Los Angeles best of the best bail bond agency


Los Angeles best of the best bail bond agency. There is are lot of bail bond in LA area. But this one is the biggest and a best in quality provides to people. Bail bond cover all California city's. Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Long Beach, New Port Beach, Van Nuys, Santa Clarita and other this is a short list of cover zone's. So we can provide fast and best in California service. Our professional team always looking for opportunity to help our clients.

Bail bond advice



This is about a bail bond in LA. This is a great service for people who got problems, in many cases it's help. Best thing of this is freedom. A bail bond can bail you out from jail. So you can go home to see you family.

Real trouble real help - is this a true?


My name is "Mr.Sniffy" a ma a 38 ears old and i got arrested by police. I' m telling your guy's i got real trouble for myself and my kid. That was a big problem and i don't know what to do. But my smart kid go to internet wen i was in jail and find a bail bond agency. That was unbeliveble for me. My son save me and help to get out from trouble. I really glad i got son like mine and thouse bail bonds guys which bail me out that was geat for my. I will recomend it for all my friend and all peaple those guys provide a veru qualyty service and quiq. I was hom jus an a hour since i got arrested it's never hapend's win me so fast. Thouse guy's a great, Good job bail bondsman...

Bail bond's which the best? Get professional advice


There is a lot of bail bond services right now. So which is the beast? There all probably the same and provide a pretty much identical serves. But some of them great beaus they has an professionals on duty, many bail bonds agents is a part time worker from home and they are not pro in this business, so look up for a big company with a web site and professionals on duty. Som big company's also provide you with the lower ore refer you to them.
It's always a problem get out from jail so make it easer go online and find best for your family or your friend. Why apply online? Because it save you a lot of time and money, and the best thing you can shopping around . Who many agency's you can visit to get advice? Just a few but the problem is more time you lose more time they stay in jail. So get a fast and professional help now! We can help you.

Insurance Commissioner open a cease for Bail Bondsman's License


Hawaii Insurance Commissioner today has issued a cease, about desist order on bail agent Monica J. Pacheco.

Monica allegedlywithheld premium payment's and cash collateral deposit's for her personal use. Pacheco operated an unregistered and unlicensed bail agency, that was notauthorized by Hawaii Insurance Division.

“Insurance is based on trust and our investigation indicates that Monica Pacheco violated this trust with her clients and theirfamilies”. “A family or friend working to help, an individual make bail and meet the requirements of bail's, is in a complicated and stressful situation. Licensed agents have a duty to help, and should never take advantage.”
This is a very sad story, the Bail bonds guy's should do that they suppose to help people, shame on here...

Obama Responds for criticism of...


Barack Obama respond back to D.Cheney, a former vice president, calling a Bush administration policy on detainees at the military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

He sad “How many terrorists or other have be actually brought to justice, this was promoted by Vice President Cheney?” Mr. Barack Obama The president wasresponding to recent charges by Mr. Deack Cheney that the administration’s decision to shut down the Guantánamo prison, among with other policies on the treatment of terrorism suspects and "Alkaid"members, would make the US more open for attacks.

Bush's terrorism policy “hasn’t made us safer,” as Mr. Barack Obama

Mr. Obama defended the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, who has come under fire as public anger over bonusespaid to Wall Street executives has gron and the nation’s economic colapse.

The president said in the interview that he and Mr. Geithner had not discussed wheter Mr.Geithner should resigne, and even if Mr. Geithner offered to resign, the president joked that his response would be, “Buddy, you’ve still got the job.”
It was a Ruff discussion but Barack Obama was very optimistic and he sad " we don't have to and we didn't do the same mistake as Bush's administration do. We got a lot of to do but we can make it!
in fact there new program about prisoners, the going to realize a thousands of prisoners. And a new Bail Bond program is relabel for people why got problems.
seems like there going to be a lot of changes this year...

COURTS: Suspect was employed by Newfane school district.

The NYPD in Lockport arrested a Fuller Road man for inappropriate sexual contact with two children.

James E. Taylor, 44, was charged with counts of first-degree sexual conduct against a child. That is a class B felony.

The state police and the Niagara County Child Protective Services conducted an investigation which revealed that Taylor had inappropriate sexual contact with two children under the age of 11 years between 1997 and 2003.

Taylor was arraigned before Town of Newfane Judge Bruce M. Barnes and was remanded to the Niagara County Jail on $250,000 cash bail or $500,000 secured bond.

Taylor is scheduled to re-appear in the Town of Newfane Court at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Taylor was employed by the Newfane School District in the maintenance department as an electrician. School Superintendent Gary Pogorzelski said all of the allegations are outside of school.

OJ Simpson Trial (Vegas Bail Bonds)

Bail Bonds

Anna Nicole Smith's psychiatrist posts $20K bail

Psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich surrendered Monday to face charges of excessively prescribing drugs to Anna Nicole Smith before the former model's overdose death at 39.

Eroshevich turned herself in at the Van Nuys police station, said police spokeswoman Rosario Herrera.

She was released several hours later after posting $20,000 bail, according to a statement from her attorney Adam Braun's office.

After a lengthy investigation by the attorney general and other state and federal agencies, Los Angeles County prosecutors charged Eroshevich last week with conspiring with another doctor, Sandeep Kapoor, and Smith's lawyer-turned-boyfriend Howard K. Stern to provide Smith with thousands of prescription pills.

Attorney General Jerry Brown said Friday that the doctors wrote prescriptions in fictitious names and prescribed unwarranted amounts of highly addictive medications to Smith, knowing that she was an addict.

Brown described Stern as the "principal enabler" in the alleged conspiracy.

Stern and Kapoor turned themselves in last week and were each freed on $20,000 bond.

Braun has said Eroshevich was only protecting Smith's privacy by writing prescriptions in false names and did not intend to commit fraud.

The psychiatrist, who had treated Smith since 2006, traveled several times over six months to the Bahamas, where the former Playboy playmate was living with Stern and wrote the prescriptions.

Bail Bonds - People Who Care!

Thanks again for connecting with us. We are pleased to recommend you. We are proud to be part of your network and we look forward to help you. We can certainly appreciate and respect what you do and how you do it, and that's very well from what we hear. . We assist non-qualifying, credit-challenged people in legally restoring their credit rating and credit scores, helping them obtain second-chance financing and manage their financial future. Our experienced attorneys are consumer credit law specialists, more effective than any "credit repair firm" and we back them with the strongest money-back warranty available. We want to help you promote and grow your business. Thanks again and best wishes for your success!

Increase Unemployment in the U.S.

Unemployment climbed in 49 U.S. states in January, showing no region has escaped the worsening recession.

The jobless rate jumped by at least one percentage point in 23 states from December to January, led by a surge of 1.6 points in North Carolina, Oregon and South Carolina, the Labor Department said today in Washington. Michigan, where the rate jumped by 1.4 points, had the nation’s highest at 11.6 percent.

Nationally, unemployment will reach 9.4 percent by the end of the year, from February’s 25-year high of 8.1 percent, and remain elevated through at least 2011, according to the median estimate in a monthly Bloomberg News survey of economists. Job losses have totaled 4.4 million since the recession began in December 2007, a report from Labor showed last week.

“Job losses are broadening out,” a senior economist at Capital Markets in Toronto, said before the report. “Losses are beginning to spread across sectors, and therefore across regions as well.”

Payroll employment decreased in 42 states in January, led by California’s loss of 79,300 jobs. Michigan, the epicenter of the auto slump, showed the second-biggest drop with 60,800 workers dismissed. Employers in Ohio cut 59,600 positions and Texas lost 50,600 jobs.

At 10.4 percent, South Carolina’s jobless rate was the second-highest in the nation, followed by 10.3 percent in Rhode Island and 10.1 percent in California. Only Louisiana, still rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, showed a decline in joblessness, falling to 5.1 percent in January from 5.5 percent the prior month.

“Employment in Louisiana has been supported by ongoing revitalization programs,” an economist at Moody’s Economy.com in West Chester, Pennsylvania, who covers the state. “Education and health care are holding up well because universities and hospitals are ramping up activity.”

More job losses are in the pipeline for Michigan and Ohio sad eliminate about 47,000 jobs worldwide while Chrysler LLC said it would cut another 3,000 positions as both firms sought more federal loans to allow them time to restructure.

The tally of individual state figures showed the U.S. lost 591,000 jobs in January, compared with a revised 655,000 drop in payrolls reported by the Labor Department on March 6. Payrolls in February dropped another 651,000, Labor said.

The state and local employment data are derived independently from the national statistics, which are typically released on the first Friday of every month. The state figures are subject to larger sampling errors because they come from smaller surveys, making the national figures more reliable, according to the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the 12 months ended in January, California led all states with a 494,000 drop in payroll employment, followed by a decrease of 355,700 in Florida. Texas gained 19,900 over the 12-month period, the most of any state.

Germany in shock after teenage gunman attacks

An assailant clad in black stormed into a high school in southwestern Germany and killed 12 people before fleeing, murdering another three people who crossed his path and then killing himself after a shootout with the police.

The death toll of 16, including the gunman, was less than the 17 killed in another school shooting in the eastern German town of Erfurt almost seven years ago. Similar incidents have occurred since then, but none as shocking to Germans as the one that began before noon here, near Stuttgart, and ended in another town southeast of the city.

The Erfurt murders prompted a tightening of stringent regulations on access to firearms. The brutal, deliberate nature of the deed Wednesday stunned Germany and portends a new round of soul-searching over how to prevent violence in schools.

