Chapter 36 – Oppose SB10: A Dangerous “Social Justice Experiment”

Is Bail Reform trending due to the amount of money pouring in from George Soros and his mission to FREE all the criminals from prisons and jails? Who is George Soros and why is he trying to destroy our criminal justice system state by state? Based on a Google search of George Soros some stories are true and others false. Fake News that circulated about Soros stated he was funding “Black Lives Matter” to overthrow the United States Government. Another story stated “Evil Globalist George Soros Declares Trump’s America is a “Hostile Nation” For Opposing Globalism” from his own http://www.Soros.News website. We now know that George Soros “anonymously” donated $1.9 Million for Prop 47 in CA which reduced the majority of crimes for thefts and drugs to misdemeanors.  CA has an epidemic of homeless and drug addicts living on our streets committing more crimes. Public Safety groups supported Law Enforcement and OPPOSED Prop 47 with radio and television commercials in a futile attempt to stop the tsunami of crime with the passage of Prop 47.  Retail businesses are suffering as a result of the increase in commercial burglaries due to Prop 47. 14 celebrities have had their homes burglarized during the past year. The first 10 minutes of every news broadcast is about crime in our cities which were once much safer before Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB109, Prop 47, Prop 57 and now SB10 is on its way if we don’t stop it now.  As long as the theft is under $950 the crime is a misdemeanor and basically a slap on the wrist.  Before Prop 47 an arrest for burglary over $500 was a felony and the bail amount was $25,000.  Now? Misdemeanor and $2,000. bail.  Got illegal drugs? METH? No problem. Misdemeanor and $2,000. bail.  Crime in San Diego has increased since the passage of Prop 47.  George Soros wasn’t happy with the increase in crime and less arrestees sitting in jail.  Soros decided to take it up a notch and turn the entire criminal justice system in the United States into a farce. That’s right a farce. Commit a crime and NO JAIL. Why not? Soros gave a $50 Million grant to the ACLU to be the voice of abolishing bail in the United States.  Criminals could be booked and released with a “promise” to return to court.  No bail anymore.  We all know that a criminal that “allegedly” breaks the law will go to court without any skin in the game….right?  Wrong.  Doesn’t matter.  George Soros will spend as much money as it takes to destroy the United States and our Criminal Justice System we’ve had in place since 8th Amendment Right to Bail was added to the U.S. Constitution in 1789 (rev. 1992).

New Jersey was the first state to pass Bail Reform the “Social Justice Experiment” in 2014 and went into effect on January 1, 2017.  How’s it working?  Letter from Assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak  On July 3, 2017, Assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak sent a letter to CA Assembly Speaker Rendon with a WARNING not to pass SB10. Here’s his letter:

“Dear Speaker Rendon,

I am a democratic member of the New Jersey Assembly representing Legislative District 1. Prior to joining the Assembly, I served in the Iraq War as a sergeant in the Army’s 25th Infantry Division until my discharge following an injury which led to the amputation of my left leg from a grenade explosion in 2009. As a result, I was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star; my recovery was featured on a 2009 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show.

As you may know, New Jersey passed and has implemented a bail reform policy similar to California SB10 which you are considering. I supported the legislation when presented to our Assembly and advocated for its passage. The law went into effect this past January and it has been an absolute disaster. The public safety needs of citizens in New Jersey has suffered far and greater than could have been imagined. The costs to the state have increased exponentially and, even worse, the constitutional rights of many of the accused are being infringed.

We were told that there would be no danger to citizens because the dangerous criminals would not be released and only “low level” criminals would be eligible.  The reality is that dangerous and career criminals are released daily within hours of arrest.  We should never have considered free bail to those who commit crimes where a citizen has been victimized. We may only catch a criminal once out of multiple crimes in which they commit.  They are simply not afraid of committing crimes against citizens and as a result our crime rate has increased at least 13% since January. This law is victimizing law-abiding citizens every day.

We were also misled as to the cost of implementation and continuation of this policy. It has become apparent to us now that the cost of incarcerating those held awaiting trial were greatly exaggerated. Additionally, we have transferred the cost of “free” bail to the taxpayer rather than the offender. The bail system supported many functions of the court and the cost of re-arresting multiple offenders and bail jumpers was borne by the offenders themselves rather than the taxpayers. Now we are making taxpayers pay to release criminals back into neighborhoods and with no accountability. The state does not have the resources to properly monitor these people out on bail so we don’t. This is a powder keg and our citizens are suffering because of it.

Not only are our citizens suffering but now even the accused are being denied their constitutional right to pre-trial release as a result of the new laws. The 8th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees an accused the right to “reasonable bail.” However, in New Jersey, many are being denied that right. This is not just happening to dangerous criminals it is happening to low level offenders as well. The risk assessment system is simply not working. In January, a convicted child predator was arrested for attempting to lure a 12 year old girl to his house for “sexual things.” The risk assessment determined he was not a threat and was released. The police chief of Little Egg Harbor was so distressed by this that he appealed the release all the way to our supreme court and was denied. The man was released back into the same neighborhood where the “would be” victim resides. The only recourse for law enforcement was to post on Facebook a warning to the community.

I am not “in the bag” of any industry or special interest. I fully thought this was the right thing to do because of the arguments we heard. I am writing to you because I have experienced this first hand and it has been a disaster. I am trying to rectify a problem in New Jersey that we caused and hopefully encourage you not to make the same mistake. Please listen to the experts on this issue and look at the examples before you because the safety and financial interests of your citizens are at stake. Thank you for your time.”


Bob Andrzejczak

Assemblyman, First Legislative District

On July 11, 2017 the CA Assembly Public Safety Committee held a hearing to consider SB10. The letter from Assemblyman Andrzejczak was sent to every member of the committee prior to the hearing. Speaking before the Public Safety Committee, Senator Robert Hertzberg, author of SB10, told the committee they should ignore the letter from NJ and stated bail reform is a success in New Jersey with 95% of the Pre-Trial Arrestees released without bail returned to court and went on to say New Jersey is saving money as a result. Hertzberg should be admonished for his complete and fabricated lies to push  SB10 through the CA Assembly.  Why would a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient take the time to write a letter to the CA Assembly Speaker if he wasn’t trying to protect the citizens of California?  And Senator Hertzberg just stood there telling lie after lie about New Jersey… could he say “ignore the letter from New Jersey?” We depend on our lawmakers to protect public safety. How can we ever trust Senator Hertzberg when the letter from Assemblyman Andrzejczak was written from his heart with regret for supporting bail reform in New Jersey and putting the citizens of his state in jeopardy.

In 2012 a study was conducted by the ACLU for the Los Angeles County jail system.  The results do not reflect what the ACLU are saying in 2017.  The study showed 87% of the Pre-Trial Arrestees in custody were due to “non-financial holds.”  Only 13% are in custody because they cannot afford their bail. The L.A. County Sheriff just released their 2016 Custody Report and less than 5% are in jail for misdemeanor “low level” crimes and remain in custody possibly due to poverty.  L.A. County Sheriff 2016 Custody Report

CA Lawmakers are telling lies to push SB10 thru before the citizens of CA are informed about SB10, have an opportunity to read the text of the bill, weigh in on abolishing bail and being responsible for the $3.9 Billion/yr it will cost to overhaul the CA Criminal Justice System.  Senator Robert Hertzberg has used erroneous figures to exaggerate the urgency of passing SB10.  CA pays $100 per day for housing pre-trial arrestees in CA jails. How much money do you think CA will save by releasing 300,000 criminals to the streets to commit more crimes and then catch them again when they fail to appear in court?  It costs $1,700 per fugitive to re-arrest someone with an Arrest Warrant. We have hundreds of thousands of active warrants in CA. Contrary to what Senator Hertzberg is saying about the amount of money CA can save with SB10, the truth is the amount of money it will cost will be astronomical which will be passed on to the 58 counties in CA. Property Taxes will skyrocket to pay $3.9 Billion/yr for CRIMINALS TO GET OUT OF JAIL FREE.

Why should you oppose SB10? Victims will be disenfranchised. Law Enforcement will be undermined. Court and jails will be overwhelmed by the 6 hour window given with SB10 to either release or detain arrestees. Only 6 hours to make a decision that will victimize the victim of a crime again.  Public Safety is being threatened by SB10. And Arrestees will no longer have their 8th Amendment Right to Bail. The decision will be left to a computer software program and a judge. Currently the judges in CA have the ability to release a defendant on their own recognizance (O.R.), reduce the amount of bail at a Bail Review Hearing, Court Order a GPS Ankle Bracelet, Stay Away Orders or Hold with No Bail. Judges decide bail amounts based on the Bail Schedule for each county, a defendant’s threat to public safety and if he or she is a flight risk. SB10 will only base release from custody on if the Arrestee will return for court which is a dangerous way of assessing someone arrested for a crime.  The very people Senator Hertzberg claims will be able to get out of jail free will be left in jail without any hope of getting out without bail. In most cases minorities will be unable to be released due to a flawed algorithm.

Flawed Risk Assessment Software

What can we do to stop SB10? Oppose SB10. The next stop for SB10 is the CA Assembly Appropriations Committee Hearing. SB10 must be stopped. Please call your CA Assembly Member before its too late. SB10 will overwhelm our law enforcement which will slow down the response time from a few minutes to a few hours. By that time it will be too late. Here’s the list of names and phone numbers of the Assembly Members on the Appropriations Committee:


Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (Chair)  (916) 319-2080

Frank Bigelow (916) 319-2005

Richard Bloom (916) 319-2050

Raul Bocanegra (916) 319-2039

Rob Bonta (916) 319-2018

William P. Brough (916) 319-2073

Ian C. Calderon (916) 319-2057

Ed Chau (916) 319-2049

Susan Talamantes Eggman (916) 319-2013

Vince Fong  (916) 319-2034

Laura Friedman (916) 319-2043

James Gallagher (916) 319-2003

Eduardo Garcia (916) 319-2056

Adam C. Gray (916) 319-2021

Al Muratsuchi (916) 319-2066

Jay Obernolte (916) 319-2033

Eloise Gomez Reyes (916) 319-2047

Chapter 35 – What’s Bail Reform?

California Constitution Article 1 – Declaration of Rights 

(e) Public Safety Bail. A person may be released on bail by sufficient sureties, except for capital crimes when the facts are evident or the presumption great. Excessive bail may not be required. In setting, reducing or denying bail, the judge or magistrate shall take into consideration the protection of the public, the seriousness of the offense charged, the previous criminal record of the defendant, and the probability of his or her appearing at the trial or hearing of the case. Public safety shall be the primary consideration.  A person may be released on his or her own recognizance in the court’s discretion, subject to the same factors considered in setting bail. However, no person charged with the commission of any serious felony may be released on bail, a hearing may be held before the magistrate or judge, and the prosecuting attorney shall be given notice and reasonable opportunity to be heard on the matter. When a judge or magistrate grants or denies bail or release on a person’s own recognizance, the reasons for that decision shall be stated in the record and included in the court’s minutes.

On June 8, 1984 during the statewide primary ballot the voters passed Prop 4 which amended the California Constitution to include the following:

When setting the amount of bail the following had to be taken into consideration (which the courts were already doing but it wasn’t in the CA Constitution):

  1. Seriousness of the offense;
  2. Person’s previous criminal record;
  3. The likelihood that the person will appear to stand trial.

With the passage of Prop 4 the 3 factors became a requirement into the CA Constitution.

CA State Legislature cannot change the requirements by passing, repealing or altering statutes and the only way to change the 3 factors would be by a statewide vote of the people.  

Prop 4 allows judges to deny bail in felony cases involving acts of violence against another person when (a) the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption of guilt is great and (b) there is a substantial likelihood that the accused’s release would result in great bodily harm to others. And Prop 4 allowed bail to be denied in felony cases when (a) the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption of guilt is great and (b) the accused has threatened another with great bodily harm and there is a substantial likelihood that the threat would be carried out if the person were released. 

What does the CA Constitution have to do with Bail Reform?  In previous chapters I wrote about the nonprofit folks from Washington, DC on a grant from Harvard University going around the United States like a group of pied pipers promising to abolish bail across the land because its unfair for “poor criminals” sitting in jails that cannot afford bail. Their answer? Abolish bail…..set them free and pray on a “pinky promise” they return to court. The big losers? The victims, public safety and the taxpayers.

Fast forward to 2017….enter CA Senator Bob Hertzberg from District 18, Van Nuys, Los Angeles who introduced SB10. Bail: Pretrial Release. An Act to amend Section 1270 of the Penal Code in CA.

This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to safely reduce the number of people detained pretrial, while addressing racial and economic disparities in the pretrial system, to ensure that people are not held in pretrial detention simply because of the inability to afford money bail.

Next….Enter Assembly Person Rob Bonta from the 18th Assembly District, East Bay of San Francisco Bay Area who introduced AB42. Bail Reform. An Act to amend Section 1270 of the Penal Code of CA, relating to bail. 

This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to safely reduce the number of people detained pretrial, while addressing racial and economic disparities in the pretrial system, to ensure that people are not held in pretrial detention simple because of the inability to afford money bail.

I’m sorry…..did Senator Hertzberg copy off of Assembly Person Bonta’s paper?  The bills are identical except for the mere fact each bill was introduced in the CA Senate and CA Assembly. The cost of either or both????  MILLIONS to the taxpayers of CA and threatens public safety, victims safety and safety of our law enforcement forced to rearrest defendants in a revolving door to our jails.  The “CATCH AND RELEASE” program NJ has right now would come to California.

And finally we have a bill introduced by Assembly Person Blanca Rubio from the 48th Assembly District representing San Gabriel Valley in Sacramento.  AB789. Criminal Procedure: Release on Own Recognizance. An Act to amend Section 1319.5 of the Penal Code, relating to criminal law. 

Existing law prohibits the release of any person on his or her own recognizance who is arrested for a new offense and who is currently on felony probation or felony parole or who fails to appear in court as ordered, resulting in a warrant being issued, 3 or more times over the 3 years preceding the current arrest, and who is arrested for any felony offense or other specified crimes, until a hearing is held in open court before a magistrate or judge.

This bill would ALLOW a court to approve, without a hearing in open court, own recognizance releases under a court-operated or court-approved pretrial release for arrestees with 3 or more prior FAILURES TO APPEAR.

