them!
As Lawyers will tell you about dealing with the Police or D.A.s, always remember 3 things,
2.Keep your mouth Shut.
3.Don't say anything.
More people are convicted of crimes by talking to the Police or D.A.s then any other reason by an overwhelming margin! In essence, Hanging Themselves! Again, the Burden of Proof is on them to convict you of the alleged crime, why would you want to help them to convict you???
You have the Right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you. (Miranda Rights)!
8. The Courts & Juries
The Judge and Jury, determines the fate of the Arrestee/Client. Sometimes a Judge will decide your Fate based on the D.A.s case & sometimes a Jury will be brought in. The choice is up to your Lawyer, as you have a Right to a Jury Trial. It is always recommended that one has a Lawyer for any alleged crime, Misdemeanor, Gross Misdemeanor, or Felony. The Bail Bondsman gets 1 of 2 letters from the Courts,
The Forfeiture notice means the Client DID NOT show up for Court & a Bench Warrant has been issued for their arrest.
When the Bondsman receives this notice, they immediately try to contact the Client. If an oversight on the Client and they made an error, the Bondsman can get the Warrant Quashed and have the Client put back on Calendar. Needless to say the Judge does not like when that happens and it does no good for the Clients case.
When the Bondsman receives an Exoneration notice from the Courts, that means the Bondsman, Client, Co-Signer and the Surety Company, are off the liability of that Bond and the Bondsman notifies the Surety accordingly.
That sums it up in a nutshell. Naturally, there is a lot more to, The System. This should give you a good overview of what you are dealing with. Remember, always deal with 2 of those Groups honestly as they are on your side,
1.Your Bail Bondsman.
Always call us 1st, as we are here to help you & answer any & all your questions about Bail Bonds!
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