"This is a day of mourning for all of Germany," Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement in Berlin. "Our thoughts are with the friends and families."

The incident also resonated around Europe, which has long viewed itself as a more peaceful place than the United States but has faced shooting sprees of its own in recent years. The European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg observed a minute of silence as the dimensions of the crime emerged.

The mass police response quickly turned Winnenden, normally a placid town in the hilly Swabian region of Germany, into something resembling a war zone.

A mixture of firefighters, paramedics and columns of heavily armed commandos brandishing automatic weapons immediately swarmed the school and sealed off Winnenden's small town center, while teams of psychologists and clergy counseled the school's students and their parents. Helicopters circled the town as senior law enforcement officials descended on the town by noon amid saturated media coverage in Germany.

And in a world where information streaks across oceans in seconds, many in Germany wondered whether the attack was linked — in the mind of the attacker, if nowhere else — to a shooting spree in Alabama on Tuesday that left 11 dead, including the gunman.

The police quickly identified the German shooter as Tim Kretschmer, 17, who finished last year at Winnenden's Albertville school, which educates mostly children who will not attend university, and had entered a vocational training program. Officials described him as an unobtrusive student, and said they had no clues as to his motive, though they were struck by the fact that he killed mainly female students.

"There were apparently no signs that he would be capable of something like this," said Erwin Hettger, chief of the police forces in Baden-Württemberg, the state where Winnenden lies.

The police said they strongly suspected that Kretschmer acquired the weapons used in the shooting from the arsenal of his father, Jörg, who is a member of a shooting club in Leutenbach, the nearby village where the family lives. The father owned the firearms legally, the police said.

One of the father's 15 firearms, a pistol, was missing when the police searched the family home just after the shooting at the school, as were over 100 rounds of ammunition. All but the handgun, which was in a bedroom, were locked in a safe.

"The quantity of unfired ammunition suggests that he planned to do more," Ralf Michelfelder, a senior police investigator, said at an evening news conference.

The police said an emergency call came from the school at 9:33 a.m. local time. But when two teams of officers arrived on the scene minutes later, the shooter had already fled in the direction of the town center.

The authorities later established that Kretschmer burst into two separate classrooms, killing five students in one room and two in another. Two others were shot elsewhere and died on the way to the hospital. Three teachers were also shot and killed. Seven wounded pupils have been hospitalized.

The deaths at the school proved to be the opening act in a drama that lasted three hours and ended with the death of Kretschmer.

As he headed toward the center of Winnenden, a town of 27,000, after the initial attack, the police sealed off the school and the town center, and issued a public warning to motorists not to pick up hitchhikers.

But even as the manhunt was getting under way, Kretschmer was already slipping from their initial grasp. After killing the employee of a clinic for the mentally ill, he took a motorist hostage and evaded the police cordon.

Around noon, Kretschmer abandoned the car without harming the driver, having reached the town of Wendlingen, 40 kilometers, or 25 miles, to the south.

Dependable Bail Bonds is here for you

At Dependable Bail Bonds, our friendly representatives are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to help explain the steps involved and discuss any related issues with you, free of charge. We will walk you through the entire process so you don't feel like you're all by yourself against a faceless legal system. And we'll even work with you later to make payment arrangements tailored to your financial situation.

Don't go through this difficult time alone. Call Dependable Bail Bonds today! We are here to help you all the way!

Do I have a Warrant for My Arrest?

Think that you might have a warrant? Call us now to check your warrant status and make arrangements to get them cleared. Don't get caught off guard, its never too late to get back on the right track.

Coffee County man shot by bail bondsman

A Coffee County man continues to recuperate after being shot in the lower leg by a bail bondsman.

Police say 32-year-old Andre Chism was shot in the leg when he reportedly tried to run away Friday night.

A spokesman with Freedom Bonding of Enterprise says Chism jumped bond on several charges including domestic violence.

The district attorney's office is investigating the shooting.

No charges have been filed at this time.

Million Dollar Bail Bonds

I assume that Unscrupulous + Bail = Madoff. The question got me thinking how much there really is to know about bail and how it can probably stir up a lot of questions for the professional and the lay person alike.

As to who posts those very large bail bonds of $1 million to $10 million: in some regards any bondsman can post a bond like that (some might say if they’re lucky). In reality, there are only a handful of bondsmen who will have the clientele and the expertise to put the bond together. Bonds of that size are going to be collateralized with real property (real estate) that has equity equally 150% of the bail. (Though to get in this climate.)

Regarding property in lieu of cash, California also allows for property bail. The process is very similar to a real estate transaction and has the stress level and the paperwork involved in the sale of a home, needing appraisal and title searches for example. Again, there must be equity in the property or properties being pledged against the bond equaling 150% of the bail.

Gary’s question leads me to one other thought and that is about, what is called in California, This hearing before a judge takes place after bail has been set and before bail can be posted. The purpose of a 1275 hearing is to find out where the funds being used to post bail were obtained, basically ensuring that it is “clean” money and not money obtained illegally or potentially illegally. I do wonder how Madoff could have passed that.

Why linking to colleagues is so important to Attorneys

Link popularity has become a buzzword in the SEO industry lately. Everyone is desperate to exchange links and increase their link popularity especially after Google announced it was one of the single most important factor that affected rankings.

So does it work? I decided to try it out a few months back, and I must say... it did wonders. This site was an attorney site and hence had hardly any spider friendly static pages with lots of spider food and text. I was given some space to add optimized text to but that's about it. This is what I did - created around 10 static pages and a links page.

After optimization and an initial round of submissions to the directories and search engines, I surfed around looking for suitable link partners (within the same field).

I got around 50 links and then I waited... I needed Google to pick up these links. And luckily it did. Next month’s refresh I had them incoming and I had the site in the top 10 for all but one of the 12 keywords I was aiming for, the 12th keyword was #11 on Google. So 2 months after the site was first added to Google, 1 month after optimization and link exchange, the site was right up there.

So what are the steps you need to follow to get most out of your link exchange programs? Look for the site with a good page rank. Make sure their links page is indexed by Google. Use text links, not banners or images. Make sure your link text consists of your keyword. Optimize your website. Link popularity without optimization does not make sense. Be patient - Link popularity sometimes takes more than 1 refresh to show results.

No bond for Flay money manager accused of fraud

Despite drawing repeated comparisons to the house arrest of Bernard Madoff, attorneys for a Florida hedge fund manager accused of losing millions of dollars in client investments were unable to persuade a judge Friday to offer him similar confinement as he awaits trial on federal securities and wire fraud.

After a nearly four-hour hearing in Tampa federal court, the judge ordered 76-year-old Arthur Nadel held without bond. The U.S. Attorney’s Office argued Nadel earned millions in management fees over the years, much of it still unaccounted for, and that he couldn’t be trusted to return to court.

They pointed to his disappearance on Jan. 14, just as a partner insisted that an outside accountant review their books and in anticipation that his assets would be frozen.

“He left his company, his co-workers, his investors, everybody, high and dry,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Terry Zitek, who called Nadel’s handing of six hedge funds “at least a partial Ponzi scheme.”
Barry Cohen, one of Nadel’s three attorneys, argued his client should be released, especially given that Madoff was allowed house arrest, even though he is accused of a significantly larger scheme. But U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Pizzo said the risk of flight was still too great.

Nadel surrendered to the FBI in Tampa on Tuesday, two weeks after disappearing from his Sarasota home. He left behind a note to his wife in which he expressed regret and threatened to kill himself. Police found his green Subaru the next day in an airport parking lot.

In addition to the federal charges, the Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Nadel with fraud, saying he misled investors and overstated the value of investment in the six funds by about $300 million. The SEC also alleges that Nadel transferred at least $1.25 million from two funds to secret bank accounts that he controlled.

Cohen gave a partial account of the money manager’s 13 days on the run. He said Nadel left town knowing there would be “a lot coming down,” wanting to get away and think about things.

On Jan. 20, Nadel contacted a Sarasota attorney, who put him in touch with Cohen. He said Nadel was in “bad state of mind” and referred him to a psychiatrist, who recommended that Nadel go to a hospital.

Four days later, Nadel flew into Tampa and checked into a hotel under his own name, Cohen said. At that point, there was still no warrant for his arrest. Nadel continued seeing the psychiatrist and wanted to check into a hospital but turned himself in at the request of authorities on Jan. 27, Cohen said.

“Mr. Nadel is humiliated about this whole experience,” Cohen said.

He said his client wants to cooperate with the investigation and help investors recuperate any lost finds. He said it is likely that, with his age and poor health, Nadel will finish his days in prison and wants to do the right thing.

“He’s just a lost, pathetic soul to be honest with you, your honor,” Cohen said.

Despite having possibly earned tens of millions in management fees, Nadel’s attorneys said he doesn’t have the money to post bail, nor do family members who were in court to support him. Cohen pointed to Nadel’s notes to his wife before his disappearance in which he told her there was no money left, and that she should sell his Subaru if she needed cash.

Nadel will now likely be transferred to New York, where he will be tried on federal securities and wire fraud.

Nadel’s saga follows two other high-profile financial fraud cases. Madoff is accused of costing investors some $50 billion in what may be the largest Ponzi scheme in history. Indiana money manager Marcus Schrenker was apprehended in Florida earlier this month, accused of trying to stage his death in a plane crash as investors probed his businesses.