I’m sorry…..Assembly Person Rubio must have missed this PRETRIAL SERVICES video. Perhaps its time she views this video and rethinks AB789…..


SB10, AB42 and AB789 are bills that will abolish bail in CA which is a back door way to alter the CA Constitution Article 1 -Declaration of Rights, (e) Public Safety Bail. Remember this?

“CA State Legislature cannot change the requirements by passing, repealing or altering statutes and the only way to change the 3 factors would be by a statewide vote of the people.”

Which means CA Senator Hertzberg, CA Assembly Persons Bonta and Rubio knew or should have known, their bills would alter the CA Constitution. SB10, AB42 and AB789 are bills to amend the CA Penal Code which is unconstitutional. With Prop 4, to amend, repeal or alter the CA Constitution Article 1- Declaration of Rights, (e) Public Safety Bail requires a statewide vote of the people.

Readers Digest abbreviated version of CA history about releasing inmates to save money…….In 2011, AB109 which was a bill to reduce the CA prison population by punishing low-level felony offenders with local jail or out-of-custody “mandatory supervision” instead of prison.

In 2014,  Prop 47 became a law in CA. The intent of the proposition:

  1. Reduce 7 property or drug possession felonies to straight misdemeanors.
  2. Allow certain offenders currently serving a felony sentence for those offenses to petition the sentencing court to have the felony sentence reduced to a misdemeanor sentence.
  3. Allow certain offenders who have already completed their felony sentence for those offenses to apply to the sentencing court to have the felony designated as a misdemeanor.

In 2016, Prop 57 became a law in CA. The intent of the proposition:

  1. Allows parole consideration for nonviolent felons.
  2. Changes policies on juvenile prosecution.
  3. Authorizes sentence credits for rehabilitation, good behavior and education.
  4. Allows Parole Board to release nonviolent prisoners once they have served the full sentence for their primary criminal offense.
  5. Requires the Dept of Corrections to develop uniform parole credits, which rewards prisoners’ good behavior with reduced sentences.
  6. Allows Juvenile Court Judges to determine whether or not juveniles aged 14 and older should be prosecuted and sentenced as an adult, repealing Prop 21 from March, 2000 which gave prosecutors the sole authority to decide whether to try a “young offender” as a juvenile or adult.

Since AB109, Prop 47 and Prop 57 public safety has been threatened.  The Drug Court in San Diego which used to be successful in helping drug addicts rehabilitate is no longer court ordered. Since its voluntary many drug addicts are being arrested over and over with misdemeanor charges for possession of controlled substances thanks to Prop 47. Defendants addicted to Meth in San Diego have no hope of getting the help they need due to lack of money to pay for rehab programs. Prop 47 promised to save taxpayers money by releasing inmates and using the money for drug rehab programs which never happened. We’re still waiting for the rehab programs funded by CA.

Every day on the news we see multiple stories about theft crimes which include criminals stealing packages from the front doors of homes, (just a misdemeanor charge if they’re caught and it was less than $950 stolen thanks to Prop 47). Commercial burglaries that we see the crimes being committed on surveillance cameras. Crime appears to have increased depending on the report you’re reading.  All of the laws since 2011 were designed to reduce the population in our prisons and jails. Prop 47 has been a disaster. USA Today Network published a story in December, 2016 about the 13,500 inmates released due to Prop 47 and many are addicted to drugs living on our streets.  Many need drug rehab, many need to be an inpatient in a mental health facility and many need  jobs and a place to live. Prop 47 gave them freedom…but at what cost?

Since 2011 we’ve learned that reducing prison and jail population has increased crime in CA. Public Safety has been threatened and the last thing we need are more criminals back out onto the streets to reoffend. Look what’s happening in Pacific Beach.

What happens if Bail Reform Bills SB10, AB42 and AB789 are passed into law? Approximately 76,000 inmates awaiting trials could be released in CA to our streets on a “pinky promise” to return for court appearances with no accountability with Pretrial Services. Why are so many defendants sitting in jails awaiting trial? Ask the Chief Justice of California why she closed courtrooms causing a bottleneck of cases and many “languishing” in jail because they cannot afford bail. These defendants are in jail because there was enough evidence to “bound them over” for trial. Evidence collected by our law enforcement in hopes of making sure victims see justice for crimes committed against them.

The cost to taxpayers could be over $200 Million which we’ve learned from New Jersey with their Bail Reform Act which went into law on January 1, 2017.  The voters in NJ were sold a bill of goods about how they could save the taxpayers money by the “Catch and Release” program aka Bail Reform.  The voters in NJ fell for it and now they’re furious with Governor Chris Christie for pushing for NJ Bail Reform Act and making it the law on January 1, 2017. The cost to NJ taxpayers is estimated in excess of $200 Million and climbing. And by abolishing bail in NJ the judges have been empowered to hold defendants in jail on their discretion and since there’s no bail….there’s no way to get out of jail. NJ gave up their right to bail in hopes of saving money for housing defendants awaiting trial.

Douglas J. Welfi is homeless and sitting in Hudson County detention without bail for making terrorist threats and violating a restraining order when he was drunk.

Bail has been in the U.S. Constitution in the Bill of Rights, 8th Amendment since 1789 and revised in 1992.

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted. 

The framers of the U.S. Constitution put bail in the Bill of Rights because they wanted to make sure anyone that commits a crime returns to court. For 200 years bail has worked at no cost to the taxpayers. So why should you care about Bail Reform? Maybe you’ve never been arrested and bail doesn’t matter to you. Let me tell you why you should care about Bail Reform.  Here’s what will happen with and without bail in CA.

Without Surety Bail:

  1. No accountability for arrestees charged with crimes once released from jail.
  2. Threat to victims and the community.
  3. No penalty for Failing to Appear in Court.
  4. Court costs when defendants Fail to Appear.
  5. Threat to public safety.
  6. Cost for issuing a warrant for arrest.
  7. Cost for Warrant Enforcement detail.
  8. Threat to law enforcement responsible for rearresting defendants only to watch them leave again after being booked into jail.
  9. High cost of crime and rearresting defendants passed on to taxpayers.


With Surety Bail:

  1. Accountability that Defendants will return to court.
  2. Surety bears the cost of defendants that Fail to Appear in court….not the taxpayers.
  3. Surety bears the cost of active apprehension of defendants that fail to appear for court.
  4. No cost to taxpayers for defendants released on a Surety Bail Bond.


That’s why its important to oppose Bail Reform bills SB10, AB42 and AB789. Before these bills make their way through the Public Safety Committee call these legislators and let them know you oppose their bills and you’re fed up with all the crime in our neighborhoods and we want to feel safe in our homes again. Enough is enough. Saving money for housing criminals is a small price to pay for the cost of being a victim of a crime in your home, at your business or walking down the street in neighborhoods that used to be safe before Governor Jerry Brown started releasing criminals from our jails undermining our law enforcement.  Help us stop Bail Reform in CA. Call the lawmakers that introduced the Bail Reform bills and call your CA Senator and Assembly Person for your District and oppose any law that will release anyone arrested for a crime in CA early or without being required to post bail while awaiting trial.

For SB10 – CA Senator Bob Hertzberg’s contact information.

Sacramento Capitol Office: (916) 651-4018 or Fax (916) 651-4918

District Office in Van Nuys: (818) 901-5588 or Fax (818) 901-5562


For AB42 – CA Assembly Person Rob Bonta contact information.

Sacramento Capitol Office: (916) 319-2018

District Office: (510) 286-1670


For AB789 – CA Assembly Person Blanca Rubio contact information.

Sacramento Capitol Office: (916) 319-2048

District Office: (626) 960-4457











Update on Class Action Lawsuit

Update since Chapter 34 was published.  On November 2, 2015, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers rejected a request for a Temporary Restraining Order.  Both of the Plaintiffs in the case, Crystal Patterson and Rianna Buffin were released from jail and the charges were dropped.  Judge Rogers stated a class action has to affect hundreds of inmates. Not TWO. Crystal Patterson bailed out of jail on a $150,000. bail bond for assault with great bodily injury. Patterson paid a down payment and agreed to pay the balance of the $15,000. premium.  Once the charges were dismissed Patterson allegedly thought she didn’t owe the premium to the bail bond agency. Unfortunately she signed the Bail Bond Indemnity Agreement and Promissory Note to pay the balance.  If Patterson couldn’t afford the bail why did she agree to pay $15,000?  Now its a civil matter.

On January 26, 2016 U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in the Federal Court in Oakland, CA shot down the Class Action Lawsuit. Judge Rogers again denied the request for a Temporary Restraining Order.  The TRO would have caused major chaos if the jails had to stop taking cash bail or surety bonds for the release of inmates.  Next Judge Rogers denied the request for a Class Action certification. I heard from someone actually inside the courtroom that Katherine Hubbard, one of the two attorneys representing the plaintiffs, was unable to answer the questions from Judge Rogers about the basis of their lawsuit. Judge Rogers stated the legal analysis did not lead to the relief Equal Justice Under Law are seeking.

At one point Katherine Hubbard allegedly lost her composure and Judge Rogers asked Hubbard how long she had been practicing law. Judge Rogers visibly frustrated requested that Hubbard stop pontificating and answer her questions.  Judge Rogers wasn’t pleased with the plaintiff’s attorneys and their lack of understanding of the California criminal justice system.  Ms. Hubbard sat down and Phil Telfeyan, an attorney with Equal Justice Under Law filled in for the rest of the brief hearing. Telfeyan has been the voice for Equal Justice Under Law and has gone out of his way to make sure everyone knows how many small counties have given up cash bail.  Telfeyan conveniently leaves out the part that all of their “wins” have been in small communities that cannot afford a legal defense and cave in.  That was before their circus of misinformed actors rolled into California.  Sending in an attorney that has little or no knowledge of how bail works is inexcusable and makes a mockery of our criminal justice system. Surprised Judge Rogers didn’t sanction Equal Justice Under Law and assess a fine for wasting the courts time. Judge Rogers gave Equal Justice Under Law 30 days to return with a new complaint or the case will be dismissed. Finding hundreds of inmates that can’t afford their bail won’t be very difficult.  Persuading a Judge that cash bail is unconstitutional after 200 years of success……doubtful.


On January 29, 2016 the EJUL circus rolled into Sacramento and filed another Class Action Lawsuit to abolish cash bail in California.  This time the plaintiff declared under penalty of perjury this was his FIRST arrest. No priors. Never been arrested before….nope.  Clean as a whistle.  Really?  So why were we able to find the mug shot for Gary Wayne Welchen and a criminal history dating back to 1997 for the Nebraska Dept. of Correctional Services? According to their website Mr. Welchen was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the following charges: Robbery and Use of Deadly Weapon to Commit a Felony.  Mr. Welchen is a convicted felon.  Welchen claims he’s homeless and indigent collecting Social Security Disability payments.  Welchen was arrested on 1/29/16 in Sacramento for 2nd Degree Burglary and in court February 2, 2016 the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor thanks to Prop 47.  EJUL just wasted a few hours cutting and pasting another lawsuit for a plaintiff that lied in his declaration. Should be interesting to see what the next judge will do when EJUL shows up for their first hearing on this complaint. Same bad actors with another frivolous lawsuit funded by Harvard University.

1, 2016-01-29 Complaint


Published in: on January 27, 2016 at 1:22 AM  Comments (1)  

Chapter 34 / What if Bail Didn’t Exist?

One of my favorite movies is “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  It’s Christmas Eve and George Bailey’s life is in turmoil and he’s depressed.  George is standing on a bridge looking down contemplating his death by jumping into the cold water. Clarence the angel-in-training listens to George wishing he had never been born and gives him the gift he requested…”a chance to see what the world would be like if he never existed.” George goes back to town and no one recognizes him because he never existed. All the good things he did to help his family, friends, co-workers and town never happened. His wife and children didn’t exist because George never existed. His little town known as Bedford Falls was in chaos. Imagine if we no longer had bail in California?  If bail no longer existed in California what would happen when someone is arrested for committing a crime? Law enforcement would make their arrests and drive the suspect to the jail.  The arrestees will be processed and then what? Let them walk right out the door on a promise to return to court? Seriously? Release on a prayer and a promise to return? Sure.

Let’s back up. Here’s how bail works in San Diego County.  Law enforcement makes an arrest and the arrestee is transported to Central Jail (for males), Las Colinas (for females) or Vista Detention Facility depending on the location of the arrest.  The arrestee or defendant is processed and then placed in a holding cell. Inside each jail cell is a list of phone numbers of bail bond agencies in San Diego that belong to the San Diego Bail Agents Association. Defendants can call family, friends or a bail bond agency to make arrangements to be bailed out of jail.  The Bail Schedule is set by the Presiding Judge of the San Diego Superior Court with a committee of judges each year based on the charges and number of offenses.  When I receive a call from a defendant in custody first I qualify the bond and then secure the bond with either collateral or a co-signer to insure the defendant returns to court for every required appearance. The process of qualifying and securing a bond can take an hour or longer depending on the charges, size of the bond and resources to secure the bond.  A challenge we’ve had as Bail Agents is to find contact information for defendants that can’t remember any phone numbers. Bail Agents are trained to find people and the application process is very important for this reason. I’m on call 7/24 since I never know when someone will need my help getting out of jail. Most of my clients call in the evening and it’s not unusual to see me at Las Colinas in the wee hours of the morning in the process of getting someone out of jail. Bail Agents can see defendants while in custody for a “professional visit” to meet the client in person and to complete their application process. My job involves lots of hand holding and being available to talk to my clients while they wait to be released.  Many clients have told me after being released from custody I was their lifeline they needed to get thru that traumatic experience.  After my clients are out of custody I stay in touch with them every step of the way making sure they show up at every required court appearance.  The majority of my clients have never been arrested again. A Bail Agents job is more than just posting a bail bond. Bail Agents provide a service to clients most people will never understand unless you’ve been arrested.  Bail Agents offer an important service for the courts by making sure our defendants return to court. Many times people can’t afford the bail because the amount is just too high. Waiting a few days in custody in hopes of a bail reduction is always an option. With surety bail we have the luxury of offering payment plans for those unable to come up with the 10% prior to the bond posted. In most cases a bail bond agency will take 5% down and take collateral like a car or house to secure the bond and a promissory note for the remaining premium owed on the bond. Another important service Bail Agents can provide is clearing warrants.  If a defendant violated conditions of their case or failed to make a payment to the court or failed to complete a class the judge will issue a Bench Warrant for their arrest. Bail Agents can clear warrants with a bail bond without the defendant going back into custody.  The warrant will be cleared and the defendant will be given another court appearance date.  I’m very passionate about my job because I’m providing an important service that allows a defendant to defend themselves out of custody. A defendant out on bail can return to work, meet with their own attorney and be with their friends and family while going thru the court proceedings.

