Loved one or friend
ARRESTED? Call Now!
Expedited BAIL by
Courteous, confidential & discreet
Easy downloadable forms
Safe private offices & FREE parking
SE HABLA ESPAÑOL
I’ve seen the movie Domino. I’ve watched Dog the Bounty Hunter on TV. I’ve heard the misconceptions from friends and family. It seems to me that a lot of people are confused as to what a fugitive recovery agent actually does, what they are allowed to do, and, most importantly, what they aren’t allowed to do. So, lets set the record straight, or at least a little straighter than it already was, and chalk up the truth about fugitive recovery/Bounty Hunting/ Bail enforcement.
Plenty of people ask me what it takes to be a Bounty hunter or how they can get into the bail enforcement business. First I say don’t, then I tell them they will have to go to school for it and they scoff at me incredulously. Most of these guys are military, and most of them are pretty stacked.
I tell them that fugitive recovery is not like it is portrayed in the movies or in reality TV. While it is a relatively dangerous job, they don’t understand that you’re not talking on some two-way radio with somebody who’s calling the shots and telling you where to go. You’re not generally banging doors down and apprehending criminals who are trying to flee. A lot of the time, I find the guy or gal and they simply say “You got me,” and put their hands behind their backs to be cuffed. The hardest part is finding them.
A bail enforcement agent is more a detective than he is an enforcer. We’re sleuths. Hunters. Once you actually find the skip, figure out where they frequent and where they work, the most difficult and taxing part is over. We pour over credit card statements, contact and question friends, family members, drug dealers—anybody that we think can get us a lead—and we do stakeouts. You’d think from the movies that stakeouts would be fun, but I dread them. I hate sitting around for three or four hours, just watching a place. You can’t just recline back, snooze, and wait for something huge to happen, because if you’re doing that you’ll miss everything. You have to be alert. The mind, and its powers of observation, are bail enforcement agents’ best friends.
There are times when things get sticky, but it is very rare. Fugitive recovery agents get guns pointed in their faces, they sometimes have to deal with wily boyfriends if the skip is a woman, and we have to refrain from injuring the skip or the jails won’t take ‘em. But what’s funny is that I can count on both hands all the times that a recovery has lead to violence—like I said before, most of the time skips are brought in just by talking to them.
The problem is that everybody wants to see “action”. I tell ‘em: you want to see action? Go join the military. Become a cop. What fugitive recovery agents actually do is not what you think it is. We are not “Dog the Bounty Hunters”. We’re not soldiers or tactical assault personnel. We’re just guys and gals that are trying to make a living.
In a perfect world, the TV shows and the movies wouldn’t sensationalize our jobs, making people think that 95% of the time we’re running around shooting things up and the other 5% of the time we do paperwork. In a perfect world, people would realize that it’s the other way around; 95% mental work and 5% action, if that. But I guess in a perfect world, people wouldn’t skip out on bail either, and I wouldn’t have a job.
Posted on October 29, 2012
So you want to be a Bail Bondsman? To write surety bail in California you must be licensed by the California Department of Insurance. While you may or may not need formal training, there is a set number of class hours you must complete before you can take the state test to be a bail agent. Even if you complete all the pre-licensing courses and pass the test you can’t get a license to write bail unless you have been bonded and appointed by a Surety Company and you can’t get bonded by a Surety Company unless you are licensed to write bail. Catch-22 I know, it’s similar to The Entertainment Industry – you can’t be hired to work on TV or movies unless you’re already in their Union, but you can’t be in their Union until you’re already working on TV or movies.
Some states also have minimal restrictions on training, education and age. Even if the state you live in doesn’t require training, it is a wise idea for any prospective bail bond agent to know their state laws and regulations regarding Bail law.
Bail bond agent training often includes not only learning the bail bond agent statutes, but also includes a certain amount of time spent on gun safety training, tazer training, baton training and training with oleo capsicum resin sprays or foams. The state in which you are applying for a bail bond agent license may require yearly courses in some or all of these subjects.
Depending on the state, you may be required to take the training in a classroom setting or you may be able to do the training on your own. If you choose to do the training on your own, there are some bail bond agent classes available on the Internet. Before taking any Internet classes, make sure that your state accepts certificates from the particular training class chosen, especially if the class is not a free class.