Jail Records Hacked Into

They make their money keeping people out of jail. Now some local bail bonding companies may be in trouble themselves. Mobile county sheriff’s deputies raided three offices Wednesday, saying someone hacked into the jail’s computer system to get inmates’ information. Chris Mcneil owns Metro Bonding. He believes the three bonding companies deputies raided were intercepting confidential information. They had access within second of someone coming into the jail even before they were booked into the jail, just initially coming into the jail, McNeil said. Sheriff Sam Cochran says, in some cases, it’s possible information like an inmate’s medical history may have been compromised. Thanks to otherbail bond companies alerting the Sheriff, investigators were able to beat the hackers at their own game. While they were being booked, we actually tracked calls and used undercover calls with the bonding people they were calling some of our undercover officers once we set the trap for them, Cochran said. Warrants were served at three localbail bond companies. Computer hard drives were confiscated. There was no comment Wednesday, from Bandit, Central or A To Z Bail Bonds.

Bail posted for mom of missing Caylee Anthony

ORLANDO, Fla. - The mother of a missing central Florida toddler was released from jail on $500,000 bail Thursday and returned to her parents’ home, where authorities will monitor her with an electronic ankle device.

Casey Anthony, 22, said nothing as she left the Orange County jail Thursday. She faces charges of child neglect, making false statements and obstructing an investigation in the disappearance of 3-year-old Caylee, who has been missing since June.

Police say Casey Anthony lied to them and didn’t report Caylee missing for more than a month. Caylee’s grandmother reported her disappearance in July.

Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez, escorted her out of the jail under a black umbrella amid a throng of reporters. He got into a scuffle with a journalist, pushing him out of the way.

Baez said Anthony whispered into his ear on her way out, “I’m innocent. I’m going to walk out of this place with my head held high.”

Anthony, who had been jailed since mid-July, arrived several minutes later at her parents’ home, where she was fitted for an electronic monitoring device that plugs into her home phone.

“Right now the family is in there hugging and enjoying time as a family together,” Baez said outside the home. “There’s a lot of tears, a lot of emotion.”

Anthony was also arraigned Thursday, but did not attend the hearing. A written plea of not guilty was entered, according to court documents.

“The most important thing is that Casey is home and her parents are very grateful,” family spokesman Larry Garrison said by phone Thursday. “Now we are asking the public to please help us find Caylee. Now more than ever, we are convinced that she was kidnapped.”

A group from a California bail bonds company flew to Florida on Sunday to help Clearwater-based bondsman Albert Estes post the bond. They said they believe Anthony might be more likely to talk about her daughter’s disappearance if released from jail.

Anthony told investigators she left Caylee in an apartment with a nanny June 9. But investigators say the apartment had been empty for several months.

She told detectives she didn’t immediately call authorities to report Caylee missing because she was conducting her own investigation, according to an affidavit.

But authorities say Anthony, a single mother, has shown no remorse or concern for Caylee under questioning. Cadaver-sniffing dogs detected a scent in her car, and hair, dirt and a strange stain were found in the trunk. Investigators are still awaiting FBI tests on that evidence.

A neighbor told detectives Anthony had asked to borrow a shovel some time in June. Her father said she had stolen two gas cans from the garage and refused to let him get something from the trunk of her car. A boyfriend said she never told him in June that Caylee was missing.

Bail bondsmen make it cheaper to get out of jail

Expert: Defendants on $500,000 bail bonds are freed with 1 percent down

SANTA ANA, Calif. - Bail bond agents are increasingly helping cash-strapped defendants get out of jail with ultra-cheap financing deals, a practice that worries law enforcement officials and insurers, and could endanger public safety.

To bolster their businesses during the recession, a growing number of bondsmen nationwide are requiring upfront payments that are only a fraction of the customary 10 percent premium amount — sometimes with no collateral. In exchange, the accused agree to make up the difference on credit cards or monthly installment plans.

While such financing is legal in all but a handful of states, law enforcement officials and politicians fear it undermines defendants’ incentive to show up to face charges. Insurance companies that back the bonds are also concerned about the potential for escalating bail forfeiture rates, which are currently estimated at less than 5 percent.
“When you have a bail bond that’s half a million dollars and you can get out with 1 percent down, that’s pretty scary,” said Bill Lee, a San Bernardino County deputy district attorney who prosecutes bail bond cases.

Based on publicly available documents, it is nearly impossible to determine whether the recent rise in bail-on-credit is causing an increase in bail jumping, experts say. That is partly because courts use widely varying ways to record defaults, and even then the data is delayed by the fact that bounty hunters in many states have months to catch absconders before a default is recorded.

In California, for example, they have up to a year to catch bail jumpers, while in states such as North Carolina, Maryland and Connecticut, it’s up to six months. Moreover, any payment deals struck between defendants and bail bondsmen are protected by privacy laws.

“We don’t know how many bonds are being forfeited,” said Timothy Murray, director of the Washington, D.C.-based Pretrial Justice Institute, which has tried unsuccessfully to track the issue.

Commonplace
The financing of bail bonds first popped up a few years ago, but bond agents say the tight economy has made the tactic so commonplace it now makes up as much as half the bonds they write.

It is particularly pronounced in California, where bail amounts are the highest in the nation and the housing crisis has made it difficult for people to use their homes as collateral. Regulation is also more lax in California than other states, a few of which ban bail-on-credit or ban commercial bonding entirely.

Agent Jose Marquez, of Signature Bail Bonds in Santa Ana, said he’s turned down some bizarre deals of late: one man offered his beloved 15-year-old pooch as collateral. Marquez is financing twice as many bonds on credit than a year ago — and he feels pressure to cut deals to stay afloat.

“Before, it was only a fraction of them that wanted credit, but now it’s the first thing they ask for,” Marquez said.

Rules vary by state, but generally bail agents require about 10 percent of the bail amount before posting bond for a client. The premium is nonrefundable and bondsmen must pay a cut of it to insurers who back the bonds in case defendants flee or bondsmen default.

Joe Mastrapa, a Miami bondsman who does business nationwide as bailyes.com, said clients using financing has shot from 1-in-20 before the downturn to 1-in-4 now. He recently let a defendant’s family put down less than 3 percent on a $75,000 North Carolina bond.

‘Constitutional right’
Defenders of premium financing say the tactic prevents discrimination against the poorest defendants and helps alleviate jail overcrowding.

“Bail is a constitutional right,” said Tony Suggs, spokesman for the California Bail Agents Association. “A lot of people cannot come up with that $4,000 or $5,000.”

Seventy-four-year-old Robert Buchel recently bailed out his grandson with $500 down on a $10,000 bond, with monthly payments of $100. Waiting anxiously in the visitors’ room of the Orange County jail, the retired Anaheim Hills mortgage broker said he hoped the young man could reimburse him for the monthly installments.

Some longtime agents condemn the rush to bail-on-credit and compare it to the fast-and-loose practices in the housing market just before its spectacular slump.

Some insurance companies that back the bail bonds are also concerned that premium financing could leave them responsible for more forfeited bonds, said Steve Krimel, a consultant for Accredited Surety and Casualty Inc., based in Orlando, Fla., and a retired attorney.

Krimel said it’s too early for insurers to notice a spike in forfeitures, but premium financing is a trend that’s now frequently mentioned in company projection reports. He has doubts about the long-term viability of bail agents who routinely offer discounts.

“You can’t run an agency on a 5 percent premium flow,” he said.

It’s also too early to tell how the increased financing will affect the criminal justice system because most state courts don’t keep statistics on bail jumpers and have no way of knowing how a defendant comes up with bail money. A number of judges and prosecutors interviewed by the AP said they weren’t aware of the riskier financing.

“If the bond is $10,000, it’s set and we’re out of the picture,” said Ed Griffith, spokesman for the Miami-Dade County state attorney’s office in Florida. “The whole liability is on the bondsmen, it’s their business.”

That lack of oversight bothers Diane White, whose 61-year-old father was killed two years ago in a head-on collision with a man free on financing who was driving a stolen car the wrong way on a San Francisco freeway.

“If they’d have done what they were supposed to do, he’d still be alive,” White said. “It’s like an empty feeling.”

In another recent case, a suspect with a long rap sheet who was free on credit crashed into a San Francisco police cruiser, killing the officer.
Several California lawmakers have proposed legislation to regulate bail financing, but the bills — vigorously opposed by the industry — have died in committee. No states have passed new bail bonds legislation since 2005, said Sarah Hammond, an attorney at the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Some bondsmen see another unsettling trend growing out of the move to bail-on-credit: the threat of re-arrest for defendants who fall behind on their payments. That’s the kind of practice that could further damage the industry’s already shaky reputation in a toxic economic climate, said Krimel.

“That’s become an ethical question,” he said. “And you’re going to see a lot more of that type of dispute as the recession goes on.”

Bill Would Require 10 Percent Bail Bonds

A Maryland delegate plans to introduce a bill in the coming weeks that would make it illegal for bail bondsmen to charge upfront rates lower than the standard 10 percent of a client’s bond.

Del. Robert A. Costa (R-Anne Arundel) said he has spent months poring over data from Maryland courts that he hopes will prove that the clients of bondsmen who charge as little as 1 percent upfront are more likely to skip their trials or commit other crimes because they have less money at stake.

Costa said he calls the bill “Mike’s Law” after his brother-in-law, who skipped his trial on drug charges after giving a bondsman 1 percent of a $10,000 bond.

“These 1 percent defendants, they’re committing crimes even before they come in for their hearings,” Costa said.