Now that you have an understanding of what I do as a Bail Agent try to imagine if we no longer had bail in California.  No jail cards on the wall with phone numbers to call bail bond agencies. No one to call at 3am to look up your Facebook page to message friends or family to get  you out of jail.  No Bail Agent to call to have the process explained to you.  No Bail Agent to call to help you. No Bail Agent to clear an active warrant which means if you have a warrant you will be going back to jail. What about tourists that find themselves in jail in San Diego because they had a few too many drinks at dinner and got arrested for a DUI? Will they have to remain in San Diego? Or what about that homeless person arrested for failing to pay for the trolley token? Will the jail issue an ankle bracelet for someone who has no home? How can a homeless person be on “Home Detention?”  Life without Bail Agents is a very scary thought.  Does it mean you’re sitting in jail waiting for a Deputy Sheriff to move you from cell to cell until they figure out how you can be released?  Will you have to wait to see a judge? Could you be stuck in jail for several days?  Hours? I can’t tell you since no one has come up with a better system that works better than money based bail which offers accountability and consequences.

What about the victims of crime if we no longer have bail?  Prop 47 practically legalized crime in California last year.  Have you noticed we’ve had more home invasion robberies on the news since Prop 47 passed last year? The first 7 minutes of the 11pm news last night was about crime in San Diego. SDPD Chief Shelley Zimmerman said crime is up 8% in San Diego since Prop 47 went into law. Last week I watched a woman steal $63 worth of groceries right in front of me at Ralph’s in La Jolla. Store employees stated it happens all the time and there’s nothing they can do about it.  Who do you think will pay for the stolen groceries?  Even if the woman were arrested her bail would be $2,000. and its a misdemeanor.  Oh, we’re still imagining not having bail anymore in California  Ok, so this woman steals the groceries and she’s caught and taken to Las Colinas. Since we no longer have bail she’ll be released on a promise to return to court in 6 weeks.  What are the odds she’ll return to court?  Do you really think if we tell defendants they must return to court and if they don’t they’ll have to pay a fine? Seriously? The courts will be in the collection business again and the number of active warrants in San Diego will be in the thousands if they aren’t already. Defendants that used to be arrested for felony possession are in and out of jail on a $2,000. bail and its a misdemeanor thanks to Prop 47.  Oh…yea.  We don’t have bail anymore in California… so the defendants charged for possession of drugs or under the influence of drugs will be booked in and sent home on a promise to return to court in 6 weeks.  Fewer defendants are going to Drug Court since its optional and the charges are misdemeanors.  There’s no incentive to go to Drug Court.  We don’t have the funds for rehab programs. Defendants addicted to drugs will return to the community and continue using Meth and prescription drugs they can easily buy on the streets in San Diego.  No accountability.  No consequences without a money based bail system. Without bail California will be the first state to legalize crime in the United States.

Alternatives to bail?  The electronic ankle bracelets instead of money based bail system.  We know for a fact that ankle bracelets are easily cut off by the number of violent felons that were released with ankle bracelets and cut them off. We have no idea where they are now.  Here’s a small sample of other crimes committed by ex-convicts wearing GPS ankle bracelets from the Orange County Register 07/20/2014:

Deangelo Foote, 22, was wearing a GPS ankle bracelet when he shot and killed a teenager.  Foote was sentenced to 50 years for shooting Kevin Allen, 17, seven times.  This was in Washington, DC.

Darrin Sanford, 30, was wearing a GPS ankle bracelet when he stabbed a 13 year old Alycia Nipp to death after trying to rape her in 2009 in Vancouver, Washington.

Leonard Scroggins, a transient from Napa County cut off his GPS ankle bracelet he was wearing for his 1994 rape conviction.  The next day in May, 2010 Scroggins was in Chula Vista where he tried to rob a woman and kidnap a 13-year-old girl by holding a knife to her neck.  Scroggins got 150 years to life for attempted kidnapping and lewd acts on a child.

Christopher Lombardo was arrested in April 2014 for raping a mentally disabled woman in Salem, MA after the victim noticed the GPS on his ankle when he took off his pants.

GPS ankle bracelets are not effective for monitoring criminals awaiting trial.  GPS ankle bracelets are a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

Removing an ankle bracelet 101:

What about Pretrial Release Services as an alternative to money based bail systems? Let me share with you some facts about Pretrial Release Services.

What is Pretrial Release Services?  Funded by local tax dollars defendants are released at no cost to the defendant. Pretrial Release Services dates back to the 1960’s as a “means of providing release to the financially indigent defendant who was not charged with a serious crime.”  What went wrong?  Pretrial Release Services started releasing violent felons who were capable of bailing out on their own.  Ten percent of defendants released by Pretrial Release Services disappeared and their warrants are in the system. Many get arrested again for more serious crimes and the warrants are picked up at that time. Law enforcement doesn’t have the time or manpower to rearrest defendants for a second time.  Secured bail bonds lose only 3% and the surety pays the county the full amount of the bond with a Summary Judgment. With Pretrial Release Services no one is financially responsible for the defendants.  Hence many disappear and reoffend.  The taxpayers are the big losers along with the victims that must live in fear if the defendants on the run come after them again. Most people don’t even know this program of releasing criminals back into the community exists.  Here’s how Pretrial Release Services operates based on the experience from a former investigator and why she left after 2 years.

Here’s a recap of what we’ve learned so far.  I’ve explained how surety bail works and the services I offer as a licensed Bail Agent in California.  I explained money based bail surety bail and cash bail are by far the most effective ways to get defendants back to court to face charges.  An alternative to money based bail is Pretrial Release Services which we now know is a waste of taxpayers money and a threat to public safety.  The failure rate is too high and the risk to victims unimaginable when criminals disappear and must reoffend to be caught. GPS ankle bracelets are a complete failure for violent criminals since they’re easily cut off and once they disappear law enforcement won’t have the luxury of a secured bail bond with an indemnitor able to help locate the defendant on the run.  Without bail the alternatives are a threat to public safety and the victims.  No one will be responsible for defendants released from jail.  We simply don’t have enough law enforcement to patrol our communities and continue to rearrest defendants when they fail to appear in court.

The reason I’m explaining alternatives to money based bail systems is because a small group of attorneys calling themselves Equal Justice Under Law are challenging bail systems and saying a bail schedule is unconstitutional.  The class action lawsuit was filed on October 28, 2015 in San Francisco. This lawsuit is misguided and misleading.  Crystal Patterson was listed as one of the plaintiffs in the case and she claimed she could not afford the $150k bail (“too poor to pay the amount of money generically set by the fixed “bail schedule” used by San Francisco for her charge of Assault with Force Causing Great Bodily Injury). Yet she was able to pay $1,500. down for her bail bond and agreed to pay the balance of $13,500. owed premium no matter what the outcome of her case on a payment plan.  Patterson was released from custody and the case has since been dropped.  Surety bail actually helps low income defendants in custody because we’re able to take a down payment, secure the bond with collateral and allow for a set payment schedule.  Without surety bail the defendant would have to come up with the full $150,000. payable at the jail in order to be released prior to the arraignment.  In San Francisco and San Diego the judges have discretion to reduce the bail amount.  If Ms. Patterson had only waited 6 to 12 hours she would have been released and saved herself $15k in premium.

Click to access 1-S.F.-Complaint.pdf

Here are a few of their suggestions for alternatives to money based bail:

  • Pretrial Release Services
  • Text or Phone Call Reminders of Court Dates
  • Electronic monitoring (ankle bracelets)
  • Intervention and Rehabilitation Programs
  • Stay-Away Orders
  • Home Detention

Every single suggestion in their lawsuit has already failed.  Bail Agents aren’t the enemy.  We didn’t write the bail schedules.  We must collect the premium in order to pay for the bonds and we must secure the bonds.  Bail Agents are licensed by the CA Dept of Insurance and appointed by insurance companies or sureties that underwrite the bonds for the full amount which guarantees the court will be paid in full if the defendant fails to appear and we cannot get them back to court in a set period of time.  Without money based bail in California public safety and victims will be threatened and the taxpayers will be expected to pay for the “get out of jail free” for anyone arrested in California.  The alternatives are guaranteed to fail and cause more harm to our state than Prop 47 and AB 109.  The only way to stop this class action lawsuit is to make yourself heard. Contact your California State Assemblyman and California State Senator representing your zip code.  Let your voice be heard.  We cannot allow criminals to have a revolving door to our jails. Our safety in our homes, schools and workplaces are at stake.  We must not live in fear because some attorneys want to turn California into a state that condones crime and lawlessness.

Remember George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life?”  When George saw what happened to his town because he never existed, Clarence said to George, “you really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it all away?”   If we throw away bail it will be catastrophic to our criminal justice system. We can expect crime rates to go up and many innocent people will be victims. The alternatives to money based bail have all failed.  Bail works.

Chapter 33 / No Means No

The slogan “No Means No” has new meaning in the bail bond industry.  We know when sexual intercourse is forced upon a man or woman its called rape.  A victim has been violated.  When a bail bond agency posts a bond which is unwanted and unauthorized and then threatens to put the defendant back into custody if they refuse to pay the premium for the bond its called extortion. Extortion is a crime and the victim has been violated.  With the help of the CA Dept of Insurance, Sheriff Gore and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis the ability to surrender bonds at San Diego County jails needs to be restricted to:

  1. Failure to Appear with an active Warrant for Arrest
  2. Violation of the Bail Bond Indemnity Agreement
  3. Co-Signer / Indemnitor withdrawal
  4. Defendant in custody

Failure to pay the premium is a civil matter and not a criminal matter. That would put a stop to all the bonds being posted without premium in hopes of extorting the money from the defendants after they’re released from custody.

Here’s a few examples of Bail Agents behaving badly by violating defendants with unwanted and unauthorized bail bonds. This isn’t the way professional bail bond agencies are supposed to operate. I was working with a mother on a bail bond for her daughter.  We went through the entire application process before the daughter (the defendant) called from Las Colinas.  The daughter informed me that she called another bail bond agency to find out how the process works and the costs involved. Later that particular bail bond agency called the mother. The mother immediately told the Bail Agent she already handled the bond with another bail bond agency. The agent hung up on her.  I told the mother she better call the agent back and make sure he doesn’t post the bond.  The mother called the agency back and the agent hung up on her again.  The mother called a 3rd time and warned the agent he better not post the bond. A few hours later when the daughter was cleared I attempted to post her bond at Las Colinas. The clerk at Las Colinas informed me the bond was already posted.  I called the mother to let her know the bond was posted by another bail bond agency and she was absolutely furious.  The mother called that agency and asked him why he posted the bond. The agent just laughed and didn’t care what the mother had to say.  The daughter called me shortly after the bond was posted by the “other” agency and I told her what happened.  The daughter said she never authorized the other agency to post her bond.  It didn’t matter. Once the bond is posted and the defendant is released from custody the payment of premium is due to the agency posting the bond.  Refusing to pay the premium on the bond could land the defendant back into custody on a Bail Bond Surrender and the full amount of the bond will be billed to the defendant plus recovery fees. Fortunately the daughter called me while still in custody and I informed her about the unauthorized bond posted and she has the right to refuse their bond. The daughter informed the jail staff she was refusing to be bailed out by the “other” bail bond agency and their bond was pulled and voided.  Bail Agents posting bonds without premium and then threatening to return a defendant back into custody for failure to pay the premium is extortion.  Even though this is a “civil matter” bail bond agencies have surrendered defendants back into custody for nonpayment of premium for years.

Here’s another example of the extraordinary length a woman went through to bail her husband out of jail. Wife called another agency making an inquiry about fees and how the process worked before calling my agency.  After the wife spoke to me she decided to use my agency to post bail for her husband. The wife called the other agency back to let them know she didn’t need their services.  The agent told the wife it was too late because they already dispatched an agent to the Vista Jail to see her husband.  The wife never authorized that agency to see her husband.  The wife called me back and we completed the application process and the premium for the bond was paid. The wife called the “other” agency back again to make sure they wouldn’t post the bond and she was told an agent was already dispatched to the jail and her husband signed all the paperwork. The wife called several times trying to stop the other agency from working on this bond. And the other bail bond agency kept telling her it was too late.  The husband never signed any documents or paid any money to this “other” agency. Once the husband was cleared I was able to post the bond before the “other” agency. A few days later that “other” agency started calling the defendant harassing him about making a payment for his bond that was in default. That “other” agency never posted his bond.  The “other” agency was told several times they didn’t need their services and each time the bail bond agency refused to stop working on the bond. When people tell a bail bond agency NO we don’t need your services…..its means NO! No means you don’t go post the bond and hope to extort the premium out of the defendant later. NO MEANS NO.  Don’t let this happen to you. The slogan coined by our District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis applies to this crime….“DON’T DO IT, DON’T TOLERATE IT, REPORT IT.”   Please report unwanted and unauthorized bail bonds to the CA Dept of Insurance.

Here’s a link to file a complaint with the CA Dept of Insurance:

or call the CA Dept of Insurance 800-927-4357

Published in: on October 2, 2015 at 4:53 PM  Leave a Comment  

Chapter 32 / Can You Say Extortion?