Because the training involves hands-on techniques, the prospective bail bond agent may have to attend classes in person. If you decide to go through a bond agency for training, contact the state department of licensing to be sure that particular bond agency is licensed to give you the training.
Procedural steps and bail law changes may also be covered in training. A state that may not have required the bail bond agent to report a forced entry may now require the bail bond agent to notify the department of licensing about forced entries – even if the forced entries are planned. But, in my opinion, forcing your way into a dwelling is a very dangerous and dumb action to take unless there is an eminent threat to innocent life and time is not an option. I was fortunate to learn from a very experienced and wise Recovery Agent by the name of John Regan. He told me from day one that only those wanting to be “John Wayne” kick in doors without knowing if there’s a shotgun just inside waiting to go off. Otherwise, why put your life on the line and choose to force your way into a dwelling not knowing if behind the door you’re about to force your way through sits an individual holding a shotgun who’s paranoid from being up on meth for 5 days? The smart, but not action packed way is to sit, wait and watch for the defendant to clear the dwelling and apprehend him/her outside. This takes more time and patience, but almost always guarantees you’ll go home alive and unhurt.
In the yearly training updates, the bail bond agent may take fresher courses on some of the physical-use items. The bail bond agent will also learn the state’s new rules. For example, one state recently drafted a bill that requires (in addition to the forced entry rule) agents to use due care in the protection of people and property other than the defendant. It also requires a reasonable cause test, and a mandatory number of hours in field operations and information on immunity for law enforcement offices who may be assisting in a forced entry.
Ask yourself what you think a Bail Bond Agent does? If you think it’s like “Dog the Bounty Hunter” you’re in for a big disappointment. Dog is for entertainment purposes only.
A bondsman is a person, licensed by their state, who has been appointed by a surety insurance company to write surety bail bonds. The bondsman meets with the client(s) to effectuate the bail agreement contract between the surety company, bail agent and the defendant and/or cosigner(s). The bondsman will also instruct the defendant and/or the cosigner(s) to make sure the defendant appears at each and every scheduled court hearing until the case is complete, otherwise the Court will forfeit the bond.
When a defendant is arrested, he/she can contact a bondsman or a friend or relative who can then contact a bondsman. The bondsman may ask for pertinent information, such as: defendant’s name, social security number, the exact charge against the defendant, who the arresting agency is, how much the bond is and what jail the defendant is being held it.
The bondsman then decides whether to bail the case or not. If so, they’ll meet with the family member or friend. The bondsman should explain to the friend or family member what the bond does for the defendant and how the bond works. The bondsman will have the family member or friend sign a bail agreement contract which guarantees that the defendant will appear to all scheduled court dates. It also states that the person signing (cosigner) is responsible for making sure the defendant shows up in court and that if the defendant skips, that the cosigner will be responsible for the amount due on the bond.
Once the agreement and contracts have been signed and the premium is paid, the bondsman will go to the Detention facility and deliver the bond paperwork to the Detention facility booking clerk for the release of the defendant. After they accept and process the bond paperwork the defendant is released in 2 – 12 hour.
But the defendant is not really free: Under the terms of the bail agreement, the defendant is actually released from the custody of the Sheriff into the custody of the bondsman.
The bondsman can revoke a bail bond at any time he deems necessary and therefore the bondsman can return the defendant to custody at anytime if the defendant violates any condition of the bail agreement. If the defendant has not skipped, but the bondsman has reason to believe that the defendant may skip, the bondsman can contact a Bounty Hunter to have the defendant picked up. If the defendant skips, the bondsman will have a bounty hunter find and apprehend the defendant.
In the end it’s the bondsman who is ultimately liable to pay the Court the FULL amount of the bond, at no cost to the taxpayer, should the defendant skip bail and is not located within the amount of time set by the Court.Posted on September 13, 2012
Securing collateral is a protective measure specifically geared towards preventing bail bond companies from suffering financial losses. Bail agents should secure something of significant value from their clients, to hold as collateral, in an effort to protect themselves from forfeitures and summary judgments. In our profession, we take somewhat of a hostage in that we take are secure forms of collateral. The value of the items taken as collateral should meet or exceed the penal amount of the bail bond(s) posted on the defendant’s behalf. If a bail bond company is truly diligent in their underwriting practices, they will do their absolute best to secure appropriate forms of collateral in an effort to ensure that all of their clients appear in court. This collateral is basically held for ransom to guarantee that the client fulfills all of the contractual obligations of the bail bond agreement; the most important of which are the defendant’s mandatory appearances in court.