Traditionally, bondsmen have charged 10 percent, but in recent years, an increasing number of them have been charging lower rates. Costa’s bill would require bondsmen to charge 10 percent.
Several Upper Marlboro bondsmen said they share Costa’s distaste for their cheaper competitors. Paul Burch, owner of Burch Bail Bonding at 14744 Main St., said he suspects competitors advertise lower rates to get customers in the door but actually charge 10 percent.

“The numbers don’t add up,” he said. “It’s got to be some sort of a bait-and-switch.”

Burch said he is skeptical that Costa’s bill would have an impact, however, because defendants who pay low upfront rates know that the bondsman will come after them if they skip their trial.

“If they don’t show up for court, I’ve got to hunt them down,” Burch said. “I never stopped looking for anybody, ever.”

One in four defendants released before their trials nationwide skipped their court dates between 1990 and 2007, and one in six defendants committed crimes — more than half of them felonies — while they were on pretrial release, according to a 2007 study by the U.S. Justice Department.

Of the defendants who skipped their trials, 28 percent were on the run one year later, the study says.

Employees who answered the phone at bail bond shops in Upper Marlboro that advertise lower rates — Pacos Bail Bonds, A1 Maryland Bail Bonds, Ted Pantazes Bail Bonds and 5 Percent Down 24 Hour Bail Bonds — declined to comment.

But James Zafiropulos, a criminal defense lawyer with an office on Main Street, said he supports bondsmen offering more affordable rates and suggested that complaints from their competitors come down to business.

“Of course the 10 percent bondsmen want to maximize intake,” and they are angry because they think their competitors are trying to undercut them, he said.

Zafiropulos said he recently had a client who wanted to get her son out of jail. Her son had a $350,000 bail against him, and the bondsman she hired asked for the full 10 percent — $35,000.

“I think it was unconscionable, given her income level,” Zafiropulos said. “It was unnecessary.”

Costa said bondsmen are offering lower upfront rates because the handful of insurance companies that back most of the state’s bondsmen have been insuring many clients in the same areas, and often on the same street, forcing them to slash prices to stay competitive.

“There’s four or five insurance companies that insure most of the bondsmen in Maryland,” he said. “That was the impetus for the 1 percent or 2 percent, was the competition between bondsmen.”

Bail bond companies illegally accessed computer system

Three Mobile County bail bond companies have been illegally accessing the Sheriff’s Office Web site to get personal information on inmates and gain a competitive advantage, authorities said Wednesday.

Bonding agents at A to Z Bail Bonds, Central Bonding and Bandit Bail Bonds somehow obtained a login and password allowing them access to a protected portion of the Web site, Sheriff Sam Cochran said.

The companies then used that information to contact inmates’ relatives and get their business, he said. That gave the companies a leg up on their competitors, who rely on walk-ins and cold calls from the inmates themselves, Cochran said.

No arrests have been made, but charges could be filed later as the investigation progresses, Cochran said

Deputies served search warrants at the bonding companies Wednesday morning, seizing seven computers in the process. Computers at two of the companies were still logged onto the site when deputies walked in the door, Cochran said.

Representatives from A to Z and Central declined comment, but Clint Ulmer, who runs Bandit Bail Bonds, didn’t deny accessing the jail Web site.

On the contrary, he said that he and just about every other bonding company on St. Emanuel Street — the road fronting the jail where most of the companies are located — had a password and accessed the Web site on a regular basis

“Everybody on the street had it,” he said. “They all used it, so why are they just picking on us?”

Lori Myles, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Office, said the investigation is still young and that any company found to have accessed the site will be dealt with in the same manner.

Ulmer said that the password his company used was given to him by a sheriff’s deputy.

Myles said investigators were still trying to find out how the password was leaked.

The companies in question may have been accessing the Web site for as long as a year, Cochran said. The protected area of the site includes private information, such as names of known associates, contact numbers for family members and medical information.

The Sheriff’s Office began its investigation after receiving complaints from other bonding companies, Cochran said.

In order to find out who was accessing the site, he said, technicians planted false contact information in the system. When representatives from the companies called to solicit business, they were talking to undercover deputies instead of family members, the sheriff said.

Mobile County Circuit Court issues licenses for bonding companies to operate.

Circuit Judge Roderick Stout, who oversees the licensing, said he couldn’t comment on Wednesday’s raids because he may have to hear cases involving the companies.

However, he said, “if they have committed a criminal act, even if there’s not a prosecution, I would certainly think that the court would have the authority to take some action against them.”

THE TWO PARTS OF THE BAIL PROCESS

The two parts of the bail process:

n Money. The money issue may seem crass, but it is a reality of the bail bond process. Bail bondsmen are regulated by the Department of Insurance and, except for a few select cases, must charge the same amount. – 10% of the bail amount. If union members, government employees (including military) or people with private attorneys are contracting a bail bond they may receive a 20% discount and pay only 8%. Please call El Don Bail Bonds and let us try and get you the discount!

**IMPORTANT** it offers INTEREST FREE financing on the money part of the bail bond. If we trust you with showing up in court, we can trust you with making payments. Contact us to see what type of financing plan we can offer YOU in your unique situation.

n Security. The bail bondsman also has an obligation to protect themselves in case the accused turns their back on the case and fails to show up in court. One way of doing this is using real estate, automobiles or other things of real value as ‘collateral’ to guarantee the defendant’s appearance in court. In very large bail amounts or when the defendant poses a significant flight risk, the bail agency may have to secure the bond with collateral. However, at El Don Bail Bonds, we often do not need collateral and can secure the bail bond with what is known as a “signature bond’.

**we offers these ‘signature bonds’ in most cases** What that means is that when a family member, a close friend or a colleague of the defendant wishes to post bail, we can use their signature as security for the bail bond. Basically, they co-sign for the defendant and take responsibility for all their court appearances and bail obligations. Cosigners typically need to be working or have some form of income and/or assets to qualify. The application process is very simple and we never violate the trust of a co-signer by calling their work or otherwise divulging the situation during it. It is much easier to qualify than it may seem so give us a call and get the very fast process started.

IMPORTANT FINAL NOTES ABOUT THE BAIL BOND PROCESS

n The final result of the case — guilt or innocence — is not relevant for the bail bond agreement. So long as the accused shows up for all court hearings, and all fees and premiums have been paid, the terms of the bail bond have been satisfied and the co-signer/guarantor has NO liability. In other words, should the accused be found guilty, but shows up to face the charges, they have completed all the bail agreement requires and the co-signer is released from their guarantee.

n The bail bond only lasts through the court case. Should the accused plead, or be found guilty and is sentenced, the bond is exonerated and the co-signer is free from the obligation of guaranteeing the bond. THE CO-SIGNER IS NOT REPSONSIBLE FOR THE DEFENDANT SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETING THE SENTENCE. So, for example, if you signed for someone who was sentenced to 5 days of roadside trash pickup, and they decided not to go, it is not your responsibility anymore. Your guarantee that they show up ended with their sentencing.

HOW BAIL WORKS — TAKING THE MYSTERY OUT OF THE PROCESS

OVERVIEW

Bail is quite simply some form of money deposited or pledged to a court in order to persuade it to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the entire amount of the bail deposited.

For the very wealthy, bail is really a very easy process. It is merely depositing with the court system the amount required for the specific charges. If the bail is $10,000, that amount is delivered to the court system in a process known as “posting cash bail”.

However, most people do not have such large amounts of cash or the ability to afford such a large deposit (or don’t want their money tied up for the duration of a long legal process). For them, and for most people, the more reasonable alternative is for a Surety Bail Bond to be posted by a licensed bail bondsman; that means that a bail agent gives the court a promise to pay the full amount of the bail should the accused fail to show up for their court date and not be found in a reasonable period of time. The bail agent charges a fee (see below for details) and “secures’ the bail bond to protect themselves from having to pay the full amount in case the defendant skips bail.

Hi friends,

If you are looking for accurate bail process, there few useful discussion for you. Hope this is going to help you lot.
The bail process can ensure a person that has been detained is released even if the amount of bail is higher than what the person posting bail has in cash, because the licensed bail agent is able to also hold possession of real property as a part of the bail money. By doing this in many case a person is able to be released, which might otherwise not have been able to gain their freedom. For many people this can mean being able to care and support their families because they are able to return to work while waiting for their court dates or it can mean not losing employment due to missed time.