Extortion is a crime and its happening right here in San Diego at our jails on a daily basis. Bail bonds are being posted for defendants without their authorization or even a request from a family member or a friend. Why would a reputable bail bond agency post a bail bond without collecting any premium (money to pay for the bond) or getting an Indemnity Agreement (contract) signed first?  Certain bail bond agencies are trying to get an advantage over the rest of the agencies and the new game is post the bond and then extort the money (premium) out of the defendant. If the defendant refuses to pay the premium for the bond they’re surrendered (returned to the jail) like a fish being thrown back into the ocean. And after the defendant is surrendered to the jail they’re sent a bill for the bond plus recovery fees. It’s a double whammy.  Everyone arrested wants to get out of jail but at what cost? Once the bail bond is posted you’re stuck with that agency even if you didn’t call them or request their services.  So why isn’t this against the law?  Give our legislators a little time and there will be a new law.  Allison Ash with the I-Team at Channel 10 News just did a story about a woman arrested for a DUI and taken to the Vista Detention Facility. She called her friend to bail her out using another bail bond agency. When her Bail Agent went to post the bond he was told it was already posted by another agency. Unfortunately she was a victim of this new extortion game. The agency that posted the bond demanded payment of $265 for a $2,500 bond or they would surrender her back into custody and bill her the $265 for the bond. No one wants to be threatened with going back to jail if you don’t pay for the bond….but this bail bond agency did and she paid them the premium.  The defendant was compelled to pay the premium or be surrendered back into custody which is extortion.

Deputy Sheriff Robert Taft from Orange County is on a mission to educate the public about the bail bond agencies surrendering defendants for nonpayment of premium. You have recourse with laws already on the books.

California Code of Regulations of the California Administrative Code Title 10, Chapter 5, Subchapter 1, Article 2, Section 2090:

Surrender of Arrestee to Custody: Return of Premiums – No bail licensee shall surrender an arrestee to custody prior to the time specified in the undertaking of bail or the bail bond for the appearance of the arrestee, or prior to any other occasion when the presence of the arrestee in court is lawfully required, without returning all premium paid for such undertaking or bond; except that when as the result of judicial action, information concealed or misrepresented by the arrestee or other reasonable cause, any one of which was material to the hazard assumed, and the licensee can show that the hazard was substantially increased, then the bail licensee may retain incurred out of pocket expenses permitted to be charged by Section 2081(c) and (d).  The surrender of an arrestee who is again in custody for an offense for which a penalty greater than that for the original offense may not be imposed, or his surrender at the request of the guarantor shall never, in and of themselves, be considered to be reasonable cause for surrender, and in case of any surrender under such circumstances, and no actual and substantial increase in hazard can be shown by the licensee, all premiums received and incurred expenses shall be returned. Compliance with an Order of the Court made pursuant to Section 1300(b) of the Penal Code shall be in compliance with this Section; and a licensee at the time of any surrender of an arrestee prior to the time specified in the undertaking of bail shall inform such arrestee of his rights under Section 1300(b) to petition the Court for a ruling as to return of premium.

Failing to notify an arrestee of their rights under California Penal Code Section 1300(b) at the time of surrender is a violation of CCR Section 2090.  California Insurance Code 1814 states:

The violation of any foregoing provision of this chapter, or of any rule of the commissioner made pursuant thereto, is a public offense, punishable by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by imprisonment in the state prison, or in the county jail not exceeding one year, or both such fine and imprisonment. 

If you were a victim of a bail bond agency extorting money from you for the premium and they returned you back into custody for failing to pay the premium which is UNJUSTIFIED you may be entitled to a refund of the all the premium you paid the bail bond agency.  The bail bond agency cannot return a defendant back into custody (surrender) unless its justified.  Examples of a justified surrender:

1. FTA – Fail to Appear in Court and a warrant is issued for your arrest

2. Flight Risk – Your Bail Agent has reason to believe you’re going to flee and not return to court

3. Defendant is back in custody. The Bail Agent can surrender your bond

How can you avoid the bail bond agencies willing to break the law to post a bond? Call a friend or loved one when you’re arrested and let them handle posting your bond.  There’s no internet inside the jail cell. You can’t read customer reviews inside the jail cell. And you can only make a verbal agreement for a bail bond over the jail phone. Once the bond is posted you’re at the mercy of the bail bond agency that posted your bond. In many cases victims have reported the amount quoted to them was less than the amount they were charged once they were released from jail.

If you were a victim of a bail bond agency posting your bond without authorization and you were threatened to pay the premium or be returned to the jail the California Dept of Insurance needs to hear from you. Their complaint hotline number: (800) 927-4357





Chapter 31 / Phase One of New Jail Complete- Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility





451 Riverview Parkway Santee, CA 92071 (off Magnolia)

451 Riverview Parkway Santee, CA 92071
(off Magnolia)


Image by Billy Ortiz

Image by Billy Ortiz


The first phase of Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility is open. The process of getting this new jail has been long and full of challenges.  San Diego County Board of Supervisors declared a state of emergency in February, 1986 due to “severe overcrowding in the adult detention system and directed county staff to immediately develop a plan to resolve the emergency situation.” In May, 1988 Santee filed a petition requesting “an immediate stay to stop the County from proceeding with the temporary expansion of Las Colinas pending the outcome of the appeal.”  The California Supreme Court denied the request by Santee.  In September, 2012 the first signs of a new jail under construction were visible.  The field where rabbits and coyotes roamed was cleared and a fence added around the parameter.  Heavy machinery arrived and it seemed like a lifetime of just moving dirt around in circles.  Every time I had a bail bond to post at Las Colinas I would take pictures and Tweet them for my followers and those interested in seeing our tax dollars hard at work.  I watched the construction from the back of the facility since the front of the facility faces Magnolia and a locked fence prevented anyone from viewing the front of the new jail.


Just a field with a fence around it where rabbits and coyotes roamed


September, 2012 early construction


3 classrooms under construction





Beautiful courtyard with palm trees


I had the opportunity to tour of the inside of the facility.  The new facility has a new name. The word “womens'” has been dropped and the word “reentry” has been added.  Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility with the new emphasis on rehabilitation versus incarceration.  The most noticeable difference is the size of the “campus.”   The Deputy giving the tour stated the facility will be on 45 acres of land and when Phase 2 is complete they can house up to 1,212 inmates.  Phase 2 will begin after Phase 1 is up and running and the old Las Colinas is demolished.  Phase 2 will house 384 inmates when complete.  I heard the word rehabilitation several times during the tour and the need to help inmates take responsibility for themselves.  The new facility will feature classrooms and a health center for inmates.  In the “courtyard” area they have cement seating for concerts and movies for inmates.  Special housing for inmates cooperating similar to the type of housing seen in “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix. The tour didn’t include the inmate housing area.  The lobby is huge and plenty of windows for jail staff to help Bail Agents, Attorneys, family and friends that have business at the facility. We were shown an area for contact visits for inmates earning the privilege.  The new holding area features “open booking” for inmates and a body scanner.  Don’t even think about bringing drugs or weapons into this facility. The penalties for bringing in drugs and/or weapons to a correctional facility are severe and the body scanner will find them.  For women willing to cooperate it will feel like sitting at the airport in a waiting area.  Soft cushioned seats in rows without restraints.  In the past women were handcuffed to benches while going thru the booking process or placed in jail cells or “tanks.” Jail staff will no longer touch the inmates money when they arrive. The responsibility is on the inmate to put their money into an ATM like machine.  Upon release the money the inmate put in the machine will come out unless any purchases were made at the commissary.   Inmates will stay in the Holding Area for about 3 hours while they’re being processed (fingerprints, mug shot, tested for TB, setting up their phone account so they can call out to family, friends or a bail bond agency to arrange for bail, etc). Inmates unwilling to cooperate during the process will have special jail cells where they can wait until they’ve been cleared to be housed or bailed out.  I was very happy to see the phones in the Holding Area are on the wall in plain sight of jail staff and camera’s which is a vast improvement from the rest of the San Diego County Jails.

On August 4, 2014 the California Dept of Corrections and Rehabilitation announced the opening of the new Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility and stated: “This reentry facility is yet another example of California’s commitment to rehabilitation and better preparing inmates for life after their release.  The facility will house 82 inmates at its inception, with the possibility of expanding to a capacity of up to 118 in the future.  Inmates selected for the program will have less than four years remaining on their sentences.”  (in addition to our local inmates awaiting trial or doing local time)

My first impression of the new Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility was resort with confinement.  The facility is absolutely beautiful.  The new Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility is clean and painted white with a courtyard and palm trees.  For anyone serving time at the old Las Colinas the new facility is a breath of fresh air.


451 Riverview Parkway Santee, CA 92071 (off Magnolia)

451 Riverview Parkway Santee, CA 92071
(off Magnolia)


Chapter 30 / Bail Bond Solicitation by Inmates and Bail Bond Surrenders

Solicitation of inmates is a crime.  Believe it or not inmates in San Diego County Jails are being solicited for bail bonds by other inmates. History seems to repeat itself when it comes to solicitation for bail bonds in our jails.  In 2001 the District Attorney in Riverside County filed a Criminal Complaint against Ray’s Bail Bonds with over 220 felony charges for solicitation of inmates.

Inmates were paid to solicit bail bonds.  When inmates are being paid to solicit bail it creates an unsafe environment for the rest of the inmates in a jail.  In many cases inmates were strong armed to use certain bail bond agencies. Many inmates stated they were in fear for their life if they didn’t used certain bail bond agencies.

prison inmates on phones

Let’s fast forward to 2013.  Defendants have reported that while they were in custody at San Diego County Jails other inmates prompted or “illegally solicited” them to call certain bail bond agencies or were given the phone after they dialed the phone number for certain bail bond agencies.  Inmates have reported that the phone was passed to them from other inmates and they were told to tell the Bail Agent on the line their name and personal information for the purpose of posting their bail bond. In some cases inmates had no way of paying for these bonds and they were told they could make arrangements once they’re out of jail.  In other words bonds are being posted without payment or a Bail Bond Indemnity Agreement signed. Free bail. The purpose of a bail bond is to make sure the defendant will return to court. Why should a defendant return to court when he or she got a free bail bond and never signed a contract to secure the bond? If the bail bond agency is willing to gamble being paid they do it at their own risk and peril. What happens if the defendant never reports to the bail bond agency or fails to pay the premium for the bond? In the past few years several stories of bail bond agencies going after their clients for failure to pay the premium have been in the news.

Criminal Complaint filed on September 14, 2011 against the employees of AJ’s Bail Bonds in Modesto, CA.  On 2/23/06 Walter Scott Osborne was taken from his home to the office of AJ’s Bail Bonds. Osborne was handcuffed to a weight bench and told to raise money or he would be taken back to jail. Osborne was held at AJ’s Bail Bonds for 6 hours until he raised the money to be released.  On 4/26/06 Benjamin Campbell appeared in court and after the appearance was taken to the office of AJ’s Bail Bonds. Campbell was handcuffed to a pole in the basement of AJ’s Bail Bond office and an agent for AJ’s Bail Bonds demanded money. Campbell was left in the dark basement for 4-6 hours. On 1/24/08 Alicia Guitierrez and Estevan Montanez were taken to AJ’s Bail Bonds office after Montanez appeared in court and they were told to come up with the money or Montanez would go back to jail.  Both Guitierrez and Montanez were threatened with a Taser.  Guitierrez was told she could not leave the office of AJ’s Bail Bonds even though she wasn’t out on a bail bond with AJ’s Bail Bonds.  The Criminal Complaint alleges CONSPIRACY TO KIDNAP FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXTORTION, in violation of Section 182/209 of the California Penal Code. 

Here’s another example “Rogue Bail Bondsman Arrested for Abducting Customer Until Debt was Paid

In October, 2010, Damion Paul Perkins was charged with kidnapping for ransom, assault with a deadly weapon and using a firearm during a felony.  A bond was posted for an inmate that failed to pay the “up-front” premium prior to the bond being posted.

Failure to pay the premium for a bail bond is a civil matter and not a criminal matter yet certain bail bond agencies in San Diego repeatedly surrender defendants without a Bench Warrant for Failure to Appear.  In fact San Diego County Jails accept Bail Bond Surrenders without even asking why the defendant is being surrendered.  With the help of the Sheriff, District Attorney and San Diego Superior Court Presiding Judge the return of defendants into custody for failure to pay the Premium on a bail bond must be stopped.  Once the jails stop accepting these surrenders maybe the bail bond agencies willing to post a bond without the Premium or a signed Indemnity Agreement will think twice before posting free bail bonds.  

Bail Bond Surrenders should be used for the intended purpose. Here are a few examples of when a defendant should be surrendered to the jail:

  1. Failure to Appear with an active Warrant for Arrest
  2. Violation of the Bail Bond Indemnity Agreement
  3. Co-Signer withdrawal
  4. Defendant in custody

There are a few bail bond agencies in San Diego County willing to break the law for money. Most bail bond agencies in San Diego County have been around for decades and we’re trying to run an honest and professional business and this is why we want to clean up our own industry.  Many states no longer have surety bail bonds.  We don’t want to lose our right to surety bail in California. Without bail bonds anyone arrested would have to come up with the full bail amount and pay the jail.  No 10% of the bail.  No payment plans.

If you’re reading this chapter and you know someone that’s been arrested please warn them not to accept the phone from another inmate if it’s passed to them.  Like the snake in the Garden of Eden the apple is probably poison and can only lead to a very bad experience.  If you’re ever arrested and find yourself inside a jail cell in San Diego County call a friend or loved one you know or select a bail bond agency off the jail card and dial the phone yourself. Remember, if someone offers to help you inside the jail by prompting you to call a certain bail bond agency over another it’s probably because its self-serving and will benefit them financially. There’s no such thing as “GET OUT OF JAIL FREE.”

jail phone

What can you do to help us stop the illegal solicitation going on inside San Diego County Jails?  Designing a phone cage isn’t practical or efficient with the number of inmates being processed on a daily basis at San Diego County Jails.  The best thing you can do is once you’ve been released please report any incident of illegal solicitation where another inmate or employee of the jail prompted you to call any particular bail bond agency over another.  Contact:

Bail Agents Association of San Diego County, Inc at:  or email

The laws prohibiting the Solicitation of Bail are very clear in the California Insurance Code of Regulations, Title 10:

Section 2077.

“No bail licensee shall, directly or indirectly, transmit or cause to be transmitted to himself or to any other person a communication authorizing said licensee or any other person to solicit or negotiate bail which is a fictitious communication or which is from a person other than a person from whom he may lawfully solicit bail pursuant to Section 2079 or with whom he may lawfully negotiate bail pursuant to Section 2080.  No such communication shall, at any time or in any manner, be used directly or indirectly as an aid in securing information concerning a person confined in a jail, prison or other place of detention or for the purpose of visiting an arrestee therein, or for any other purpose.”

Section 2076.

