Category Archives: Warrant

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.

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

Got a Warrant? The Net Widens

Jeff Downer   When a police vehicle comes up behind you while driving, have you ever wondered if the officer is checking your license plate number?  In Indiana the answer may be both yes and no.   Yes, your license plate is being researched – but not by the officer.  It is the police car doing the check.

The Indiana State Police have begun using automated license plate readers mounted on some of their patrol cars.  The readers record and check all license plate numbers that are encountered.  If any issues are detected, the reader will alert the officer and provide a picture of the vehicle of interest.

These plate readers are doing more than just checking driver and vehicle license statuses.  They are also tapping into criminal justice databases including ones for warrants and sex offender registries.  Having a valid drivers license will not keep one safe from being pulled over if they have a warrant.  The officer will be alerted about that as well.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this technology.  As it matures and become more widely adopted the scope will become staggering.  Imagine a network of every law enforcement vehicle with access to all state’s driving and warrants records and NCIC to boot.  The biggest problem could very well be in trying to manage an immense flow of information while out patrolling on the streets.

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Posted in Crime, Law Enforcement, Warrant.

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.

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

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