Bail Bonds Community

AGGRAVATED MAYHEM LIFE
ALLOWING LOCATION TO BE FORTIFIED FOR SALE
ARCO Towers City of LA Bail Bonds
ARMOR PIERCING AMMUNITION
ARRANGE MEETING WITH MINOR FOR PURPOSE OF EXPOSING
ARSON CAUSING GREAT BODILY INJURY
ARSON DURING STATE OF EMERGENCY
ARSON INHABITED STRUCTURE2
ARSON OTHER PROPERTY
ARSON STRUCTURE OR FOREST LAND
ASSAULT BY OFFICER UNDER COLOR OF AUTHORITY
ASSAULT Upon custodial officer
ASSAULT WITH A FIREARM
ASSAULT WITH A FIREARM UPON A PEACE OFFICER OR FIREFIGHTER
ASSAULT WITH A SEMIAUTOMATIC FIREARM
ASSAULT WITH CHEMICALS
ATTEMPT OR PREPARATION TO BURN ANY STRUCTURE OR PROPERTY
ATTEMPT WHERE COMPLETED CRIME PUNISHABLE BY STATE PRISON
ATTEMPTED MURDER Willful & Premeditated
ATTEMPTING TO EVADE PEACE OFFICER
ATTEMPTING TO EVADE PEACE OFFICER Reckless driving
ATTEND AN ARRANGED MEEETING WITH MINOR FOR PURPOSE OF EXPOSING
Acton Bail Bonds
Agoura Bail Bonds
Agua Dulce
Agua Dulce Bail Bonds
Agua Dulce Saugus Bail Bonds
Airport Worldway City of LA Bail Bonds
Alhambra Bail Bonds
Aliso Viejo Bail Bonds
All other murders
Altadena Bail Bonds
Arcadia Bail Bonds
Arleta City of LA Bail Bonds
Artesia Bail Bonds
Athens Bail Bonds
Atwater Village City of LA Bail Bonds
Avalon Bail Bonds
Azusa Bail Bonds
BAIL BAIL NOW
BAIL BOND
BAIL BOND A BAIL SERVICE
BAIL BOND AGENT
BAIL BOND ARIZONA
BAIL BOND ASSOCIATES INCORPORATED
BAIL BOND CONNECTION
BAIL BOND FINANCING
BAIL BOND INFORMATION
BAIL BOND OF MADISON
BAIL BOND PHOENIX
BAIL BOND SCOTTSDALE
BAIL BOND SEATTLE
BAIL BOND SERVICE AGENCY
BAIL BOND SHEALY
BAIL BOND TUCSON
BAIL BOND WASHINGTON
BAIL BONDING BY MIKE LAUNEY
BAIL BONDS
BAIL BONDS 24-7
BAIL BONDS A BAIL SERVICE
BAIL BONDS BY CHARLES PEARSON COMPANY INCORPORATED
BAIL BONDS BY OJEDA
BAIL BONDS NOW INCORPORATED
BAIL BONDS SERVICE
BAIL COM INC.
BAIL COM INCORPORATED
BAIL ON WHEELS
BAIL UNIT
BAIL USA
BAIL USA CALIFORNIA
BAIL-OUT BONDING AND SURETY AGENCY
BAIL.COM
BAILARD BIEHL & KAISER
BAILBOND
BAILBONDS BY FERNDAN AND JONES
BAILBONDS COM
BAILBONDS INCORPORATED
BAILBONDS.COM
BAILEY FAMILY CHILD CARE
BAILEY INSURANCE AGENCY
BAILEY INSURANCE GROUP
BOND
BAILS AUSTIN HILL INN
BAILSAN OPV INCORPORATED
BATTERY ON NON-INMATE BY PRISON INMATE
BATTERY Upon custodial officer in performance of duties
BATTERY Upon peace officer etc with injury
BATTERY With serious bodily injury
BOOKMAKING
BOOKMAKING Second Offense
BOOKMAKING Third Offense
BRIBE OFFERING ACCEPTING BY JUDGE JUROR REFEREE
BRIBE SOLICITING BY PUBLIC OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE
BRIBERY OF COUNCILMAN SUPERVISOR etc
BRIBERY OF STATE EXECUTIVE OFFICER
BRING OR DISTRIBUTE OBSCENE MATTER WITHIN STATE
BRINGING CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE INTO JAIL OR PRISON
BURGLARY
BURGLARY All others
BURGLARY Residential
Bakersfield Bail Bonds
Bal Air Bail Bonds
Baldwin Hills Bail Bonds
Baldwin Park Bail Bonds
Bassett Bail Bonds
Bel Air Estates City of LA Bail Bonds
Bell Bail Bonds
Bell Gardens Bail Bonds
Bellflower Bail Bonds
Berkeley Bail Bonds
Beverly Glen City of LA Bail Bonds
Beverly Hills Bail Bonds
Biola Univ. La Mirada Bail Bonds
Boyle Heights City of LA Bail Bonds
Bradbury Bail Bonds
Brentwood City of LA Bail Bonds
Burbank Bail Bonds
Burbank Glenoaks Bail Bonds
Burbank Woodbury Univ. Bail Bonds
CAMPAIGN VIOLATIONS
CARJACKING
CARRY OR PLACE EXPLOSIVE ON COMMON CARRIER
CAUSE DEATH
CERTAIN ENUMERATED CRIMES AGAINST AGED UNDER 14 DISABLED
CHILD MOLESTATION WITH SPECIFIED PRIOR1
CHILD STEALING
CHILD STEALING By use of the internet
CHURCH/CEMETERY VANDALISM
COMPUTER RELATED CRIMES
CONSPIRACY Same as substantive offense
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES PRESCRIBING ADMINISTERING FURNISHING
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES PRESCRIBING ADMINISTERING FURNISHING TO ADDICT
CORPORAL INJURY OF SPOUSE COHABITANT FORMER SPOUSE
CORPORAL INJURY With prior conviction under
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT OR INJURY OF CHILD
COUNTERFEITING OF COIN
CRIMINAL THREATS
Cal State Carson Bail Bonds
Cal State Dominguez Hills Carson Bail Bonds
Cal State Long Beach Long Beach Bail Bonds
Cal State Northridge City of LA Bail Bonds
Cal State Univ. City of LA Bail Bonds
Cal Tech Pasadena Bail Bonds
Calabasas Bail Bonds
Canoga Park City of LA Bail Bonds
Canyon Country Santa Clarita Bail Bonds
Carmichael Bail Bonds
Carson Bail Bonds
Carson CS Univ. Dominguez Hills Bail Bonds
Carson/Long Beach Bail Bonds
Castaic Bail Bonds
Castellemare City of LA Bail Bonds
Cathedral City Bail Bonds
Century City City of LA Bail Bonds
Cerritos Bail Bonds
Chatsworth City of LA Bail Bonds
Cheviot Hills City of LA Bail Bonds
Chinatown City of LA Bail Bonds
Chinatown bail bonds
City Terrace Bail Bonds
City of Bail Bonds
Civic Center City of LA Bail Bonds
Civic Center bail bonds
Claremont Bail Bonds
Commerce Bail Bonds
Commerce City of Bail Bonds
Compton Bail Bonds
Country Club Park City of LA Bail Bonds
Covina Bail Bonds
Crenshaw City of LA Bail Bonds
Crenshaw bail bonds
Cudahy Bail Bonds
Culver City Bail Bonds
Cypress Bail Bonds
Cypress Park City of LA Bail Bonds
DEFRAUDING INSURER
DISCHARGING FIREARM FROM VEHICLE WITH DEATH OR GBI
DUI With gross negligence
DUI with gross negligence
DUI without gross negligence
Diamond Bar Bail Bonds
Dominguez Hills
Dominguez Hills Cal State Carson Bail Bonds
Downey Bail Bonds
Downtown Los Angeles City of LA Bail Bonds
Downtown bail bonds
Driving in opposite direction of lawfully moving traffic
Dublin Bail Bonds
ELDER ABUSE
EMBEZZLEMENT BY BAILEE
EMBEZZLEMENT BY CARRIER OR INDIVIDUAL TRANSPORTING PROPERTY FOR HIRE
EMBEZZLEMENT DISPOSAL OF PERSONAL PROPERTY UNDER LEASE OR LIEN
EMBEZZLEMENT MISAPPROPRIATION BY PUBLIC OFFICERS
EMBEZZLEMENT MISAPPROPRIATION BY TRUSTEE CONTRACTOR
EMBEZZLEMENT OF FUNDS FOR CONSTRUCTION
EMBEZZLEMENT OF PROCEEDS OF SALE OF SECURED PROPERTY
EMBEZZLEMENT OR DEFALCATION OF PUBLIC FUNDS
EMBEZZLEMENT OR FALSIFICATION OF ACCOUNTS BY PUBLIC OFFICERS
EXTORTION NOT AMOUNTING TO ROBBERY
EXTORTION OBTAINING SIGNATURE BY THREATS
EXTORTION THREATENING LETTERS
Eagle Rock City of LA Bail Bonds
Eagle Rock bail bonds
East Los Angeles Bail Bonds
East Los Angeles City of LA Bail Bonds
East Los Angeles bail bonds
East Rancho Dominguez Bail Bonds
Echo Park City of LA Bail Bonds
Edwards AFB Bail Bonds
El Monte Bail Bonds
El Segundo Bail Bonds
El Sereno City of LA Bail Bonds
El Sereno bail bonds
Elizabeth Lake Bail Bonds
Encino Bail Bonds
Encino City of LA Bail Bonds
FAILURE OF CONVICTED SEX OFFENDER TO REGISTER
FAILURE TO DISCLOSE ORIGIN OF RECORDING OR AUDIOVISUAL WORK
FALSE IMPRISONMENT
FALSE OR FRAUDULENT INSURANCE CLAIM
FALSE PERSONATION OF ANOTHER
FALSE PRETENSES
FELON WITH BODY ARMOR
FICTITIOUS CHECKS MAKING UTTERING
FILING OF FALSE EVIDENCE BY POLICE
FORGED BILLS OR NOTES POSSESSION OR RECEIPT
FORGERY FALSE ENTRIES IN RECORDS OR RETURNS
FORGERY OR COUNTERFEITING ANY PUBLIC OR CORORATE SEAL
FURNISH A FIREARM TO ANOTHER TO ABET IN A FELONY
Federal Bldg Lawndale Bail Bonds
Firestone Boy Scout Res. Bail Bonds
Florence Bail Bonds
Fresno Bail Bonds
GBI WITH PRIOR VIOLENT FELONY CONVICTIONS LIFE
GBI causing termination of pregnancy
GRAND THEFT
GRAND THEFT PERSON
GRAND THEFT amount of theft whichever is higher
Gardena Bail Bonds
Glassell Park City of LA Bail Bonds
Glendale Bail Bonds
Glendale La Crescenta Bail Bonds
Glendale Tropico Bail Bonds
Glendale Verdugo City Bail Bonds
Glendora Bail Bonds
Glenoaks Burbank Bail Bonds
Granada Hills City of LA Bail Bonds
Griffith Park City of LA Bail Bonds
HIT AND RUN PERSONAL INJURY
HOLDING OF HOSTAGES BY PRISON INMATE
HUMAN TRAFFICKING
HUMAN TRAFFICKING If victim under 18
Hacienda Heights La Puente Bail Bonds
Hancock Park City of LA Bail Bonds
Harbor City City of LA Bail Bonds
Hawaiian Gardens Bail Bonds
Hawthorne Holly Park Bail Bonds
Hermosa Beach Bail Bonds
Hi Vista Bail Bonds
Hidden Hills Bail Bonds
Highland Park City of LA Bail Bonds
Hollywood City of LA Bail Bonds
Huntington Park Bail Bonds
Hyde Park City of LA Bail Bonds
ID CARD WITH INTENT TO ACCOMPLISH A FORGERY
INDECENT EXPOSURE
INFLICTION OF GREAT BODILY INJURY
INFLUENCING TESTIMONY
INTERFERENCE WITH CIVIL RIGHTS
If defendant is over 21 and minor under 16
If victim unconscious of nature of act/incapable of consent
Industry City of Bail Bonds
Inglewood Bail Bonds
Irvine Bail Bonds
Irwindale Bail Bonds
Jefferson Park City of LA Bail Bonds
Juniper Hills Bail Bonds
KIDNAPPING
KIDNAPPING DURING A CARJACKING LIFE
KIDNAPPING FOR RANSOM OR EXTORTION LIFE
KIDNAPPING FOR ROBBERY etc LIFE
KIDNAPPING VICTIM UNDER
KNOWLEDGE THAT PRINCIPAL IS ARMED AS PER PC 12022 c
Koreatown City of LA Bail Bonds
LAX Area City of LA Bail Bonds
LEWD ACT WITH CHILD UNDER 14 YEARS
LEWD ACT WITH CHILD UNDER 14 YEARS WITH FORCE
LOOTING
La Canada-Flintridge Bail Bonds
La Crescenta Glendale Bail Bonds
La Habra Heights Bail Bonds
La Mesa Bail Bonds
La Mirada Bail Bonds
La Mirada Biola Univ. Bail Bonds
La Puente Bail Bonds
La Puente Hacienda Heights Bail Bonds
La Puente Rowland Heights Bail Bonds
La Verne Bail Bonds
Ladera Heights City of LA Bail Bonds
Lake Hughes Bail Bonds
Lake Los Angeles Bail Bonds
Lake View Terrace City of LA Bail Bonds
Lakewood Bail Bonds
Lancaster Bail Bonds
Lawndale Bail Bonds
Lawndale Federal Bldg Bail Bonds
Leimert Park City of LA Bail Bonds
Lennox Bail Bonds
Littlerock Bail Bonds
Llano Bail Bonds
Lomita Bail Bonds
Long Beach Bail Bonds
Long Beach Cal State Long Beach Bail Bonds
Long Beach McDonnell Douglas Bail Bonds
Long Beach North Long Beach Bail Bonds
Long Beach World Trade Ctr Bail Bonds
Los Altos Bail Bonds