If an appropriate form of collateral has been secured, and the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail agent will have a two options:
One way of looking at collateral is that it is the bail agent’s ball and chain, because it makes it difficult for the prisoner to escape from custody. When you don’t secure your client’s collateral, you make it much easier for them to violate the terms of their bond and skip.
This article was written by industry professional Jason Pollock.Posted on July 16, 2012
In one of the biggest changes in corrections in the United States in decades, California implemented AB 109, Public Safety Realignment in 2011. California had been wrangling with serious inmate overcrowding at state prisons for years. In fact, the inmate count had reached twice capacity in recent years. In the end, it was the courts that forced the issue with a law mandating that California must reduce its inmate count radically within a few years. At its core, AB 109 shifts responsibility for managing non-violent offenders back to counties.
The transition from state to local control of offenders began in earnest last fall. While there are kinks to work out in how counties manage these offenders and how this supervision will be funded, there is no question California is drawing down its inmate count rapidly.
In a recent annual report, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation stated the state prison population peaked at 173,479 inmates in October 2006. By the end of 2010, the population was down to 162,821. By October 2011, the count was down to 144,000; and just two months later, it was down to 137,000.
There are unprecedented changes taking place as CDCR experiences an overall reduction in its inmate population. As the population declines, CDCR says it will continue to review all options available to use resources efficiently. Some of the changes include converting existing facilities, both whole and in-part, staff reductions, and alternative custody options. California will achieve AB 109’s full impact in 2015, say state officials.
BI Incorporated has worked closely with counties implementing AB 109 solutions. As most counties do not have the funding or desire to add jail capacity – most are looking for solutions that include evidence-based practices – BI has been able to offer day reporting programs that deliver cognitive behavioral treatment programs, in-jail employment or treatment programs, even electronic monitoring equipment and services.
For more information on AB 109, visit www.ab109.com.
By M Demery
Choosing a bail bond company may seem overwhelming, even appear as one of the most important decisions to be made in the first few hours after the arrest of the defendant: but it’s not. In California, as well as most other states, the cost to get a bail bond is set by the state at 10% of the bond face value. A $10,000 bond will cost 10% or $1,000. In California, there is also an approved 8% rate meant to help Union Members, Gov’t workers, Attorney’s get a bail bond. The real purpose behind that 8% rate was advertising. Until the 8% all bail bond company’s had to use 10% in their advertising, but then all of a sudden some bail company’s could now legally advertise less. Granted it was just 2%, but if you were searching the phone book for a bail bond company and one advertised 8% wouldn’t you rather pay $8,000 instead $10,000 to get a $100,000 bail bond?
Unfortunately that was just the beginning of what some in the business call the end of integrity bail. Today bail is like the wild west – a free-for-all, everyone out for themselves. Very few large bail bond company’s have bail agents that understand there is more to being a bail agent than just how many bonds one can write.
I compare being a bail agent to a boxer. There are two different kinds of people that box and they both think they know what it takes to win.
The first kind of bail agent works and writes for a big retail company, gets paid hourly or salary, has no responsibility for running the company, takes no financial accountability when bonds go bad, is hired to answer phones and write any bail for anyone that calls regardless. This bail agent is a boxer that sits on the couch and X-box box’s. They think they know all the right moves and never actually feel any pain.
The second Bail Agent is the one that works and takes all financial responsibility for his/her actions. If a bond goes bad, they pay out of their pocket. They bail people out not for the bond count but for bond quality because they understand if it goes bad they have to write 35 bonds of the same amount to payoff that one. This bail agent is like the boxer that steps inside the ring to fight. Unlike the couch boxer, this agent hopes to have the right moves and feels the pain of every hit they take.Posted on June 28, 2012
The double murder is taking a toll on the valley bounty hunting community; many here in Fresno say they’re saddened by the news. Hunters say the job dangers are real and growing.
Many bounty hunters say they don’t necessarily always fear for their safety but concerns for law enforcement and the community is growing as their business declines.
