Category Archives: Bail Bonds

Commercial bail bond related

Child Support and Commercial Bail Bonds

Jeff Downer   When an individual falls behind in the payment of of child support a court may issue an order the person be arrested and held in custody.   These court rulings are called different things depending on the jurisdiction.   Body attachment, bench warrant, contempt citation or detention order are common terms for these situations.

Once an individual is incarcerated for failure to pay child support and efforts are made to secure release the term ‘bond’ will often come into play.  It is natural at these times that a commercial bail bondsman will be contacted.  Unfortunately in these circumstances a bail bondsman will not be able to provide assistance.

There is good reason why bail agents are not able to help and that reasoning is based on the court’s intent when ordering that the individual be taken into custody.

When the court orders commercial  bail it is seeking a surety that all court appearances will be made.  In a child support matter the court’s primary concern is that child support payments are up to date, so any monies being paid to secure release are to be applied to the unpaid child support and not to a third party such as a bail bondsman.

That is how it should be.

So what is  to be done when someone is being held in custody for failing to pay child support?  The exact answer to that will vary among each jurisdiction.  The first step should be to contact jailer and/or the county clerk for specific instructions on how to proceed.   Find here contact information for jails and county clerks in Marion and surrounding counties.

Posted in Bail, Bail Bonds, Commercial Bail, Surety Bond, Warrant. Tagged with , , .

Ride Along on the Jeff Downer Bail Bonds Drag Bike

Jeff Downer  Ride along with Chris Chiesi in this video as he pilots the Jeff Downer Bail Bonds/RockaTrain Suzuki GSX-R during a test & tune session at the Muncie Dragway.  Talk about getting home fast.



Find more Jeff Downer Bail Bonds drag bike video action here.


Posted in Bail, Bail Bonds, Racing, Video. Tagged with .

Oh Boy! More Bail Bond Related Reality TV News

Jeff Downer  One of my daily routines is to search Google for news items regarding bail and its role in the criminal justice system.  While searching for items of interest I discovered that the concept of bail in reality television is making headlines once more.

It seems that Real Housewives  of New Jersey cast members Teresa and Joe Giudice had been arrested on fraud and tax charges and had been released on $500,000 bail bonds apiece.  The story was being reported by several news sources including: UPI, US Weekly, the Los Angeles Times and of course Perez Hilton (Note to the Google search team – this is not what I am looking for when I use the search term “bail bonds”.  Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.).

Being weak minded, seeing all these articles immediately made me put on my reality television producer hat and start brainstorming about a blockbuster crossover reality TV extravaganza in which the Giudices go on  the lam.  Of course  Dog the Bounty Hunter and his wife Beth track them down in a must see TV event that would make me proud to be an American.  The actual take down occurs at a mall where coincidently Beth encounters Teresa while shopping at a Macy’s cosmetics counter while simultaneously Dog bumps into Joe at the Sunglass Hut.

Another thing, these articles use the the term reality TV “stars”.  If these show depict real life then how come I don’t feel like a star too?  Do you feel like a star?  I know I’m certainly not treated like one.  Oh well, if you catch me wearing nothing but a leather vest and sporting hair braids please shoot me.

Posted in Bail, Bail Bonds, Smiles. Tagged with .

An English Lesson About Bail Bonds

Jeff Downer   Per the Oxford Dictionaries: skate (v)

  (skate through) make quick and easy progress through:he admits he had expected to skate through the system


Jeff Downer Bail Bonds - Everybody Skates

Posted in Bail, Bail Bonds, Indiana, Indianapolis, Smiles.

Marion County Bail Bond Codes

Jeff Downer  In Marion County, Indiana there a variety of bail bond types.  It is important to understand the nature of each bail bond type because each has its own rules about how much money is required and the procedures by which it is posted.

These bail bond types are frequently referred to by their computer code designations.  Find below list of bail bond types sorted by their codes and accompanied by an explanation of how to determine the amount to be paid and the procedures to be followed.

  • SR Bond –  The SR code designates a surety bond.   A surety bond requires the use  of a bail bondsman to post the bond.  The bondsman’s premium fee is 10% of the total bond amount set by the court.  If the bond is set at $10,000, the bondsman would be paid $1000 to post the bond.
  • CS Bond – The CS code designates a cash bond.  A cash bond would require that the entire amount of the bond set by the court be posted directly with the court clerk.  If the bond is set at $500 then then that amount must be paid.  Any person is eligible to post a cash bond.  Once the case is over the bond money will be returned less any fines and court fees that are deducted.
  • PR Bond – The PR code designates a percent bond.   A percent bond would require a payment of 10% of the total bond amount to be paid to the court clerk.  If the bond is $10,000 then the court clerk would need to be paid $1000.  Any person can post a percent bond. Once the case is over the bond money will be returned less any fines and court fees that are deducted.
  • XC Bond – The XC code designates a type of split bond.  XC bonds are a hybrid of a surety and a cash bond requiring a bond of each type to be posted.  How much that required to be paid can be confusing with an XC bond.   An $11,000 XC bond would require both $1,000 cash and $10,000 surety bonds to be posted making the total expenditure $2,000.
  • XR Bond – The XR code designates another type of split bond.  XR bonds are a hybrid of surety and percent bonds.  Again calculating the amount to be paid is confusing.  For example a $5,500 XR bond would require both a $5,000 percent bond and a $5,000 surety bond requiring a total expenditure of $1,000.

There are three other codes which are used instead of bond codes and designate release statuses that do not involve the use of bail bonds.  They are:

  • OR – OR means release on own recognizance.  It simply means that the defendant is to be released without the posting of a bond.
  • NB – NB indicates that the defendant is to be held without bond and is not eligible to be released.
  • CR – CR indicates a court ordered release due to no charges being filed or the case has been dismissed.
Posted in Bail Bonds, Cash Bond, Indianapolis, Own Recognizance, Surety Bond. Tagged with , .