“No bail licensee shall, for any purpose, directly or indirectly, enter into an arrangement of any kind or have any understanding with a law enforcement officer, newspaper employee, messenger service or any of its employees, a trusty in a jail, any other person incarcerated in a jail, or with any other persons, to inform or notify any licensee (except in direct answer to a question relating to the public records concerning a specific person named by the licensees in the request for information), directly or indirectly, of:

a. The existence of a criminal complaint:

b.  The fact of an arrest: or

c. The fact that an arrest of any person is impending or contemplated.

d. Any information pertaining to the matters set forth in (a to c) hereof or the persons involved therein.”

Section 2074.

“Except as provided in Sections 2074 and 2079.5, no bail licensee shall solicit any person for bail in any prison, jail, or other place of detention of persons, court or public institution connected with the administration of justice; or in the halls or corridors adjacent thereto; provided that a bail licensee may in such halls, corridors or in other rooms or ares where not prohibited by local rule or ordinance transact bail with persons specified in Section 2079 who have prior to transaction, requested his services.”

Chapter 29 / Warning: Retailers Get Even with Civil Recovery

Santa Claus

The holiday season is upon us and the retail stores are ready for the biggest shopping time of the year.  Most retail stores have installed surveillance cameras and have undercover security officers roaming around the inside and outside of their stores due to the rise in crime.  Retail stores in San Diego have a zero tolerance for shoplifting.  In the past if you were arrested for shoplifting 484(a)/488PC Misdemeanor Petty Theft the bail was a simple $500.  Not anymore.  Now if you’re arrested for shoplifting in San Diego the bail is $25,000. for a felony charge of 460(B)PC / 2nd Degree Burglary. Good luck ever finding a job after being convicted of a felony for 2nd Degree Burglary. The majority of job applications ask “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”

In the past the suspect was taken to jail and many cases were rejected because the retail stores didn’t want to prosecute the cases.  Retail stores simply wanted to make an example of anyone shoplifting in their stores.  Again times have changed and the retail stores have a new tool to recover their costs of having a security staff.  Its called  “Civil Recovery.”

California statute  490.5(b)and(c)PC.  “Retailers have the authority under state law to demand civil damages by letter notice from an apprehended shoplifter.  A conviction for shoplifting is NOT a prerequisite to the civil demand by the retailer.  The civil demand can be made and settled before a civil lawsuit is filed against the shoplifter in the appropriate civil court.  A civil demand may be made by the retailer under most state laws whether or not a criminal prosecution has been initiated by the retailers “loss prevention” personnel or local law enforcement.  A person who steals merchandise from a merchant or a book from a library may be civilly liable to the merchant or library for between $50 and $500, plus costs, plus the value of the item stolen if it has not been recovered in its original condition.  The parent(s) of a minor may be sued if the crime is committed by a unemancipated minor.  An action to recover damages under this section may be brought in small claims or traditional civil court.”

In Oakland, CA a Class Action accuses Home Depot for overuse of Civil Demand letters.

Warning to parents.  If your child goes to the shopping mall and decides to steal something from a retail store the consequences of their actions will directly affect your bank account.  Parents of a minor child can be sued in California for the civil demand made by the retail store.  After the arrest expect a civil demand letter from the Loss Prevention Department of the retail store or the law firm representing the store.  The Civil Demand letters I’ve seen in San Diego range from $400 to $500.  The letters will continue to arrive if you refuse to pay the amount demanded by the store.  The next stop will be Small Claims Court or Superior Court depending on the damages sought by the merchant.  You will have an opportunity to argue your case but the law is on the side of the merchant that suffered the loss and you can add court costs to the amount owed to the victim.

Most retail stores require the suspect to sign an agreement to pay the civil demand along with a confession before the arresting officer takes them away to jail.  Retail stores are fighting back with civil recovery and prosecuting more cases.  Just because you don’t see a uniformed security guard in a store doesn’t mean you’re not being watched.  Surveillance cameras are everywhere and someone is always watching.  Stealing is a crime.





Chapter 28 / Shark Infested Highways


Would you voluntarily jump into the ocean in an area known for hungry sharks waiting for their next feeding? The same theory holds true for drinking and driving.  You know the sharks (law enforcement) are out there waiting to catch you if you make the slightest mistake while driving.  Here’s the short list of reasons law enforcement will have you pull over:

  • Swerving
  • Driving too slow
  • Driving too fast
  • Going thru a red light
  • Going thru a stop sign
  • Driving the wrong direction on a one-way street
  • A tail light is out
  • Your tinting is too dark on your windows

Drive anywhere in San Diego between 10pm and 6am and you will see law enforcement trolling like sharks waiting for their next meal.  Red and blue lights flashing in your rearview mirror and you know what happens next won’t be good.  I’ve noticed a new trend of tourists arrested for DUI’s in San Diego.  People coming to San Diego to enjoy our luxurious hotels, beaches, amusement parks and fine dining are finding themselves “Just Visiting” at our county jails…not by choice.

Just Visiting

San Diego County has a zero tolerance for drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Our highways are like shark infested waters with law enforcement waiting for their next feeding.  We have Checkpoints set up on Friday and Saturday nights in Pacific Beach, Ocean Beach, Chula Vista, Escondido and Downtown near the Gaslamp hoping to catch drivers under the influence before they get on the highways and hurt someone.

DUI Checkpoint

And where the “surf meets the turf at Del Mar,” law enforcement didn’t miss the opportunity to set up a “saturation patrol” on Opening Day of Del Mar Horse Racing, July 17th from 4pm to Midnight.  There were 111 vehicles stopped, 25 were evaluated for being under the influence, 10 arrested and 10 vehicles impounded.  Pretty good catch for law enforcement.  Not so good for the 10 people arrested for DUI’s and then they had to bail out their vehicles which probably cost more than the premium for the bail bond.  Open your wallet because the Superior Courts in San Diego County are going to empty your wallet if you’re convicted of a DUI.

Del Mar Race Track

Most people coming to San Diego for a convention or a vacation aren’t expecting to be arrested.  How do you prepare for getting arrested?  Make sure you have memorized at least ONE phone number of someone who loves you enough to bail you out of jail if you’re arrested.  If you can’t memorize a phone number I suggest you memorize an email address so a Bail Agent like me can email your family or friends to get you out of jail.  Or you can write a phone number on your hand or arm before you start driving between the hours of 10pm and 6am in San Diego if you have any alcohol to drink.  I’m very serious.  If you have 1 glass of wine or 1 beer and then get behind the wheel you could be arrested in San Diego for a DUI.   Law Enforcement will find a reason to stop you if they think you’ve had anything to drink.  All you have to say to the officer is that you had any alcohol to drink and you’re going to jail.  If you blow in the Breathalyzer and its even close to .08 you’re going to jail.  If you refuse to blow in the Breathalyzer you’re going to jail.  If you ask to have your blood drawn instead of blowing in the Breathalyzer you’re going to jail.  The results of your blood test won’t be back until your arraignment in 6 weeks once you post bail. Let’s go over the key things you need to remember if you’re arrested for a DUI (suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol):

  • In California if you refuse to blow in the Breathalyzer you must have your blood drawn or your license will be suspended automatically for 1 year;
  • In California if you’re under 21 yrs old you cannot legally drink alcohol.  If you’re arrested for a DUI and under 21 yrs old it’s an automatic 1 year suspension of your Driver’s License;

If you’re arrested in San Diego and taken to a County Jail you will have access to a phone for several hours. All calls are recorded and the recordings are given to the Sheriff and the District Attorney.  Telling your story on the jail phone is not advisable.  Save it for your attorney.  The best things you can do to help a Bail Agent get you out of jail are:

  • Memorize at least ONE phone number of someone who loves you;
  • Memorize at least ONE email address of someone who loves you;
  • Write down at least ONE phone number on your hand or wrist if you drive after drinking;
  • Be nice to the Arresting Officer and ask that the officer write down some phone numbers from your cell phone before its bagged and sealed at the jail (you’ll be reunited with your “mother ship” upon your release;
  • Write down your credit card number, expiration date, 3 digit code on the back of the credit card on a piece of paper and ask that the Arresting Officer let you keep the piece of paper.  Or write this information on your hand.

Without phone numbers or email addresses its going to be a very long 3-5 days before you’re arraigned.  When you’re visiting San Diego and arrested for a DUI trying to find a bail bond agency willing to post your bond with just the bail premium will be difficult.  Most bail bond agencies require collateral because defendants arrested for a DUI that live outside of San Diego County rarely return for court.  Many retain their own attorneys or just never come back.  If you FTA (Fail to Appear) and you’re out on a bond the bail amount will double, a Warrant will be issued for your arrest and more than likely you’ll have a Bounty Hunter coming after you.  Nothing upsets a Judge more than a defendant that fails to appear.  At some point you will be standing before this Judge and he or she won’t be happy to see you.

So remember if you don’t want to end up as another meal for the sharks don’t drink and drive.  Take a taxi, call a friend or use a designated driver.  The life you save may be your own.


Chapter 27 / DUI’s…Like Picking Apples Off Trees

Driving between the hours of 10pm and 6am in San Diego County is like picking apples off trees for law enforcement.  It’s not “if” you get arrested if you drink and drive…….its “when” you get arrested for a DUI in San Diego County.  In the past few years I’ve noticed San Diego County has adopted a “zero tolerance for DUI’s” attitude.  Law Enforcement simply need a reason to pull you over and if you’ve had anything to drink you can plan on going to jail.  Here’s a few examples of traffic stops reported to me by my clients arrested for DUI’s in San Diego County over the past few years.  It starts out like this…..the police officer will say “do you know why I pulled you over?”

  • You drove thru a red light.
  • You drove thru a stop sign.
  • You didn’t make a full stop at a stop sign.
  • You were driving the wrong direction on a one way street.
  • You made a sudden lane change.
  • You didn’t use a turn signal when you changed lanes.
  • Your tail light is out.
  • You were swerving.  (most popular)
  • You were driving too fast.
  • You were driving too slow.

As you can see it doesn’t take very much for a police officer to pull you over.  Officers are trained to watch drivers out on the road between 10pm and 6am.  In most cases drivers were out to dinner or at some sort of social function and they probably had a glass of wine, beer or hard liquor.   Once the police officer has you pulled over and tells you why he/she pulled you over the next question is a “game changer.”   Here it comes……”HAVE YOU BEEN DRINKING?”   Think long and hard before you answer this question.  Don’t lie to a police officer because that never works out well for you.  The bail will be even higher.  If you say “yes” you’re going to jail.   No matter what happens next the result will be the same in almost every case.  You’re going to jail.   If you agree to blow in the Breathalyzer and your BAC comes back anything above .01 you’re going to jail.  The police officer has determined that you are “impaired” so you cannot get back into your vehicle and drive again.   If you refuse to blow and agree to have your blood drawn the officer will handcuff you and take you to the police station or jail to have your blood drawn.  Since it takes several weeks to get the BAC results you can plan on spending about 8+ hours in jail and having to post bail.   In San Diego County a first DUI is a $2,500. bail.  If you refuse to blow or have your blood drawn you’re going to jail and your California Driver’s License will be automatically suspended for 1 year.   No matter what you say to the officer about drinking or not drinking, or taking prescription medications the officer will conduct a sobriety test.  If the officer determines that you’re unable to pass the sobriety test you will be going to jail.  How can you avoid being arrested?  You could stay off the roads between 10pm and 6am.  That’s one way to solve that problem.  How about taking a taxi or have a designated driver?  The easiest way to avoid being one of those apples picked off the tree is don’t drink and drive.

Like picking apples off the trees.

Like picking apples off trees.

So you aren’t convinced that driving impaired in any fashion between the hours of 10pm and 6am is risky business?  How about the cost of being arrested for a DUI in San Diego County?  First be ready to take public transportation for a while since your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of time.  Or perhaps you prefer to ride a bike for a while?  Car Pooling with friends?  Taxi Cabs?   According to Mr. Checkpoint the statistics are staggering.   “The cost of DUI’s in the United States is over $114,000,000,000. (that’s $114 Billion) annually.   Approximately 3 of every 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol related crash some time in their lives.”

In San Diego County the cost of a 1st offense DUI conviction is over $10,000.

  • Towing your vehicle  $350-$450 (and that’s if you can find the Vehicle Registration in the glove box)
  • Add $38 to $50 per day for your vehicle in the impound lot if you can’t bail your vehicle out.
  • DMV Reinstatement of your Driver’s License $125.
  • Pre-Sentencing Probation Report $1127.
  • DUI Fine $1756.
  • MADD Victim Impact Panel (voluntary donation of $20…pay it or you may end up with a Warrant for failure to complete the class)
  • Supervised Probation (3 years)  $3564
  • Increase in your automobile insurance $4600.
  • Attorney Fees if you choose to hire your own attorney.  (if you enjoy sitting at the court for hours, paying for parking and listening to others arrested for DUI’s,  forgo the private attorney and use the Public Defender.
  •  Don’t forget to fill out the Financial Declaration (signed under penalty of perjury) which forces you to show where all of your money is hidden.  Bank accounts, under the mattress, piggy bank, stocks and bonds, IRA, checking accounts, saving accounts…..and then San Diego County will tell you how much you have as “disposable income” and set up a payment plan for you to make payments for the Public Defender (they’re not free), fines and other court costs. And if you fail to make a payment on time to the court for anything be ready to see a Deputy at your front door to arrest you and take you back to jail.  San Diego County doesn’t have a Collections Dept.


  •  Aside from missing this opportunity to sit like a sardine in a barrel while you wait in the court business office for hours waiting for your paperwork…….

barrel of sardines

  • with a private attorney your case will slow down and you actually might get a better deal if you have a good attorney that handles a large caseload of DUI’s and knows the major players at the courts.  It’s about wheeling and dealing at this level.  A DUI conviction in San Diego County is going to make your life a living nightmare.

The next time you go out in the evening in San Diego think twice before you get behind the wheel and try to drive home if you had any alcohol to drink and you’re impaired.  The odds are against you and the chances are great that you could end up in jail, the hospital or the morgue.

Jail Hospital or Morgue

Related Articles:

Need a ride home? Immediate service in a Town Car when you can’t drive home. Be safe…not sorry.   Call A San Diego Limo 858-568-4883

Chapter 26 / Be Home for the Holidays

The dream of being home for the holidays is upon us again.  Unfortunately there will be some people who won’t make it home this year due to drunk driving.  Either your loved one will be the drunk driver spending the holidays in jail or your loved one will be injured or worse…killed by a drunk driver.