Los Angeles ARCO Towers Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Airport Worldway Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Arleta Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Atwater Village Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Bel Air Estates Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Beverly Glen Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Boyle Heights Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Brentwood Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Cal State Northridge Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Canoga Park Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Century City Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Chatsworth Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Cheviot Hills Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Chinatown Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Civic Center Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Country Club Park Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Crenshaw Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Cypress Park Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Downtown Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Eagle Rock Bail Bonds
Los Angeles East Los Angeles Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Echo Park Bail Bonds
Los Angeles El Sereno Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Encino Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Glassell Park Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Granada Hills Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Griffith Park Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Hancock Park Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Harbor City Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Highland Park Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Hollywood Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Hyde Park Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Jefferson Park Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Koreatown Bail Bonds
Los Angeles LAX Area Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Ladera Heights Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Lake View Terrace Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Leimert Park Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Los Feliz Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Mar Vista Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Mid City Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Mission Hills Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Montecito Heights Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Mount Olympus Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Mt. Washington Bail Bonds
Los Angeles North Hills Bail Bonds
Los Angeles North Hollywood Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Northridge Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Pacific Highlands Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Pacific Palisades Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Pacoima Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Palms Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Panorama City Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Park La Brea Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Pico Heights Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Playa del Rey Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Porter Ranch Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Rancho Park Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Reseda Bail Bonds
Los Angeles San Pedro Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Sawtelle Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Shadow Hills Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Sherman Oaks Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Silverlake Bail Bonds
Los Angeles South Central Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Studio City Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Sun Valley Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Sunland Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Sylmar Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Tarzana Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Terminal Island Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Toluca Lake Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Tujunga Bail Bonds
Los Angeles USC Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Valley Village Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Van Nuys Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Venice Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Watts Bail Bonds
Los Angeles West Adams Bail Bonds
Los Angeles West Beverly Bail Bonds
Los Angeles West Fairfax Bail Bonds
Los Angeles West Hills Bail Bonds
Los Angeles West Los Angeles Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Westchester Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Westlake Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Westwood Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Wilmington Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Wilshire Blvd Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Winnetka Bail Bonds
Los Angeles Woodland Hills Bail Bonds
Los Feliz City of LA Bail Bonds
Los Nietos Bail Bonds
Lynwood Bail Bonds
MANUFACTURE OF ANY CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
MANUFACTURING OR SELLING FALSE CITIZENSHIP OR RESIDENT ALIEN DOCUMENTS
MAYHEM
Malibu Bail Bonds
Manhattan Beach Bail Bonds
Mar Vista City of LA Bail Bonds
Marina del Rey Bail Bonds
Maywood Bail Bonds
McDonnell Douglas Long Beach Bail Bonds
Mid City City of LA Bail Bonds
Mira Loma Bail Bonds
Mission Hills City of LA 91345
Monrovia Bail Bonds
Montebello Bail Bonds
Montecito Heights City of LA Bail Bonds
Monterey Hills City of LA Bail Bonds
Monterey Park Bail Bonds
Montrose Bail Bonds
Mount Olympus City of LA Bail Bonds
Mount Wilson Bail Bonds
Mountain View Bail Bonds
Mt. Washington City of LA Bail Bonds
NEW FELONY OFFENSE COMMITTED WHILE DEFENDANT ON FELONY PROBATION
NEW FELONY OFFENSE COMMITTED WHILE DEFENDANT ON PRISON PAROLE
NEW FELONY OFFENSE COMMITTED WHILE FELONY CHARGES PENDING AGAINST DEFENDANT
NSF CHECKS
Newhall Bail Bonds
Newhall Santa Clarita Bail Bonds
North Hills City of LA Bail Bonds
North Hollywood Bail Bonds
North Hollywood City of LA Bail Bonds
North Long Beach Long Beach Bail Bonds
Northridge
Northridge Cal State Univ. City of LA Bail Bonds
Northridge City of LA Bail Bonds
Norwalk Bail Bonds
OFFER TO MANUFACTURE
OFFERING FORGED/FALSE DOCUMENTS FOR FILING
ORAL COPULATION
ORAL COPULATION If committed in state prison or jail
ORAL COPULATION If in concert with force and violence
ORAL COPULATION If victim under 16 and defendant over 21
ORAL COPULATION If victim under 18
ORAL COPULATION OR ANY VIOLATION OF PC 2641
ORGERY
OWN OR OPERATE A CHOP SHOP
OWNERSHIP CERTIFICATE LICENSE FORGERY
Oak Park Bail Bonds
PANDERING
PANDERING If other person is a minor
PERJURY
PERSONAL DISCHARGE OF FIREARM WITH GBI in specified crimes
PERSONAL DISCHARGE OF FIREARM in specified crimes
PERSONAL USE OF FIREARM
PERSONAL USE OF FIREARM in specified crimes
PERSONALLY SHOOTING FROM MOTOR VEHICLE
PIMPING If other person is a minor over 16
PIMPING If other person is a minor under 16
POSSESSION OF A LOADED FIREARM
POSSESSION OF BIOLOGICAL AGENTS
POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES FOR SALE
POSSESSION OR PURCHASE FOR SALE OF CERTAIN SPECIFIC
PREVENTING DISSUADING WITNESS FROM ATTENDANCETESTIFYING
PRINCIPAL ARMED WITH FIREARM1
Pacific Highlands City of LA Bail Bonds
Pacific Palisades City of LA Bail Bonds
Pacoima City of LA Bail Bonds
Palmdale Bail Bonds
Palms City of LA Bail Bonds
Palms bail bonds
Palos Verdes Estates 90274
Panorama City City of LA Bail Bonds
Paramount Bail Bonds
Park La Brea City of LA Bail Bonds
Pasadena Bail Bonds
Pasadena Cal Tech Bail Bonds
Pearblossom Bail Bonds
Phillips Ranch Bail Bonds
Pico Heights City of LA Bail Bonds
Pico Rivera Bail Bonds
Placentia Bail Bonds
Playa Vista City of LA Bail Bonds
Playa del Rey City of LA Bail Bonds
Pomona Bail Bonds
Porter Ranch City of LA Bail Bonds
Quartz Hill Bail Bonds
RECKLESSLY CAUSING FIRE INHABITED STRUCTURE
RECKLESSLY CAUSING FIRE STRUCTURE OR FOREST LAND
RECKLESSLY CAUSING FIRE WITH GREAT BODILY INJURY
RESISTING ARREST/THREATENING EXECUTIVE OFFICER
ROBBERY First Degree
ROBBERY Second Degree
Rancho Dominguez Bail Bonds
Rancho Palos Verdes Bail Bonds
Rancho Park City of LA Bail Bonds
Redondo Beach Bail Bonds
Reseda City of LA Bail Bonds
Rolling Hills Bail Bonds
Rolling Hills Estates Bail Bonds
Rosemead Bail Bonds
Rosewood Bail Bonds
Rowland Heights La Puente Bail Bonds
SALE OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
SALE SUBSTANCE REPRESENTED TO BE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
SEPARATELY CONSECUVE BAIL
SERIOUS FELONY FOR BENEFIT OF STREET GANG4
SERIOUS OR VIOLENT PRIORS
SEX CRIMES REPEAT OFFENDER AGAINST AGED UNDER 14 DISABLED
SHOOTING AT INHABITED DWELLING BUILDING
SHOOTING AT OCCUPIED MOTOR VEHICLE
SOLICIT MURDER
SOLICITING MINOR RE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
STOLEN PROPERTY BRINGING INTO STATE
SUBORNATION OF PERJURY
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THE SAME VICTIM AND EACH MAY BE PUNISHABLE
THEFT DIVERSION OF MONEY RECEIVED FOR SERVICES LABOR MATERIAL
THEFT OF MOTOR VEHICLE
THREATS TO THE LIFE OF AN OFFICIAL OR JUDGE
THROWING SUBSTANCE AT VEHICLE WITH INTENT TO CAUSE GBI3
TRAINWRECKING LIFE
TWO PRIOR FELONY CONVICTIONS WITHIN 10 YEARS
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UNAUTHORIZE USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION TO OBTAIN CREDIT GOODS
UNLAWFUL EXPLOSION CAUSING BODILY INJURY
UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF AMMUNITION
UNLAWFUL USE OF TEAR GAS
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USING FALSE DOCUMENTS TO CONCEAL TRUE CITIZENSHIP
USING FORTIFIED LOCATION FOR SALE
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VARIOUS FELONIES RELATING TO CREDIT CARDS
VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER
VICTIMS OR THE SAME VICTIM ON SEPARATE DATES CONSECUTIVE BAIL
VIOLATION OF A PROTECTIVE ORDER
VIOLENT FELONIES AGAINST AGED DISABLED
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WHILE IN THE COMMISSION OF FIRST DEGREE BURGLARY
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New Connecticut Bill to Better Regulate Bondsman