The Public Safety Factor in Setting Bail

Jeff Downer  There exists a persistently held belief that a court may weigh only factors that relate to the defendant’s likelihood in showing up in court when determining bail.  While at one point in time that may have been true, such is not the case now.

What is different today?  Public safety concerns can also be considered.   The overwhelming majority of courts can and are considering potential threats to the public as well as a specific individual’s well being as part of the bail setting equation.

The scope of using public safety factors in setting bail is vast.   Courts in 46 states currently include public safety as a factor in setting bail.  Furthermore, the courts of 27 states and the Federal Court System may go as far as authorizing preventive detention and deny release on bail entirely.

Like most anything else the landscape of how bail and bonds are set has been changing.  The use of public safety factors in setting bail is part of the new view.

Posted in Bail, Bail Bonds, Law, National. Tagged with , .

Indiana Supreme Court Ruling Shifts Burden Of Proof for Bail in Murder Cases

Jeff Downer  In the past defendants charged with murder (or treason) in the State of Indiana would have to present a compelling argument that the proof of their guilt was not strong in order to be admitted to bail.

Recently (June of 2013) the Indiana Supreme Court rearranged the playing field when it came to how it is determined whether defendants charged with murder or treason can be held without bail.  The new case law is that the burden of proof now falls on the state to prove that the defendant should not be admitted to bail:

We hold today that when a defendant charged with murder or treason seeks bail, the burden is on the State, if it seeks to deny bail, to show—by a preponderance of the evidence—that the proof is evident or the presumption strong.

As a practical matter I do not believe much has changed on whether those charged with murder will be held without bond.  Prosecutors rarely pursue murder cases with a poor chance of conviction (nor should they).  The threshold of evidence to be held without bail has not changed.  In fact as part of the ruling the court upheld the original finding that the defendant should be held without bail.

The burden has just been shifted from defendant proving the state has a poor case to the state proving they have a solid one.  The most visible impact I suspect will be more bail hearings on murder cases as prosecutors seek denial of bail.

Posted in Bail, Bail Bonds, Indiana, Law. Tagged with .

Airport Arrest on Warrant Issued in 1979

Jeff Downer  The Cook County Sheriff’s Department arrested fugitive Ata Yousef El Ammouri at O’Hare International Airport recently on a warrant charging him with murder.

Ammouri was originally arrested and charged in 1979 for the slaying of Joe Harris after Harris allegedly stole a can of Miller Lite from Ammouri’s neighborhood store.  After posting a $100,000 bail bond, Ammouri then fled the the country resulting the court issuing a failure to appear warrant.

Flash forward 34 years to the present when Ammouri, traveling from Jordan to Tennessee to attend a graduation ceremony, is arrested while changing planes in Chicago by Cook County Sheriff’s Deputies  It was no coincidence they were there when he got off the plane.  They knew he was coming.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart credited local and federal cooperation in sharing knowledge and making the apprehension possible.  The federal agencies who had been working with the Sheriff”s personnel included the State Department and Homeland Security.

This story resonated with me because I so often encounter questions about traveling with outstanding warrants.  In a post 9/11 world full databases and lists designed to raise red flags of course there is a very real chance of being arrested on a warrant.   Even if the fugitive has been half a world away and 34 years distant.

There is one more thing.  This time Ammouri was held without bond.

Posted in Bail Bonds, Fugitive, International, Law Enforcement, Warrant. Tagged with , .

But it Was Just a Joke…

Jeff Downer  Like ABC’s Wide World of Sports I span the internet  looking stories about bail and bonding.   Things can be mighty different in other countries when it come the situations where bail is involved – such as the following tale from India.

Recently a court in India issued no bail warrants for the cast and crew of  the movie Taur Mittran Di.  It seems an attorney found the depiction of the Indian legal community in the film to be less than amusing and filed a complaint with a local court:

The counsel for complainant Harinder Singh Lali said “the lawyer fraternity was pained to see advocates being projected as laughing stock in the film”.

Furthermore, apparently there exist grounds under Indian law to pursue such a complaint:

He had prayed to take action against the erring actors u/s 499, 500 and 120B of the IPC for defaming the legal profession.

Oops.  Good thing that lawyer never saw …And Justice for All.

Now I have been known to tell lawyer jokes, especially to my dad.  My father was a judge for 22 years and not known for his sense of whimsy.  Any lawyer joke telling on my part would usually just result in muttering about changing the will.   I don’t believe he ever considered tossing me in jail and throwing away the key for having a little fun at his expense.  Then again, I was his only son.

P.S.   Still missing ya Dad.

Posted in Bail, Bail Bonds, International, Smiles. Tagged with , .

Can Bail Be Posted on Out of County Holds?

Jeff Downer  There are instances when when someone is arrested in one county on a warrant issued by another county.  After such arrests the defendant is transported to the local jail to await transfer to the jurisdiction which issued the warrant.  This scenario is described as being held on an out of county hold.

One of the first questions always asked is whether a bail bond can be posted immediately or must the defendant be transferred before bail may be made.  The answer is the defendant must be transferred to the county from which the warrant is issued before any bail bond may be posted.

That is not to say that occasionally a county may decline to come fetch the defendant or the underlying reason for the warrant cannot be addressed resulting in the release of the defendant prior to any transfer.  An example of this circumstance could be the defendant has unpaid financial obligations to the court such as fines and costs.  It may be possible in this situation to pay the fines and costs and have the warrant recalled.

The bottom line is that when a person is arrested on an out of county hold, be prepared to for a wait of several days before the defendant will be eligible to be released on bail.

Posted in Bail, Bail Bonds, Fugitive, Jail. Tagged with , .