I rest my case.

The statistics on the website for MADD are frightening.   Here’s just a few of the statistics:

  • “An average drunk driver has driven 80 times before the first arrest.”
  • “Almost every 90 seconds, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash.”
  • “Over 1.4 million drivers were arrested in 2010 for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.”
  • “In fatal crashes in 2010, the highest percentage of drunk drivers:

                  Age 21-24  (34%)

                 Age 25-34  (30%)

                 Age  35-44  (25%)

During the holidays law enforcement increase the number of officers out on our streets and highways in an effort to try to prevent drunk drivers from injuring themselves or others.   Checkpoints are set up randomly all over San Diego County trying to stop drunk drivers.  The Amber Alert signs on the highways are requesting citizens to call 911 if you suspect a drunk driver is out on the roads.   This is an all out effort to save lives.

The reason the number of DUI arrests increase over the holidays is simple.   More people are out on the road traveling due to office parties and visiting friends and family.   Many companies celebrate the holidays at offices and hotels where alcohol is served.   The root of the problem is your judgment is impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.   The few glasses of Egg Nog with Rum seemed so innocent.  A few shots of Tequila didn’t seem to be a very big deal at the time.  The holiday season….good times.    After the office party ends everyone gets into their vehicles to drive home.   The smart people will spend the night at a hotel or call a taxi cab.   For those people who think they’re sober enough to drive its like playing Russian Roulette.   The impaired drivers have a very high risk of being arrested for a DUI in San Diego County.   Once an officer stops a driver under suspicion of drunk driving the chances of being arrested are high.  The officer will ask the driver if he or she has been drinking.  If you admit that you had any alcohol before getting into your vehicle to drive the Sobriety Test is a simple formality.   If you choose to blow in the Breathalyzer it really doesn’t matter what you blow because if the officer believes you’re impaired by alcohol or drugs you’re going to jail.  Even if you blow under .08% BAC you’re going to jail.  If you refuse to blow and ask to have your blood drawn you’re still going to jail since the BAC results won’t be known for several weeks.  Once you’ve been stopped by law enforcement for suspicion of DUI you can plan on going to jail and in most cases your vehicle will be towed and stored until the Registered Owner can retrieve the vehicle out of impound.

Once you’ve been arrested in San Diego County for a DUI the officer will transport you to jail.   Men go to Central Jail and women to Las Colinas.   If you’re arrested in North County both men and women are taken to the Vista Jail.   Take advantage of the time you’re in the vehicle with the Arresting Officer.   Due to cell phones most people haven’t memorized any phone numbers.  Everyone is on SPEED DIAL.  Try to memorize ONE phone number of someone who can help you if you’re arrested.  Ask the officer if you can call someone from your cell phone before he/she bags up your property.   During the last few months I’ve had a few calls from people arrested sitting in the back seat of a squad car or a family member calling to arrange bail before the person arrested arrives at the jail.  This is absolutely fantastic and certainly speeds up the process. If the officer won’t let you make any calls on your cell phone ask the officer to write some phone numbers on your hand or a piece of paper.  Once the officer seals up your cell phone in a property bag you won’t see your phone again until you’re released.

For your information a bail bond cannot be posted by any Bail Agent until the inmate is Cleared by the jail.  This process can take a minimum of 4-6 hours or longer depending on how busy the jail is when you arrive.  If you’re arrested for a DUI over the holidays its going to be a very long time before your arraignment if you can’t bail out of jail.  In most cases you could be sitting in jail for a week before you’re arraigned.   The courts will be closed on November 26th and 27th for Thanksgiving, December 25th for Christmas and January 1st for New Year’s Day.

What happens if you’re convicted for a DUI in San Diego?

  • Pay a Fine in excess of $1700 in most cases;
  • Probation for 5 years and you can’t be arrested with a BAC of .01% or risk Violation of Probation
  • Report to Substance Abuse Assessment Unit
  • Enroll in the First Conviction Program
  • Attend MADD class
  • If court ordered attend AA Class

Your Driver’s License will be taken by the Arresting Officer and returned to the DMV.  Your Driver’s License will be returned to you at some point depending on the outcome of your case in the Superior Court.   The Driver’s License could be suspended or restricted for a period of time.   If you need your Driver’s License for your job things are going to get very difficult for you for a while.   If you need to travel on an airplane  you must have a government issued I.D. like a Passport or California I.D. issued by the DMV.  Getting a document notarized will be very difficult without a Driver’s License, Passport or California ID unless you have a Military ID, County or State Government ID or an inmate wristband in jail.

Before you decide to get into your vehicle to drive after having a few drinks with friends and family this holiday season,  think about the consequences of your actions.  You could be spending the holidays in jail because you were arrested for a DUI.  Or worse, your family will be planning your funeral and grieving your loss because you were killed in an accident due to drunk driving.   Please don’t drink and drive.   If you go out make sure you have a Designated Driver who won’t be drinking.  Or take a taxi home.    Play it safe so everyone can be home for the holidays.

Related Articles:

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Chapter 25 / Warning! Your Arrest is on the Internet

Anyone arrested in the United States needs to fear the Internet.  In the past your arrest record was a private matter and law enforcement only had access to this information.  People with arrest records could seamlessly travel through communities without having to reveal their past brushes with the law.  Unless you were wanted for a felony and you ended up on a Most Wanted website your secret was safe with law enforcement in the jurisdiction where you committed the crime. After a criminal case is dismissed some people move to another city and try to start their lives over again. Completing a job application wasn’t a problem since the arrest information may have been expunged or removed from court records in the jurisdiction of the crime.  Piece of cake, right?   Wrong.

Thanks to the Internet several new websites have started popping up on the first page of Google.  Do a search with the keywords of the name of the person and the word “arrested.”  Your arrest information is on the Internet and there isn’t a thing you can do to get it removed.  Its public record.  Here’s a few sites that share your darkest secret and keep sharing it for at least 6 months or more after your arrest.

In some jurisdictions your mug shot is on this website with the charges. offers a free notification service if any of your friends on Facebook are arrested. The data base is extensive and growing. The bottom line is if you break the law and get arrested the information will end up on the Internet.  Is there anything you can do to prevent the websites from sharing your arrest(s)?  No.  The information is public record and the website isn’t breaking the law by publishing the arrest(s).  Can you pay them to remove the information?  Nope.  I guess this a form of payback by society for breaking the law.  Many small towns have Police Blotters where they publish all calls to the local police station.  Jay Leno has routinely read some of the more bizarre and humorous calls to small town police stations.   Dog the Bounty Hunter has written a book entitled “You Can Run But You Can’t Hide” which is available on In the past the greatest fear to anyone arrested was the Bounty Hunter if they decided to run.  Now the greatest fear for the arrestee is the information can be found online after being released from jail and months later. What if the case isn’t filed?  Doesn’t matter. Websites that display arrests don’t track the cases.

A disclaimer is on their websites about being innocent until proven guilty. Doesn’t matter when your information is on the Internet and the entire world can see you were arrested for a DUI, Domestic Violence, Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance, Drunk in Public, Elder Abuse, Receiving Stolen Property, etc  in the past 6 months or more. Landlords can view these websites before renting apartments to prospective tenants. Good luck trying to find a place to live once you’ve been arrested and the information is all over the Internet. Prospective employers can view these websites before hiring anyone. You’re boxed in if you’ve been arrested in 2012. You no longer can break the law and keep it a secret. You can run but you can’t hide from the Internet websites that track arrests.  Feels like the Nathaniel Hawthorne book “The Scarlet Letter” we all read in high school.   The letter “A” truly has new meaning once you’ve been arrested. How can you avoid ending up on one of these arrest websites?  I think you know the answer.  Don’t get arrested.


Chapter 24 / San Diego’s Dirtiest Little Secret? Revolving Door at Jails

When someone is arrested the jail will take away all of your property including your cell phone.   Unless you have phone numbers memorized its going to be a very long stay in jail.   Several years ago I did a story with Consumer Bob at NBC 7 about the importance of memorizing phone numbers.

Since we did this story the jail phones in San Diego County Jails can call 619 area code cell phone numbers. If you’re calling a cell phone outside the 619 area code the person receiving the call must give their credit card or debit card number to PCS before the call will go through.  In addition,  I’ve noticed several of my clients have phone numbers written on their hands because the arresting officer allowed them to write phone numbers before they took away their cell phones.  It’s almost like a game of cat and mouse when it comes to getting arrested.  If you’re nice to the arresting officer and cooperate in most cases the officer will allow you the opportunity to jot down some phone numbers or even your credit card number, expiration date and 3 digit code off the back of the card.  What happens when you don’t have any phone numbers memorized or the arresting officer refuses to give you the chance to jot down some numbers?  Plan B.  Once the inmate is inside a jail cell with phones the best thing he or she can do is call a Bail Bond Agent.  The members of the Bail Agents Association of San Diego County, Inc are on a jail card by each phone in the jail cells. When an inmate calls me from a San Diego County Jail I treat each call as an emergency where someone is in trouble and needs my help.  Without any phone numbers it makes it more difficult but not impossible to get them out of jail.  The key is communication when someone is trying to bail out of jail. When an inmate calls a bail bond agency it’s very important that they remember who they called and stick with ONE agency. When an inmate calls multiple bail bond agencies it turns into a huge mess.  Case in point.  An inmate called me to bail out of jail.  The inmate requests that I call his parents to bail him out.  I call the parents and begin the process of bailing out their son.  Several hours pass while the inmate is being processed and no one hears from the inmate again.  Inmates cannot receive phone calls or messages because the jail is not a hotel.  So we must wait to hear from the inmate. Since there’s no communication between the inmate and the people trying to help them things can get complicated if multiple bail bond agencies were called by the inmate.  Or friends tried to bail out this inmate.  Or other relatives tried to bail out this inmate.  Talk about a communication breakdown.   Once the inmate “Clears” on the San Diego Sheriff’s website a bond can be posted for the inmate:

The Bail Agent you selected goes to the jail to post the bond.  The clerk at the jail looks at the bond and says, “sorry, this bond was already posted.” WHAT???? This happens every day in San Diego. The reason? Communication breakdown.  The jail clerk cannot tell you who posted the bond.  So now you have to get your money back from the bail bond agency you paid and wait for your friend or loved one to get released.  Upon release the inmate is given a piece of paper with the court date and the name of the bail bond agency that posted the bond.  Lately in San Diego this has become a very common occurrence.  HUNGRY bail bond agencies are posting bail bonds without any money, without a signed Bail Bond Indemnity Agreement, without collateral and no co-signer. This is what we call HIGH RISK bail and in many cases these defendants disappear which creates more warrants for San Diego County.

This simple task of posting bail for a loved one or friend has turned into a major headache.  Now you’re at the mercy of the bail bond agency that posted the bond.  Why? Whoever posts the bond first gets the bond in San Diego.  I hate to say it but it’s turned into a big joke.  San Diego’s dirtiest little secret.  The majority of bail bonds written in San Diego County are probably on credit and financed by a handful of bail bond agencies with a staff of Bounty Hunters and a Collections Dept.  The BIG bail bond agencies are making this into a game.  The agency that posts the most bonds wins?  Wins what?   Its public record the number of bonds posted by bail bond agencies.   About 3 bail bond agencies in San Diego County write over 300 bonds per month while the majority of the bail bond agencies write less than 50 bonds per month.   Many bonds are being posted without any money. In some cases inmates are prompted by rogue bail bond agents to “work the room” for them. The more inmates they get to use this bail bond agency the bigger the “discount” for the inmate working the room for their own bond. This activity is against the law and if the bail bond agency is caught soliciting in this fashion they can be prosecuted and lose their bail license. The difficult part is catching the rogue bail bond agencies in the act. If your friend or loved one was bailed out by a bail bond agency that you didn’t select let me know . Or contact the California Dept of Insurance . The right to post bail bonds at San Diego County Jails is a privilege and this privilege can be taken away if a licensed agent breaks the law.  If we lost the right to post bail bonds at our jails everyone would have to come up with the entire amount of the bail which would cut the number of inmates released while they await trial.  Or the nonviolent inmates would be released with GPS Electronic Ankle Bracelets which we know don’t work when the inmate cuts the bracelet off.

The answer is clean up the bail bond industry in California.   So how can you avoid being the victim of a bail bond agency posting a bond for your friend or loved one without your knowledge or consent?

  1. Find out if the inmate called anyone about being arrested and in jail.  Including relatives, friends or bail bond agencies.
  2. If the inmate states he/she called a bail bond agency ask them the name of the agency.
  3. If the inmate called other friends or relatives get their names and phone numbers.
  4. Contact anyone the inmate called to find out if the bond is being posted when the inmate clears.

Sadly this is a sign of our times.  Money is tight and bail bond agencies are fighting over bail bonds.  Many agencies are posting bonds in violation of their Rate Filing Fee which puts public safety at risk.  Dangerous inmates are walking out of jail without paying the standard 10% premium and securing the bonds with a co-signer or collateral depending on the size of the bond.

With AB109 many inmates are walking out of jail early with a GPS Electronic Bracelet and no bail bond.

The crime in San Diego has increased if you watch the news.   The number of robberies at convenience stores and home invasions are up.  Why?  The criminals have a revolving door to San Diego County Jails.   Unless  the taxpayers of this community speak up against the rogue bail bond agencies and find a way to raise money for privatizing our jails the risk of crime will only increase in San Diego County.    We can do something but it will take a grass-roots effort from this community.     Here’s a list of suggestions of how we can correct the bail bond industry in San Diego County:

Get some laws on the books to prevent bail bonds from being posted at San Diego County Jails unless:

  • The premium is collected prior to the bond being accepted at San Diego County Jails
  • The licensed Bail Agent must  give the name and phone number of the person requesting the bail bond
  • A Bail Bond Indemnity Agreement must be signed by the inmate before posting the bond if the inmate “self bails”
  • If the bond is too large and a bond is being financed 50% of the premium must be collected up front and the balance paid in full within 12 months

If we don’t get a handle on the way business is being conducted at our jails the number of crimes will only continue to grow.   The revolving door to our jails must be stopped.  Bail Bond Agencies need to be policed by the California Dept of Insurance. Commissioner Dave Jones we’re calling upon you to start enforcing current laws on the books and help create new laws to insure public safety in the state of California.