The state of Connecticut is taking new measures to better regulate the bail bond industry. Concerns about bail bondsman not charging the full premium on bail bonds is becoming a large problem for the Insurance companies and the public. A Bail bond premium is the percentage fee charged to the defendant to be released form jail. For instance if a bail bond is $10,000, in Florida, a fee of $1,000 must be paid for the defendants release through a bonding agency. Many bondsman in Connecticut are asking for less in the hope to gain more business. This sort of business practice is what damages the reputation and integrity of bail bond industry. House Bill 6354 will regulate this type of practice. This Bill allows the insurance company to collect the entire premium form the bonding agency and then issue the commission to the bondman minus any fees due to the insurance company. Do you think this type of regulation will help or hurt the industry.

Stronger Tools Needed To Regulate Bail Bond Industry

I agree with the notion of bail bond reform discussed in the article, “Straightening Out The State’s Bail Bond System,” published in the Feb. 23 edition of the Law Tribune. However, the bail bond industry is in need of a comprehensive reform approach.

The public may be surprised to know that the Insurance Department regulates a large contingent of bail bond agents. When I first came to the Insurance Department, I was surprised to learn of the time and effort spent by my staff to regulate these agents. I was also surprised to learn the extent to which the department lacked the requisite statutory authority to regulate them effectively. Unfortunately, the bill proposed last year that gave the department the authority it needs to regulate this industry was not successful. I am hopeful that this year will be different.

The State of Connecticut needs bail bond reform now. Stronger enforcement tools are required to regulate this industry effectively. House Bill 6354 offers several reform initiatives aimed at enhancing public safety and protecting the integrity of the bail bond system.

This legislation directly addresses an issue referred to by regulators and law enforcement as “undercutting,” whereby bail bondsmen do not charge their clients the full premium amount for the bond. For example, bail set at $10,000, has a premium of $850, which must be paid by the defendant. In some instances, in order to get business, a bail bondsman will charge a $600 premium (instead of the required $850) for the same bond. The practical effect of this unlawful behavior is that defendants are let out of jail for less money than the judge ordered, leaving Connecticut residents to unwittingly assume additional risk to their safety.

Unfortunately, undercutting is difficult to prove, especially when the defendant uses cash to pay the premium or the bail bondsmen allows “payment plans” that are never fully collected. Additionally, the only witness (the defendant) has no reason to file a complaint against their bail bond agent since they paid less for the bond than was owed. What appears to be a “win-win” situation for the bail bondsmen and the defendant is a “lose-lose” situation for the public.

Currently, bail bondsmen often take their commission “off the top” and then remit the remainder to the surety company as the premium payment. Clearly, such a system is fraught with opportunities for fraud and misappropriation. This legislation requires bail bondsmen to remit the entire premium, in this example $850, to the bail bond surety company, who actually bears the risk associated with writing the bond. The bondsman then receives a commission directly from the bail bond surety company.

The department’s bill also establishes standards for solicitation, record retention, reporting requirements, and accounting for premiums, which allow for strong regulatory oversight by the Insurance Department. In addition, this legislation will require bondsmen to swear under oath that they charged the full premium for the bond. In short, these standards will provide much needed transparency in an industry that has virtually none.

In the end, the Insurance Department will have the tools it needs to regulate bail bondsmen in a manner that safeguards the integrity of the bail bond system and protects Connecticut citizens from dangerous criminals. I urge the public to contact their elected representatives to express their support for House Bill 6354, An Act Regulating Surety Bail Bond Agents.

2 Former NYC Officers Sentenced for Mob Hits

Two former New York police detectives convicted of moonlighting as contract killers in eight mob hits were sentenced Friday to life in prison after telling a judge they were innocent.

"I was a hard-working cop," Louis Eppolito told U.S. District Judge Jack Weinstein in federal court in Brooklyn. "I never hurt anybody. I never kidnapped anybody. ... I never did any of this."

Eppolito was sentenced to life in prison for his conspiracy conviction plus 100 years for various other offenses including money laundering, and fined $4.7 million. Stephen Caracappa received a life term plus 80 years, and a $4.2 million fine.

Eppolito, 61, and Caracappa, 67, had worked as partners on the police force and logged a combined 44 years on the job. They were found guilty of secretly being on the payroll of Luchese underboss Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso starting in the 1980s.

Prosecutors said the pair used their police credentials to make traffic stops that ended with the driver killed. They also said the officers kidnapped a man suspected in an attempted mob hit against Casso and turned him over to a mobster responsible for 36 slayings.

The former detectives also were accused of providing bad information that led to the mistaken-identity murder of an innocent man killed as his mother washed the dishes following a Christmas Day family dinner.

Eppolito and Caracappa were arrested during a 2005 drug sting in Las Vegas, where they had retired.

The case had been marked by legal twists, including the judge's 2006 decision to throw out a conviction after finding that the statute of limitations had expired on the slayings. An appeals court reversed the decision last year, clearing the way for the sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell said in a statement that he hoped the sentences would bring closure "for the families of the victims of these defendants' unspeakable crimes and for the citizens of the city whose trust they betrayed."

Vincent Lino, the son of one of the victims, told the former officers: "May you have a long life in prison."

California Bail Bond Agents File Claim Against Sheriff

Three veteran bail bond agents have filed a legal claim against Orange County alleging that the Sheriff's Department allows gangs inside the jails to steer inmates to certain bail companies in exchange for kickbacks to the gangs.

In their claim, typically a first step to a lawsuit, the agents estimate that their businesses are losing $100 million a year because of the scheme, which is known in law enforcement circles as "capping."

"It's impacting my business and there's illegal activities going on inside the jails . . . to the detriment to the people who are playing by the rules," Bob Drake, one of the bondsmen who filed the claim, said Friday. "We suspect several companies. I don't know the exact number. That's not as important as the Sheriff's Department not going after and stopping the activity from occurring in the jails."

According to the bondsmen's attorney, Richard P. Herman, former Sheriff Michael S. Carona allowed his top lieutenant, former Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo, to initiate the scheme, and current Sheriff Sandra Hutchens has allowed it to continue.

In a statement, the Sheriff's Department said it is in regular contact with bail bond industry leaders and will determine if an investigation is warranted. "If we are made aware of any illegal activity in our jails, we will take all appropriate action to see that it is stopped and those responsible are prosecuted," the statement reads.

Family lost money to bail-bonds specialist

When Jesús Ochoa called Catholic Charities last month in hopes of finding a professional who could help his girlfriend's brother, who was being held at an immigrant-detention center, he didn't expect to be referred to a bail-bonds specialist.

Nor did he expect the bail-bonds specialist, who promised to have the brother released in two days, to stop returning the family's calls after family members wired $1,300 to the specialist. A month later, his girlfriend's brother is still in custody, awaiting a hearing. He was never eligible for bond in the first place.