Each case begins with a face, one that will more than likely hit the pavement. The chase is a reality for bounty hunters. It’s Barry Pearlstein’s day job. “You have to be aware of the fact that the person you’re approaching may or may not be armed and expect the unexpected,” says Barry Pearlstein who owns the Lucky Bail Bonds in Fresno.
The job means carrying a gun, badge and a vest but not every bounty hunter dresses for the occasion. “I come in as a surprise; I wear plain clothes and say I’m Mike, Bob or Lou,” says one Fresno Freelance Bounty hunter that would rather not reveal his name. We’ll call him Lou; he’s a freelance hunter based in Fresno.
I’ve experienced physical violence in a couple of cases and I have been involved in a gun being pointed at me. I was also involved in a shooting in Missouri,” says “Lou”.
“If I can get the suspects to come out, I then have someone go around back and grab them,” explains Lou.
Recently part of tackling a bounty hunting job is to get a case. In Fresno, hunters are losing business to jail overcrowding. “The reality no one is looking for them,” says Pearlstein. “Right now, they’re being released and they aren’t secured.” “We have no right to go after a person not under contract with bondsmen; they know they can go out in the community and commit more crimes,” says Lou.
Many criminals being released have been arrested 5 to 8 times and are back on the streets with little repercussions. Bounty hunters say 75% released without bond never show up to court and the violence among repeat offenders is growing.
“Sometimes we forget the dangers,” says Lou. But not this week as two of their own were shot and killed in Bakersfield while on a job. It’s a sober reminder a chase can turn deadly. “I want to tell the people of Bakersfield we’re sorry for their loss,” says Lou. “It’s sad when anyone attempts to make a lawful arrest and something this serious goes wrong where two people lose their lives,” says Pearlstein.
Dog the Bounty Hunter says he may fly out to Bakersfield as early as Saturday. He says if police do not find the man responsible for the murder of the two hunters in Bakersfield, he will find the man himself.
Christina Lusby Reporting/ KSEE NewsPosted on June 13, 2012
May 09–Hundreds turned out Tuesday morning for the funeral service of two brothers who were shot and killed in southwest Bakersfield last month while trying to apprehend a convict who’d skipped bail.
Zachary and Brandon Sims worked for their father’s business, Bad Dog Bail Bonds. Daniel Ortiz, one of the attendees of the funeral, said he’d previously worked for Bad Dog and had fond memories of the brothers.
Ortiz knew Brandon, 23, better than Zachary, 26, because Zachary was only recently honorably discharged after serving five years in the U.S. Navy. Ortiz said Brandon and his father, Vince Sims, were best friends and Brandon wanted to be just like his dad.
“Brandon wanted to do everything his dad did, only do it better,” Ortiz said with a laugh.
He called the brothers’ deaths a tragedy felt around the country, and said he was personally stunned when he heard the news.
Zachary and Brandon Sims had gone to the 7800 block of Kamloops Drive on April 26 to take Zachary Perrick into custody for skipping bail, according to Bakersfield police.
As they were apprehending Perrick another man at the residence, Stephen Michael Stewart, opened fire and hit both brothers multiple times, police said.
Both died at the scene. Vince Sims has said his sons didn’t even know Stewart was in the house.
Stewart has been charged with offenses including two counts of first-degree murder and is being held without bail.
Bail agents from outside Kern County who attended the funeral at Greenlawn Southwest Mortuary said the Sims’ deaths are a tragic reminder of the dangers of the job of a bail recovery agent.
Zeke Unger, a recovery agent out of Los Angeles, said a lot of young people are joining the industry with the idea it’s a glamorous job that can bring riches. The truth, Unger said, is it’s mostly boring work that at times puts your life at risk.
Unger said he and other agents want legislation passed so there are basic operating standards in place. Currently there are no specific licensing requirements for bail fugitive recovery agents.
A person entering this line of work needs to be prepared, Unger said.
We’re chasing fugitives, dangerous people who are on the run from the law and will do anything to stay free,” he said.
Randy K. Parton traveled from Florida to pay his respects to the Sims family. He said he didn’t know the brothers personally but has worked with their father in the past.
Parton said he wanted to express his sympathy over two deaths that happened while the victims were just trying to do their job.
“This is the greatest fear of any of us in this business,” Parton said.
(c)2012 The Bakersfield Californian (Bakersfield, Calif.)