Chapter 23 / No Longer Business as Usual

You probably thought only criminals get arrested until the phone rings in the middle of the night and your son or daughter tells you they’re in jail.  No one ever thinks their son or daughter will get arrested until you get “that” call.  The first thing that runs through your head is “how am I going to get my son or daughter out of jail?”  There’s no training for this drill.  We didn’t have this class in school growing up.  Where do you start?   Who should you call?   In San Diego we are truly blessed to have the Bail Agents Association of San Diego County, Inc.   Members of the Bail Agents Association of San Diego County, Inc. are carefully screened.  Here’s the criteria:

  • Current Bail Agent License thru the California Dept of Insurance
  • Name of the agency authorized by the California Dept of Insurance
  • Physical office address in San Diego County
  • Phone number verified with the physical billing address
  • Physical address verified against the address given to the San Diego County Superior Courts
  • Member in Good Standing

Before you Google or go to the Yellow Pages print or online  and select the bail bond agency that brags about being the biggest bail bond agency in the world do your homework.   If the bail bond agency doesn’t have an office in San Diego the service could be inferior compared to an agency with an agent that physically lives and works in San Diego.  No one knows how the San Diego County Jails run better than the Bail Agents that actually live and work in San Diego County. When your son or daughter is sitting in a jail cell the minutes seem like hours. You don’t have time to waste verifying where a bail bond agency is located and if the person on the other end of the phone line is actually a Licensed California Bail Agent.   So how do you find a Bail Agent in San Diego besides using the Bail Agents Association of San Diego County, Inc. membership list? Many bail bond agencies in L.A. and outside of California figured out a way to trick the consumers into thinking the agency is in San Diego by using the San Diego area codes (619), (858) and (760) with their phone numbers.  Don’t be fooled.   Click on this link:

When you’re searching for a Bail Agent in San Diego ask the person that answers the phone these questions:

  1. Are you a licensed Bail Agent in California?
  2. What is your license number?  (you can verify the license at the following link:$.startup
  3. Is the license number valid and current?   Does the license number match the name of the person you’re speaking to on the phone?
  4. Do they have a physical address in San Diego?

Time is critical now and you really don’t need any added frustration with a bail bond agency out-of-state or in Los Angeles scrambling to find an agent in San Diego to post a bond for them. You’re a consumer and you have the ability to choose any bail bond agency you want and you expect good service.   I hear all the time from my clients that they called a bail bond agency and they refused to help them.   My approach to each call is no different from a 911 operator.   When you have an emergency and you call 911 can you imagine if the operator said “I can’t help you” and hangs up?   Well, that’s exactly what happens when people call bail bond agencies that can’t be bothered with doing a little extra work to earn the premium.  When you call Bail Bond Woman you get a Bail Agent that treats every call as an emergency.   I make the effort to help people when their loved one is in trouble.   If the family or friends can afford to bail out a loved one I will personally go to the jail and post the bond.  There will be times I can’t bail out an inmate because the bail amount is too high or there’s some sort of Hold placed on the inmate.  It’s about giving hope to family members and figuring out a way to communicate with their loved one if they can’t afford the bail.  I believe in quality vs quantity.  Many bail bond agencies in San Diego believe this is some sort of competition.  The agency that writes the most bail bonds in a day wins.  Wins what?  Makes more money?  Wins some sort of bragging rights?  Do you know who the loser is in this competition?   Your loved one.  While the BIG bail bond agencies are juggling a dozen bonds at a time with maybe 1 or 2 agents in their office your loved one or friend is sitting in jail. The person that gets short-changed is your loved one.  While they’re busy talking on the phone to other clients or inmates from the jail your loved one is waiting for their bond to be posted.  Do you think your loved one is the only bond they’re working on?  Not if it’s a BIG bail bond agency.  Sometimes smaller is better.  You’ll get personalized service and more than likely your loved one will be out of custody faster because the bond is posted as soon as they Clear on the Sheriff’s website.

Once you select a bail bond agency and you feel comfortable with your choice the Bail Agent will get you through the process. Bail Bond Woman will keep you informed every step of the way including when the bond is actually posted.  We’re in this together until the case comes to some closure.  It’s not just about posting the bond and getting your loved one out of jail.  No one ever expects to get that phone call from a loved one that they’ve been arrested.   However, you can expect to find someone willing to help you no matter what time of the day or night.  And that’s Bail Bond Woman.

Chapter 22 / Who is in Jail in San Diego? (

Chapter 22 / Who’s in Jail in San Diego?

Who’s in jail in San Diego?  Or should I say who isn’t in jail in San Diego?  Sheriff Gore announced on April 27, 2012 the San Diego County Jails are almost full.   San Diego County has 7 detention facilities with a maximum capacity of 5,600 inmates.   As of last week we  have 4,922 inmates in custody in San Diego County.   The inn is almost full.   Thank you AB109 the law requiring local jails to keep the convicted nonviolent felons in county jails versus sending them off to prison.    The criminal justice system in California has changed due to the overcrowding in the California prisons.   The U.S. Supreme Court ordered California to correct the overcrowding in the prisons within a set time period.    We have until the middle of 2013 to complete this monumental task.   In the mean time what happens now?    Inmates arrested for some “misdemeanors” will basically be cited and notified when they will need to appear in court and won’t be going to jail.  What happens if you FTA or Fail to Appear?   Warrant for your arrest.  See Chapter 8.  The Cure of Warrants.

If you’re arrested for any of the following charges you’re still going to jail.   No “get out of jail free” for these offenses.

bail bonds San Diego

  • DUI’s
  • Suspicion of Annoying or Molesting Children
  • Violation of Probation
  • Domestic Violence
  • Sex Offender Registration Violations

How do you find out if your loved one is in a San Diego County Jail?   Click on this link:

Type in the last name and then the first name of the inmate.   Then click Look Up.   If you see your friend or loved one’s name they’re in a San Diego County Detention Facility.  Click on their name and an Inmate Detail with their personal information will come up on the screen.    Here’s a list of information you’ll be able to view:

  • Personal Information about the Inmate
  • Housing Location (Detention Facility with links for directions, address, visiting schedule)
  • Services (Email this Inmate, Schedule a Visit with this Inmate, Commissary and Register with Vinelink for status Notification of this Inmate)
  • Arrest Information (Arresting Agency, Date and Time of Booking)
  • Bail Information  (Eligible for Bail, Not Eligible for Bail in Process, Not Eligible for Release, No Bail)
  • Release (Sentenced? and Projected Release Date)
  • Case / Charge Information (Case Number, Charge(s), Code, Code Description, Court Location, Court Date, Court Time, Charge Class (Felony or Misdemeanor), Bail Amount for each charge)

If your friend or loved one cannot be bailed out of jail the Services section will be your best mode of communication with the inmate.   An inmate can receive ONE email per day.  They can receive emails but cannot respond via email.    Before anyone is allowed to email an inmate you must complete an online authorization form provided by the San Diego Sheriff.   You must complete this form and be approved before you will be allowed to email an inmate.    Debit Cards can be purchased thru the Sheriff’s website so inmates may call you without paying the higher collect call charges.   Shopping the commissary allows you to send gifts to inmates, put money on the books so they may buy items they may need or want from the commissary.   Schedule a Social Visit with the inmate thru the Sheriff’s website.    Please keep in mind if you’re going to visit an inmate at a San Diego County Detention Facility you MUST arrive 1 hour before your visit time to check in and the inmate can be brought to the Social Visit room.   I have personally seen loved ones arrive at the jail at the scheduled visit time and they were turned away by jail staff.    This can be heartbreaking for both you and the inmate.   So make sure you arrive ONE HOUR BEFORE your scheduled Social Visit time.

Due to the poor economy many inmates are in jail because friends and loved ones cannot afford the high bail amounts.    Chapter 17 Are Bail Bond Payment Plans a Good Idea?

Be very careful entering into a payment agreement with a bail bond agency.  Read the fine print.   What seems like a good idea could turn out as your worse nightmare.    I receive calls  from loved ones wanting to bail out an inmate when the bail is extremely high.   I caution these callers and suggest waiting for the Arraignment or Bail Review Hearing to try to get a reduction in the bail amount.   Many times a $100,000. bail is reduced to half or less if the defendant has no priors, employed and established in the community and not a threat to public safety.   A few nights in jail may save you thousands of dollars.   If you decide to use a bail bond agency that offers a “low down” with payments, make sure you understand how the interest rate will be computed.   I’ve heard of people paying double and triple the premium amount by the time they finish paying off the bond.    If a case is rejected by the District Attorney and you bailed out your friend or loved one the premium is still due.    The case could be dropped and you’re still on the hook for the full premium.    Buyer BEWARE.

With the criminal justice system changing in California we will see alternative forms of custody in our lifetime.   House arrests,  Electronic Monitoring Devices and maybe get a microchip implanted.    As scary as that sounds its quite possible convicted felons will have a microchip implanted in our lifetime.   Removing an Electronic Bracelet has become common practice if you’ve watched the latest video’s on YouTube:

If you think you have a loved one or friend in jail check the Sheriff’s website:

If you think you may have an Active Warrant for your arrest check the Sheriff’s website:

If you think you may have a Restraining Order or Protective Order against you check the Sheriff’s website:

If you have a current felony case with court appearances scheduled for the next 5 days here’s a link to check:,1643413&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

If you found this information helpful let me know.

Since this YouTube story aired on Channel 10 News the rules have changed at Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility.  If a bail bond is posted between the hours of 10:30pm and 6:30am an inmate may be released as long as she has a ride home with a friend or family member.   Sorry no Taxi Cabs.

Chapter 21 / DUI + INJURY = FELONY

You went out to celebrate and that involved a few drinks.   After the celebration you decided to get behind the wheel and drive home because you thought you were able to drive.  On the way home the impairment caused loss of control of the vehicle and there was a collision with another vehicle.   The driver of the other vehicle was injured and maybe there were passengers in the vehicle injured.  Maybe pedestrians were injured. When the police arrive the impaired driver is given a Sobriety Test.  If the driver blows in the Breathalyzer above .08 BAC or has their blood drawn the driver is taken into custody and charged with  23153(a) / 23153(b)VC pending the results from the blood test if the driver refused to blow.   DUI with Injury and DUI with .08% BAC with Injury.   Bail is set at $100,000. in San Diego County for these charges.   Driving is a privilege many people take for granted.  In an instant that privilege can be taken away.   Losing your drivers license is nothing compared to the felony charges facing the driver when arrested for a DUI with injury.   One impaired decision to drive after drinking alcohol can lead to sitting in jail for days, weeks, months or even years. While the driver charged with DUI w/injury is sitting in jail wishing he or she never got behind the wheel after drinking, there’s a victim suffering with physical injuries and mental anguish.

Where do you start to pick up the pieces after being arrested for Felony DUI?   The first question most people ask is “why is the bail set so high?”   The Presiding Judge and the committee of judges decide each year the bail amounts when they review the Bail Schedule.   Felony DUI is a serious charge and the court wants to insure the defendant returns to court to face the charge or charges.   What if you can’t make the $100,000. bail?   At the Arraignment you hope your attorney can get the bail amount reduced.   The court will consider many factors before reducing the bail amount.   Is this defendant a threat to public safety?   Does the defendant have ties to the county?   Has this defendant been arrested for a prior DUI or DUI’s?   The District Attorney and the attorney representing the defendant will present arguments to the judge and a decision will be made.   Depending on the defendant the bail amount could stay the same. Or the bail could be reduced. Or the bail could be raised to insure the defendant either remains in custody or will have a financial risk if he or she fails to return to the court for future court appearances. If the bail isn’t reduced at the Arraignment the defendant can request a Bail Review Hearing scheduled at a future date.   Another opportunity to try to get the bail reduced.   Once out on bail the defendant will prepare their defense with their private attorney or the Public Defender.  If the defendant cannot post bail they will remain in custody and be brought to each court appearance via transportation provided by the Sheriff’s field trip bus from jail.

Defendants able to post bail on felony charges must appear at all court appearances when ordered to do so by the court.   Even if a defendant has retained their own attorney he or she must be at all court appearances unless told by the court they do not need to appear.    California SB291 went into law on January 1, 2012.   According to District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis “this law will stop defendants from slipping out of custody and save taxpayers thousands of dollars.  It costs a lot of money to extradite defendants to face charges in San Diego County.  Every time one of them post bail and flees our jurisdiction prior to appearing in court, tax dollars are squandered.”   Senate Bill 291 sets the bail at $100,000. for a defendant who is extradited back to California to face original charges.  The $100,000. will be in addition to bail already set on the underlying charges.   Basically a bail will double in this case if the defendant were to flee on a $100,000. bail.

Depending on the outcome of the case a defendant could be looking at jail time, fines and loss of their drivers license for a set period of time.    In addition to the court costs, attorney fees, fines, restitution for the victim(s) which could include repair to their vehicle(s), insurance deductibles if your automobile insurance policy covers the property damage and medical costs for the victim(s) and costs for the vehicle driven by the defendant. If the car was towed and stored there are fees to be paid.  If the vehicle was a total loss more fees and damages to be paid.    After getting through all these damages and fees what about the employment of the defendant?  In many cases the defendant will lose their job as a result of the arrest.  A DUI with injury is a very expensive arrest with life changing consequences.    Next time you decide to go out and drink please don’t drive.    Make sure you have a designated driver or call a taxi for a ride home.   If you are too impaired to drive the end result could be deadly.

Chapter 20 / “But Officer I Blew Under .08%? Why are you Arresting Me?”