Immigrants and their families are routinely gouged by rogue notaries and fake consultants, often with the promise of obtaining visas or legal status that never materializes.

The way in which Ochoa's girlfriend, Irma Ceja, and her San Diego family lost their money is new but not surprising. With a daily average of more than 31,000 immigrants in detention around the United States, their families are ripe for exploitation.

Officials from Catholic Charities in San Diego, which normally limits its referral list to attorneys, acknowledge that a volunteer made a mistake. Nonetheless, the money appears to be gone.

“For a lot of people, $1,300 isn't much,” said Ceja, 43, who raised the money with several relatives. “But for us, it is.”

Ceja and her family were desperate to help her brother, who was placed in custody Feb. 4 at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Otay Mesa, pending deportation to Mexico. Her brother was in the country illegally, said Ceja, a U.S. citizen.

Through her church, Ceja obtained a number for a local immigration-services office of Catholic Charities. Ochoa made the call.

Ochoa said the woman who answered gave him the numbers of four or five attorneys, along with a long-distance number for someone named Star Hernandez, who he was told was not a lawyer but specialized in bail bonds.

“I started with the attorneys, but no one was around, so I left messages with their secretaries,” said Ochoa, 56, a correctional officer at a state prison in Imperial County. “Then I called Star Hernandez.”

Ochoa said he left a message, and his call was returned promptly. The woman, who identified herself as Hernandez, said the family would need to wire her $1,300 and the wire-service fee, which Ceja said came to $100. Family members said Hernandez, who also called herself Estrella – Spanish for star – promised she could get Ceja's brother out as soon as Wednesday, two days later.

Seven members of Ceja's family scraped together the money and wired it to a Western Union office in Oregon. Soon afterward, Hernandez stopped returning their calls.

According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, some detainees can be released on bond while awaiting a hearing, but it is more difficult for those with a criminal record. The family has since learned that Jesús Ceja Alvarez, Ceja's brother, is ineligible for bond because of prior convictions.

Ochoa, Ceja and her family have concluded they were duped. They felt worse to learn that Jesús Ceja gave the number of the supposed bail-bonds specialist to a fellow detainee. His family wired $2,000 to Hernandez, who has stopped returning their calls as well.

“I have left so many voice messages, text messages,” said Maria Martinez, 18, of Vista, the man's sister. “She won't answer.”

A rudimentary Web site advertises “help with immigration bonds” and “free service,” with Star Hernandez as a contact at the number the families called.

The same name and number pop up in recent postings on other Web sites as those of a Star Hernandez seeking $10,000 for her detained husband's bond.

“I need money by 9 am tomorrow 2/17/09 . . . My husband is going to be deported if i don't pay his immigration bond . . . Ask for Star Hernandez,” reads a post on Oodle.com.

A longer message seeking $10,000 to pay a bond for “my Mexican husband” appeared on Help.com two weeks ago.

Contacted the day after that message was posted, a woman who identified herself as Star Hernandez responded briefly to questions.

“I'm trying to help raise money for a lot of people,” she said, adding that her husband was no longer in detention. “He got out a long time ago.”

When asked about her post the previous day seeking money to post bond for her husband, the woman hung up.

According to Oregon court records, there is a 38-year-old woman named Star Maxine Hernandez who was convicted in the 1990s of unlawfully obtaining public assistance and forgery in two separate cases.

Robert Moser, deputy director of Catholic Charities in San Diego, said a Star Hernandez with the same number called the social service agency, offering bail-bond services for free. While staff members are instructed only to refer people to qualified attorneys, a receptionist took down her contact information, Moser said.

After investigating, Moser learned that a new volunteer was staffing the front desk the afternoon Ochoa called.

“When (Ochoa) called us, that volunteer gave out that number,” Moser said. The volunteer, he said, “had no idea.”

The list of professionals used for referrals has been reviewed, Moser said, as has protocol for giving referrals by phone.

Ceja said she reported the incident to San Diego police, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement is investigating.

Get Out of Jail

Of the 14 people, a dozen are male. One is an English professor, one is a graduate student, two are judges and two are probation officers. The eight othersare convicted criminalswho have been granted probation in exchange for attending, and doing the homework for, six twice-monthly seminars on literature. The class is taught through Changing Lives Through Literature, an alternative sentencing program that allows felons and other offenders to choose between going to jail or joining a book club. At each two-hour meeting, students discuss fiction, memoirs and the occasional poem; authors range from Frederick Douglass to John Steinbeck to Toni Morrison, topics from self-­mutilation and family quarrels to the Holocaust and the Montgomery bus boycott.

Robert Waxler, a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and the man at the head of the table, founded the reading program in 1991 with Superior Court Judge Robert Kane and Wayne Saint Pierre, a probation officer; since then, it has expanded to eight other states. Led by literature professors, the program has brought thousands of convicts to college campuses even as the withdrawal of Pell grants from prisoners (who were ruled ineligible for federal college financing in 1994) drove a wedge between the two state-funded institutions where young adults do time. Meanwhile, rehabilitative reading has spread from Waxler’s original all-male seminar to similar women-only and mixed-sex groups, to one-time experiments like the seminar on “The Road Not Taken” to which a Vermont judge last year sentenced 28 young partyers who broke into Robert Frost’s old house, leaving a trail of booze and vomit. Picture “Remembrance of Things Past” as a literary ankle bracelet that keeps you chained to the desk for months.

The terms Waxler uses at the opening session have one foot in literary criticism and another in psychotherapy: “exploration,” “ambiguity,” “journeying.” But new-age gerunds give way to old-fashioned imperatives when the professor hands off to the probation officer: good cop, bad cop. Or rather, ambivalent cop.

“I don’t want to be all negative,” the officer begins, “but you have to read this book.” Not as in “This is a must-read,” but “We’ve had people go to jail for not reading.”

Any schoolchild knows there’s nothing new about required reading. But since the Vietnam draft ended, college professors like me have rarely had the obligation, or the opportunity, to hand bad students over to the secular arm. One instructor, Terri Hasseler of Bryant University in Rhode Island, pauses to search for a euphemism before explaining that “it’s a condition of their . . . situation that they have to do the reading.”

Changing Lives Through Literature looks less exotic when you remember how many probation sentences require attendance at 12-step programs. There, too, stories provide a catalyst — with the difference that in Waxler’s program, the narratives belong to fictional characters, not to participants themselves. Here, oversharers are politely cut off; one man whispers the rest of an autobiographical anecdote to the guy next to him, another waits for the break. Yet the professor talks of “working through,” and as I listen to the words students use to describe literary characters, it’s hard not to hear echoes of time spent in rehab: “He made some bad choices.” “She hadn’t figured out a healthy way to deal with the problem.” “He hit bottom before he realized that it just wasn’t him.”

Oprah’s Book Club has taught us all to reduce (or elevate) books to prompts for cathartic discussion of childhood traumas, relationship conflicts and self-esteem deficits. Like Oprah’s reading list, the program’s canon is dominated by fiction and memoir. But the demographics of the program differ substantially from your average book club, which is disproportionately white and even more disproportionately female and middle-class. Even without uniforms, it’s easy to tell who’s a student and who’s an official. The course depends, however, on suspending those differences. “The stories serve as a mirror for everyone,” Waxler told me, “not just the offenders ­— the professors, the probation officers, the judge.” The average court official is more literate than the average convict, but not necessarily more literary: for the judge, too, classroom discussion can be a revelation.

Reading has always provided a lifeline for prisoners, whether for utilitarian purposes or for spiritual searching. (In 2006, when Beard v. Banks upheld a prison’s right to deny inmates access to printed matter, religious and legal texts were among those excepted.) A broader literary tradition stretching from medieval English dream visions to Solzhenitsyn’s novels situates the most intense and uninterrupted reading in prison. (Waxler points out that “cell” can refer to the space in which monks write as easily as to a room in jail.) Traditionally, books have offered virtual escape from physical confinement. In alternative sentencing programs, though, books provide a more literal alternative to incarceration; and the authorities’ job is not to censor books, but to supply them.

Can I change lawyers if I'm unhappy with the one representing me?

Requests for a change of public defender or court-appointed lawyer are rarely granted. A defendant would have to prove that the representation is truly incompetent.

On the other hand, defendants who hire their own attorneys have the right to fire them at any time, without court approval. A defendant doesn't have to show "good cause" or justify the firing. After firing a lawyer, a defendant can hire another lawyer or perhaps even represent herself. Of course, changing lawyers will probably be costly. In addition to paying the new lawyer, the defendant will have to pay the original lawyer whatever portion of the fee the original lawyer has earned.

Your right to change lawyers is limited by the prosecutor's right to keep cases moving on schedule. If you want to change attorneys on the eve of trial, for example, your new attorney is likely to agree to represent you only if the trial is delayed so the new attorney can prepare. The prosecutor may oppose the delay, possibly because witnesses won't be available to testify later on. In these circumstances, the judge is likely to deny your request to change lawyers.

Should I represent myself in a criminal case?

The most obvious rule is that the less severe the charged crime, the more sensible it is to represent yourself. Defendants charged with minor traffic offenses should rarely hire an attorney, while defendants charged with serious felonies should rarely be without one.

The most critical piece of information in making a decision is what the likely punishment will be if convicted. It may be wise to hire an attorney when jail time is at stake. Convictions may also carry hidden costs, such as more severe punishment for a second conviction or increased insurance rates.