More on Bail Bonds
A Win-Win for Tax Payers, Public Safety and the State
The vast majority of taxpayers have no idea how the bail bond business works and how it affects them or their communities. And why would they? Most people have never been arrested and taken to jail, so their perception of the business is based purely on what is seen on TV or in the news. “Dog the Bounty Hunter”, “Jackie Brown” or the occasional news story about Lindsey Lohan or Nicolas Cage is the extent of their knowledge. Well, I’d like to submit an entirely different view for you to consider because whether you know it or not, each of us is paying for a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card everyday in Orange County and other parts of the country.
In 1973 the government funded a program called Pretrial Services (PTS) which was created to address the problem of overcrowding at some jails. The original intent of PTS was to reduce jail population by assisting defendants that were charged with a non-violent crimes, had no prior arrests and where truly indigent and would otherwise remain in jail. As long as these defendants had strong ties to the community they were considered a good candidate to be released on their own recognizance (O.R.), meaning, released without needing a Orange County bail bond, just their own personal promise to appear. At first PTS was a welcomed asset to the criminal justice system because it functioned within these limitations and helped with crowding in some counties……but things have changed dramatically since 1973. Pretrial Service has become a massive government/tax payer funded welfare program that releases defendants routinely even when they are charged with felonies, have prior criminal records and plenty of financial resources to post bail for themselves using the bail bond system. As a result of PTS’s rapid expansion in Orange County, and around the country, we find numerous problems have arisen. To understand why these problems are occurring, it’s important to understand the two forms of release, bail bond release vs. own recognizance release.
One of the most common arrests in Southern California is for possession of a narcotic or marijuana, better known as Health & Safety Code 11350, which is classified as a felony. In my 10 + years in business the majority of those arrested and charged with H&S 11350 are kids, usually between the ages of 18 and 25. For sake of this example, let’s use the fictitious name David Smith who just turned 20 and follow him as he goes through the arrest, release and case pending process. Let’s pretend that David was found with meth. in his car in the city of Lake Forest and transferred to the Orange County Jail for booking, a process that usually takes between 3 and 8 hours to complete.
Pretrial/Own Recognizance Release
Within these eight hours he will be interviewed by a Pretrial Services representative inside the jail called a Detention Release Officer (DRO). Like the entire Pretrial Service Department, DRO agents are paid for by you and me, the taxpayers. David will be questioned about his background, criminal history and personal financial resources. If David is a student, not working and not on probation, more than likely he will be released O.R., released with nothing more than a personal promise to appear in court.
Bail Bond Release
Upon arriving at the Orange County Jail, David is given access to a phone. He has been told his bail is set at $20,000 and he’s going to need help from his parents to get him out. Well, it turns out David’s parents are financially secure and have the 10% premium needed to post bail for their son. It’s also learned David has been struggling with a drug abuse problem and up to this point has been able to successfully hide it from his parents and not face his problem head-on. When David is released on a bail bond his parents hold him accountable for his actions and help him to address his drug issue together with assistance from the bail agent. His parents in concert with the bail agent are now responsible for David appearing in court and will make sure he does so.
Now that David is out on bail bond instead of just released by Pretrial Services, he is more likely to accept responsibility for his actions, seek help and returned to court as required.
Providing a side-by-side comparison of the Government funded Pretrial Services system of release versus those defendants released using a bail bond gives the most honest and clear picture of its effect:
|O.R. Released Defendants||Defendants Released on a Bail Bond|
|Pretrial Services demands nothing from the defendant and any accountability or incentives to return to court.||Accountability and incentives are enforced by family and friends who co-sign or guarantee the bond. Pledging real assets as collateral is often required.|
|Pretrial Services costs tax payers millions of dollars each year.||Bail agencies costs tax payers nothing and those needing bail are the only ones paying for it.|
|Tax payers pay the cost of recovering defendants to custody when they fail to appear in court.||Bail agency hires a professional Recovery Agent to locate and return defendant to custody,|
|When a defendant fails to appear in court and cannot be found, he becomes a fugitive indefinitely and justice is never served.||Bail agencies pay the FULL bail amount when they are unable to locate a defendant generating millions of dollars for the state and counties every year.|
Out of State Clients
If you have a family member or friend that has been arrested in Orange County, California but you reside in another state, rest assured, we can still arrange bail for you*.
If you intend to be the co-signer for the defendant it will be necessary to sign contractual agreements with us. We make this easy and convenient by handling it all by Email or fax.
Bail by Email:
Bail by Fax:
Documents will be created by our office and faxed directly to you. Once documents have been signed, they can be faxed back to our Orange County office. Fax number is (714) 838-3899.
Upon receiving signed documents and payment, we will immediately post bail bond for your loved one.
*The bail bonds we issue guarantee appearance in an Orange County court, so as long as we have reasonable assurance the defendant will appear, we are prepared to write the bond and have your loved one released quickly. However, depending on the circumstances, collateral may be necessary.