Posted on June 13, 2012
A reality show partially sponsored by a Terrebonne bail bondsman is set to premiere tonight on Spike TV.
Tim Fanguy, owner of Tim’s Bail Bonds in Houma, is financially backing the show “Big Easy Justice.” The show premieres at 9 p.m. today with back-to-back episodes.
Fanguy said he is backing the show because of the respect he has for the show’s star, Gene “Tat-2” Thacker. Thacker is the owner of New Orleans-based Hook ‘Em and Book ‘Em Fugitive Recovery agency, which often tracks fugitives for Fanguy’s bail bond company.
“We have the best of the best on this team,” Fanguy said, adding Thacker knows the right people to talk to when looking for a criminal.
Tat-2 has been a bounty hunter for 12 years and is credited with rounding up more than 10,000 fugitives, according to his online biography. He’s a New Orleans native, both his parents are police officers, and he’s an Air Force veteran who served in Desert Storm.
The first episode will feature Tat-2’s manhunt for a fugitive who is caught on a shrimp boat moored in south Terrebonne, according to a clip posted on Spike TV’s website. The fugitive owed over $15,000 in bonds was wanted for failure to appear, a drug charge and probation violation.
“He knew we were looking for him for a while,” said Matt Webb, a bail bondsman and bounty hunter work works for Fanguy at Tim’s Bail Bonds. “One week before Tat-2’s team came down for filming we backed off our search, hoping the fugitive would loosen up on his hiding. But that didn’t work.”
Webb said he and Thacker’s team drove for about six hours during the fugitive search, which finally ended “in the wee hours of the morning in Dulac.” He declined to provide further detail, adding that the end result is exciting and encouraging everyone to tune in.
“Nothing on this show is set up. It’s all real. It’s ‘Cops’ meets bounty hunting,” Webb said. “People are really going to get that perfect insight to what it’s like going places no one wants to go, trying to capture people who don’t want to be captured.”
Thacker was on a promotion tour Monday and unavailable for comment.Posted on April 10, 2012
As counties across California are struggling with jail overcrowding and budget overruns as a result of Public Safety Realignment, some are still spending millions of tax dollars on less-than-effective PreTrial Service programs that release defendants on their “own recognizance” (OR), based simply on a promise that the defendant will return to court to stand trial.
In fact, one criminal justice expert hired by the Supreme Court recently called PreTrial Programs “a house of cards built on … misconceptions.”
“The fact is, there are a few different ways to release pre-trial defendants, but only one has a proven track record of assuring defendants show up to court, reducing misconduct while awaiting trial, AND saving tax dollars — and that’s surety bail,” said Nina Salarno Ashford, Executive Board Member of Crime Victims United of California. “And I can’t tell you how important it is to victims to have our day in court — without this, there is no justice.”
According to a study by Michael Block, University of Arizona, “a defendant released on OR was about 60% more likely to have failed to appear for a scheduled court appearance as a defendant released on surety bond.”
“At the same time counties are struggling to fund public safety services, some are spending upward of $7 million or more a year [verifying $] to fund government-run PreTrial Services Programs — its irresponsible and dangerous,” said attorney Jerry Watson, past chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and a nationally recognized bail expert.
Bail bonds have proven so successful because they give defendants a financial stake in their release — unlike other alternatives, such as “OR” release or GPS monitoring, which require no accountability or financial consequences for the defendant.
For example, in Fresno County earlier this year a career car thief was released early seven times, and each time he failed to appear in court — because he had no financial incentive to do so. Eight days after his last release, police say he murdered a man. He’s now being held on bail.
“It’s all about accountability and consequences,” said Vera Robles-Dewitt, president of the California Bail Agents Association. “For example, when you test-drive a car at a dealership, you leave collateral before you drive it off the lot — to ensure you bring it back. That’s the purpose of bail. To provide a financial commitment that you, the defendant, will return to court to stand trial. And if you don’t, we as private bail agents, make sure that you do — at our own cost, not at taxpayers’ expense. And it works.
“Bail agents around the state have been suggesting the increased use of bail — versus the other less effective and far more costly alternatives of PreTrial Services — to California’s Community Corrections. We hope to work closely with local law enforcement, judges, DAs and others to assist in any way we can to help reduce jail overcrowding in a safe and effective manner — while saving millions in taxpayer dollars.”