Category Archives: Legal

Actions that fall with the rules and regulations of law

Cautionary Tale About Following Conditions of Bail

Jeff Downer  When a judge determines the amount of a bail bond they often impose other conditions of release.  Such conditions can, among many things, include:

  • Electronic monitoring
  • Drug and alcohol testing
  • Curfews
  • Substance abuse counseling
  • No contact orders

Violating these conditions can and will result in the the revocation of bond and awaiting trial in jail.

Consider this incident reported in the American Bar Association Journal during a bond hearing in suburban Chicago.  It seems the defendant had violated the court ordered curfew by 22 minutes.  The judge increased the defendant’s bond from $2,000 to $75,000.  While protesting the judge’s decision the defense attorney was found to be in contempt, eventually being held in custody and fined $1,000.

Many judges don’t play around and in this instance a seemingly innocuous case of poor time management snowballed into some major courtroom drama.   The moral of this story?  If you want the the judge to like you (or you want the judge to like your lawyer), read and follow directions.

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

When I Sign on a Bail Bond, What Are My Responsibilities?

Jeff Downer  When an individual bails someone out of jail they are presented with a lot of paperwork to sign consisting of what is often disparagingly called legalese.  Such fineprint found on bail bond applications is often not readily transparent and as might be expected spells out significant responsibilities of the person (called the indemnitor) signing on the bond.

What the paperwork is spelling out is that if the defendant fails to appear, the indemnitor is agreeing to bear the financial repercussions of the defendant failing to appear in court.  These repercussions include:

  • Costs of locating, apprehending and transporting the defendant
  • Any legal fees incurred
  • The amount of the bail bond forfeited to the court

Undertaking such obligations requires some serious thought.  The foremost question, of course, being:  Is the defendant a flight risk?   As long the defendant attends all their court dates, the indemnitor has nothing to fear.  If the defendant does become a fugitive the indemnitor must be willing to work with the bonding company to locate the defendant in order to minimize any financial obligations that may be incurred.

When considering whether to bond someone out, please bear these things in mind and do not hesitate to ask the bail agent any questions you might have about the paperwork you would be expected to sign.

Find here the application forms we use at Jeff Downer Bail Bonds.

Posted in Bail, Bail Bonds, Business, Legal, Surety Bond. Tagged with , , .

Jennifer Lopez and Al Roker Bounty Hunter Lawsuit

Jeff Downer

Say what?  Per

Jennifer Lopez and Al Roker should think twice before sending their ruthless bounty hunter after an innocent man … and falsely accusing him of being a criminal on national TV — so says a new lawsuit.

Yes,  J Lo and Al are producing a bounty hunting show together.  No, I did not see that coming.

I am not a fan of over the top melodramatic “reality” television shows about bail bonding and fugitive recovery.  Aside from avoiding all that needless made for TV drama, we value our client’s privacy too much to engage in such unprofessional activities like this.

Rest assured Jeff Downer Bail Bonds will not be airing our business or yours on TV.  Not even for the beguiling Jennifer Lopez.  As for you Al…stay out of our neck of the woods.

Posted in Bail, Bounty Hunter, Fugitive, Legal, Recovery Agent, Smiles. Tagged with , , .

Is Bail Bond Premium Negotiable in Indiana?

Jeff Downer  At Jeff Downer Bail Bonds the monies collected by a bail agent to post a surety bail bond is called premium and by law is eight percent of the total bond amount.  I am often asked when premium is to be paid if the amount and terms can be negotiated.

The answer is no.  The entire eight percent must be paid before the bail bond can be executed.  While other states do permit financing arrangements when paying premium, in Indiana not only are such arrangements not allowed, they constitute the commission of a felony per the section of Indiana code found below.

IC 27-10-4-5
Failure of bail agent to collect full premium
Sec. 5. A bail agent who knowingly or intentionally executes a bail bond without collecting in full a premium for the bail bond, at the premium rate as filed with and approved by the commissioner, commits a Class D felony.
As added by P.L.261-1985, SEC.1. Amended by P.L.224-1993, SEC.29.

More on the regulation of bail bond agents and companies listed in the Indiana Code may be found here.

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

Bail Bonds Around the World

Jeff Downer  When I meet new people and they discover that I am a bail bondsman they often want to talk about some preconceived ideas they have about the bail bonds.  One such idea is that bail bonds are unique to the American criminal justice system.

Actually, the use of bail is employed around the world.  While in the United States the use of bail is credited to the American legal system being based in English legal tradition, the concept of bail can be found as far back as biblical and Roman historical accounts.  Given such a broad historical background it is not surprising that release on bail is common practice through out the world.

For those accustomed to the tenets of American legal system, running across accounts of bail being granted in other countries can be a jolting experience.  While defendants are receiving bail for familiar offenses involving violence and property, bail being granted for religious and freedom of speech based crimes can often be found as well.

Included here are some news accounts of bail being granted in various countries: India, Egypt, Nigeria, New Zealand, Burma (a.k.a. Myanmar) and Pakistan.



Posted in Bail, Bail Bonds, International, Law, Legal. Tagged with .

How Can A Bail Bond Be Revoked?

Jeff Downer  There are occasions when a bail bondsman is asked to revoke someone’s bail.  Well, a bondsman can’t.  Only the court can revoke a bail bond release.

That does not mean a bondsman cannot return the defendant to court and ask  the defendant be placed back into custody.  However, the court is only going to consider particular reasons for revoking a defendant’s bail.  These reasons are concerned with issues like attempting to flee, public safety and violations of pretrial release conditions imposed by court.

Perhaps the the best example of showing cause for bail revocation is an occasion when we received information that a defendant was preparing to flee and could be found at a local U Haul location renting a moving truck.  We apprehended the defendant at the U Haul and petitioned the court to revoke the bond.  The court took one look at the U Haul paperwork and revoked bail.

Requests to return the defendant to custody because the defendant failed to reimburse those who paid the bail bond, a personal relationship has ended or any other reasons not directly related to the defendant’s case are not going to be considered by the court.

If a person is considering bonding someone out, it should be understood that the defendant’s obligations while out on bond are to the court by appearing as ordered and following all other rules the court has put in place and not to the person who paid the bond.


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