Category Archives: National

Items of national interest

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 , .

Interstate Extradition Bonds

Jeff Downer  When an arrest warrant is issued there are instances when the defendant is arrested on the warrant while in another state.  The process of transferring the defendant to the state which issued the warrant is called extradition.

The extradition procedure is governed by the Uniform Extradition Act (UEC) and is recognized by all 50 states.  The defendant may waive going through the procedure or as part of due process the defendant may also challenge being extradited.   If the extradition is challenged the court will set a hearing to hear arguments as to why the defendant should not be extradited.  The setting of the hearing date must allow the defendant time to adequately prepare.

Per the UEC, while awaiting any hearing or extradition surrender date the defendant must be permitted to post bail:

Unless the offense with which the prisoner is charged is shown to be an offense punishable by death or life imprisonment under the laws of the state in which it was committed, the judge must admit the person arrested to bail by bond or undertaking, with sufficient sureties, and in such sum as he deems proper, for his appearance before him at a time specified in such bond or undertaking, and for his surrender, to be arrested upon the warrant of the governor of this state.

Note that an extradition bond is meant only to insure appearances during the extradition process.  Once a defendant is extradited, another bail bond may be required for release while awaiting trial for the underlying case.

Posted in Bail, Fugitive, National, Warrant. Tagged with , , .

What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor?

Jeff Downer   Remember this old sea shanty tune?

What shall we do with a drunken sailor,

What shall we do with a drunken sailor,

What shall we do with a drunken sailor,

Early in the morning?

That was the question being asked when Laguna Beach, CA police arrested an unidentified man for boating under the influence after his sailboat ran aground.

The  answer of course:

Haul him away to post bail with the jailer,

Haul him away to post bail with the jailer,

Haul him away to post bail with the jailer,

Early in the morning.

Although the inebriated sailor was not named, word on the street says it was either Captain Morgan or Sailor Jerry.

Posted in Bail, National, Smiles.

Ex Congressional Candidate Was A Fugitive

Jeff Downer  Gary Smith, one time candidate for the US House of Representatives in New Mexico, has been in the news recently for being arrested and charged with stalking and vandalizing the property of a former opponent.

Formerly a Texas resident, Mr. Smith claimed he had relocated to New Mexico in order spread his political vision.  Apparently there was a little more to it than that.  It turns out Mr. Smith also was facing warrants for aggravated assault and mischief charges in El Paso, TX as related here.

There is a lesson to be learned here.  Perhaps we should consider requiring all congressional and senatorial candidates to undergo criminal background checks.

It would make good television.  Much better than those so called “Bounty Hunter” shows.  Have “Dog” Chapman do the background checks and then sit down with folks like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to go over their results.  Call it something catchy like: Face the Dog or Dog: CST (Congressional Skip Tracer).  Then air the show on C-SPAN to liven them up.

Now that’s something I would watch.


Posted in Bounty Hunter, Fugitive, National, Smiles. Tagged with .

Immigration Bonds

Jeff Downer  On occasion I receive inquiries about immigration bonds.  Immigration bonds are a different animal than bail bonds and not something we do here at Jeff Downer Bail Bonds.

For anyone with questions about immigration bonds I would recommend they start with this great article on the The Bail Blog: “Bail Bonds Versus Immigration Bonds” by Tonya Rynerson.

Ms. Rynerson outlines the differences between bail and immigration bonds and delves into immigration bond specific issues.  Check it out.  I hope you find it useful.

Posted in Business, Law, National. Tagged with , , .