So you thought if your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is under .08% the nice police officer is going to say “thanks for blowing and have a nice day.”    Ah……….nope.   My clients have told me that they were allegedly pulled over by the police for some other vehicular issue like speeding, swerving, driving too slow, stopped over the white line of the crosswalk or a tail light was out.   Once the officer made contact with them the question of drinking came up.   The officer finds a way to ask within the first few seconds….. “have you been drinking?”   If the answer is yes the officer will request that you get out of the vehicle and undergo a sobriety test.   The officer will ask you to blow in the Breathalyzer.   No matter what you blow in the Breathalzyer it appears you’re going to jail.   Recently I had a client that blew .06% and was arrested and went to jail.   It doesn’t seem to matter what you blow.   When law enforcement determines you’ve been drinking and driving you’re going to jail.    You’re thinking….but I didn’t break the law?  Why am I going to jail?   Tell it to the judge.   Refusing to blow and allowing law enforcement to draw your blood is also a free trip to the jail since the BAC results won’t be back until your arraignment in 6 weeks.    What if you refuse to blow and refuse to have your blood drawn?   Kiss your drivers license goodbye for a year.   Wow.  Not what you expected?  Most people think they can drink a beer or a glass of wine with a meal and then get into their vehicles and drive.   Not anymore in California.   We’ve had so many victims injured or killed by drunk drivers that it appears that the State of California has mandated that if you’re stopped for drinking and driving you’re going to jail.  Just that simple.   I “assume” the reasoning for making the arrest is to get you off the road and hopefully teach you a lesson.   When you get to the court the case may or may not be filed if your BAC was below the legal limit of .08%.    By this point you’ve spent anywhere from 4 hours to 5 or more days in jail if you were unable to make bail.   In San Diego County everyone arrested for a DUI  goes to jail and has to make bail or wait for their arraignment.   Posting bail for a DUI is $2,500. for a 1st offense.   23152(a)VC is a misdemeanor and the arraignment will be in about 6 weeks if you bail out of jail prior to the arraignment.    If you’re unable to make bail the arraignment is within 3 court days which could be longer if there’s a court holiday.   For example, you’re arrested on a Friday night.   The arraignment will be either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.   With a court holiday the arraignmnet could be a day later.   So you could be in jail until Thursday if Monday was a court holiday.   About 6 days.   Look on the bright side….you’ll get credit for “time served.”

What’s the lesson you’re supposed to learn from Chapter 20?   The same lesson you’ve heard over and over and over again.   Don’t drink and drive because your judgment is impaired.   Have a Designated Driver with you or call a taxi cab to take you home.   In San Diego County if you’re pulled over by law enforcement and the officer determines that you’ve been drinking and driving you’re going to jail.   Plan on it.    To prevent being arrested for a DUI in San Diego County don’t drink and drive.   I know it sounds like a broken record but its true.    Before you go out to party for the evening establish a plan of how you’re going to get home safely.    Memorize a few phone numbers or write down a few phone numbers on your hand if you still think you can drink and drive home yourself.   When you’re arrested the phone numbers will come in handy so you can bail out of jail.   Its not “if” you’re arrested…………….its “when” you’re arrested.    Be safe.   Please don’t drink and drive.

Related You Tube Video’s:  Emily’s Story.  Arrested for 2 DUI’s.  Judge Jackie Glass of Swift Justice on Drinking and Driving.  In jail and you don’t know any phone numbers?

Helpful links:

Chapter 19 / What? The Public Defender isn’t Free?

Contrary to what you’ve seen on TV the Public Defender is not free.   What happens if you don’t retain your own attorney before your arraignment?  When you arrive to the assigned courtroom the Public Defender will meet with you and briefly go over your charges and what deal the District Attorney or ( City Attorney in San Diego Superior Court for misdemeanors) are willing to make in exchange for your plea of guilty.   The Public Defender handling your arraignment has been assigned to that courtroom and will only represent you for this appearance.   If you decide to plead not guilty at your arraignment another Public Defender will be assigned to your case.

So how much will it cost for the services of a Public Defender?  The fee for the Public Defender is determined by the information you provide on the Financial Declaration.   You must sign this declaration under penalty of perjury.   The Financial Declaration form is available thru the San Diego Superior Court website and can be filled in online and then printed.  By using the PDF fillable form provided by the San Diego Superior Court website the finished product will be neat and easily read by the court.   The key is to make sure the court can read your form.    Every penny counts when it comes to determining your “disposable income.”  

It is strongly suggested that you complete this form prior to your arraignment.   If you have access to a computer and printer complete the Financial Declaration form online and print out the form.   Don’t forget to bring the completed Financial Declaration with you to court.   Otherwise you will be given a blank Financial Declaration form and be expected to do the best you can to complete the document.   Going to court can be nerve racking and the thought of completing a Financial Declaration at this moment is just frightening to me.  I can’t remember how much I paid for my utilities last month.   Can you?   Take advantage of your time prior to your arraignment and complete the Financial Declaration.  You will benefit from having done your homework.  The amount you pay for the Public Defender is based on the income and expenses listed on your Financial Declaration.   The  fee is part of the “court costs”  determined on the last court appearance on your case and listed on your court document.

What happens if you have your own attorney?   You won’t need to complete the Financial Declaration if you have your own attorney. However, if you end up having to pay fines that need to be paid in monthly installments the court uses this form to determine your monthly payment amount.   Again, take your time.   Make sure every number on the page can be verified with statements and receipts.   The court will verify your information.   If you decide to make monthly installment payments be advised the court has several options for making payments and when the payments are due.   San Diego Superior Court does not have a COLLECTIONS DEPT.    There is no such thing as “oops, I’m sorry I was late on a payment to the San Diego Superior Court.”    Remove this from your consciousness.    By calling the court and making excuses it won’t help.   While the clerk is telling you “its ok, do the best you can”……..the BIG RED BUTTON is pushed.   Warrant for your arrest.    If you’re late on a payment start checking the Sheriff’s website for your name.   Give it a week…….you’ll be on the website.

Oh my!  Warrant for my arrest.  OMG!  Now what do you do?   You have a few choices.  See Chapter 8 “The Cure for Warrants.”    You can call me and I can clear your warrant and get you back on court calendar.   Or you can call your attorney or Public Defender to request another court appearance to clear your warrant.   Bottom line on making mistakes with payments for fines to the court………don’t be late on a payment or you get to tell the judge why you were late.    Clerks can’t clear warrants.   Once you miss a payment its back to court.   So don’t be late on a payment.  You could end up hearing the doorbell ring at 7am on a Sunday morning and a Deputy Sheriff will be standing there with handcuffs waiting to take you back to jail.   And you’re going to jail in whatever you’re wearing at the time.   I’ve bailed people out in their pajama’s many times.    Don’t let this happen to you.

If you have appeared in court and the judge/commissioner has ordered you to pay a fine you may choose to pay the fine using one of the following options:

  • Online: (click Pay Fineto begin now).
  • Automated Telephone System To Pay Fine:(619-906-5888)
  • Mail: Send a check or money order payable to “San Diego Superior Court” along with your Notice of Payment Due to the court address on the notice.
  • Fax: Fax completed Notice of Payment Due to the appropriate office location.
  • Express Drop Box: Most locations provide an Express Drop Box where you may submit your payment with the notice.
  • In Person: Appear at the appropriate office locationduring normal business hours.
  • Phone: Call the appropriate office location during normal business hours.

You may use a credit card for all of the methods of payment above.

Chapter 18 / To Blow or Not To Blow?

Every client I bail out of jail for a DUI asks me the same question.  “Should I have blown or not?”   I’m not a lawyer and I cannot give legal advice.  The choice to blow is a subjective question that only you can answer.  Making the decision to drive after drinking is an impaired decision.   The thought process to blow or not to blow is also impaired.   Let’s make up a scenario and try to walk through it together.    You go out to dinner with friends and have a few drinks.  You ate some food and its been a few hours since your last drink.   You’re thinking driving shouldn’t be a problem since you’re only a few miles from your home.    The clock starts ticking when you enter your vehicle, place the keys in the ignition, turn on the vehicle and then start driving.    You’re fair game for a police officer to pull you over and conduct a sobriety test which may include blowing in a Breathalyzer to determine your BAC (Blood  Alcohol Concentration).   If you’ve never taken a sobriety test or seen it conducted on TV or in a movie it’s very difficult when you’re impaired.    The police officer will ask you to touch your nose, walk in a straight line or maybe say the alphabet backwards.   The Breathalyzer test has been added to help law enforcement in making a determination of what your BAC is at the time of your arrest.   In California it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08% or more, .04% for commercial vehicle drivers and .01% if the driver is under 21.

What are your choices in California when you’re pulled over by law enforcement?   Each time a Californian renews their driver’s license with the DMV (Dept of Motor Vehicles) a driver is required to confirm and agree to the following disclosure:

I agree to submit to a chemical test of my blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the alcohol or drug content of my blood when testing is requested by a peace officer acting in accordance with Vehicle Code 23137 or 23157.

I understand that if I’m under 21 years of age, I cannot legally drive with a BAC of .01% or more.  Driving with a BAC of .01% or more, refusing to take, or failing to complete an alcohol screening or drug test, results in a one-year suspension of my driving privilege.

I understand that the DMV will add convictions reported by other states/ licensing authorities to my driving record, which may result in sanctions against my California driving privilege pursuant to the applicable sections of the California Vehicle Code.

If you refuse to blow and have your blood drawn you’re going to jail because the blood test results won’t be available until the date of the arraignment several weeks later.   If you blow in the Breathalyzer and your BAC is .08% or more you’re going to jail.   When you’re pulled over for a DUI plan on going to jail.  It’s just that simple.

As I Googled the reliability of Breathalyzer tests I noticed that many of the articles stated body temperature, environmental agents and body chemistry can effect the outcome of the test.

According to Lawrence Taylor, California DUI Attorney and Author,  he wrote on his blog, “Why Do Police Always Destroy Breathalyzer Evidence?”   Taylor’s website is packed with information, links to useful websites and a DUI video library.  Check it out.

Back to the original question.  Should I blow or not if I’m pulled over for a DUI?   Do your homework and read about the Breathalyzer test and then make the decision based on your interpretation of the equipment.

We don’t live in a perfect world and people make mistakes.  Drinking and driving is a mistake that will change your life forever.    When you see the red lights flashing in your rear view mirror there’s little time to think clearly how you’re going to handle this police officer.    By the time you’re pulled over and stepping out of your car for a sobriety test it’s too late to find a designated driver or take a taxi home.   The police officer will give you an opportunity to blow in the breathalyzer.   The decision to blow or not to blow is in your hands.   Only you know how much you had to drink.   The best way to avoid a DUI is don’t drink and drive.

When someone just can’t stop drinking and driving the next step is the Ignition Interlock Device.  A voluntary step to prevent a driver from operating their vehicle if their BAC is over the legal limit.  An impaired driver is a threat to themselves and public safety.   If you can’t stop drinking this might be your last chance before you lose your driving privileges.   Perhaps in the very near future the courts will mandate the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device after the first DUI conviction to make sure you can’t drive impaired again.

Judge Jackie Glass and her Swift Justice “Final Thoughts” on drinking and driving.  Thank you Judge Glass.

What are the most serious consequences of a DUI conviction?

Chapter 17 / Are Bail Bond Payment Plans a Good Idea?

Do you think bail bond payment plans are a good idea?  Back in the stone age when I got my Bail Agent license everyone charged the same amount and the premium was collected in full before we posted the bond.  This was the intent of bail in the first place to make sure the defendant would return to court for all the appearances.  That’s the way things used to work. Not anymore.  A handful of greedy bail bond agencies decided they were going to shake things up in hope of squeezing out all the little bail bond agencies.   The big bail bond agencies decided to offer payment plans.  Like buying furniture or a car on credit.   The only difference is the penalty for missing your payments.  Some of these bail bond agencies started sending out thugs in the dark of the night to show up at the homes of people who owed money on their bail bonds.  Dressed in combat clothing and armed with weapons.  Collection people harassing you with daily phone calls is nothing compared to armed thugs in combat gear at your door.  Imagine opening your front door and thugs demand that you pay for your bail bond or the defendant is going back to jail?  That’s right.  Going back to jail.  In some cases the thugs took the defendants back to their offices and held them there until someone paid the premium owed to the agency.     

Criminal Complaint filed on September 14, 2011 against AJ’s Bail Bonds in Modesto, CA.   

3 Bail Agents were being held on $2 Million bail for holding clients against their will for hours to extort additional payments from them according to the prosecutor in Stanislaus County Superior Court.  In August, 2006 Steven Petrilli was charged with  murdering police officer Nick Birco.   Petrilli was out on 2 financed bail bonds.    First Degree Murder suspect Robert Dean Hall was able to bail out on a financed bail bond. 

Selami Ozdemir was able to post a no-money down $25,000. bail bond and within a few hours shot his wife to death and then killed himself.  

Still think payment plans are a good idea?  Many bail bond agencies charge excessive interest rates for bail bonds on payment plans.  I’ve heard of interest rates higher than credit card interest rates.  The interest on a bail bond is compounded daily or per annum.  Depending on the interest rate set by the bail bond agency the interest could be as much as double the premium for the bond.  Let’s say the bond is $50,000.  The Premium on this bond is $5,000.  At an 18% interest rate you could end up paying $15.000. for $5,000. in premium for your $50,000. bond.  You could have bought a car for the length of time it will take you to pay off this bond.   These bail bond agencies figure if you don’t have a credit card they can charge whatever interest rate they want because you have no choice.   If you want your loved one out of jail you’ll agree to just about anything.   All you want is to get your loved one out of jail and a simple down payment of $750 on a $50,000. bond with $5,000. premium sounds real tempting.   The “Walmart” of bail bond agencies uses this tactic on a daily basis.  Before you know it you’re signing documents for a payment plan that will last an eternity.  And they won’t let you out of this debt.  These bail bond agencies will sue you and get a judgment.  Their collection people will hound you until you agree to pay them off.  They will come to your home in the dark of the night to collect their money.    I’m willing to bet the case against your loved one will be over long before you ever finish making the payments on the bail bond premium.  The threat of returning your loved one back to jail is over once the bond is exonerated. Did you know a bail bond agency cannot return a defendant back to jail if the reason is unpaid premium.  This is a civil matter.  Therefore, any bail bond agency that threatens to return your loved one back to jail for failure to make payments on the premium is being dishonest.  What if you bail someone out of jail and agree to a lengthy payment plan and the case is rejected and not filed?  You’re still on the hook for the FULL premium + interest to the bail bond agency and the case was dropped by the court.  Too bad.  The bail bond agency still gets their money plus the interest you agreed to pay before the bond was posted.   So what happens if you stop making the payments once the case is over?  If the premium owed is $5,000 or less (in California) the bail bond agency can sue you in Small Claims Court or a TV court like @SwiftJusticeTV .  A judge will more than likely rule in favor of the bail bond agency as long as they have documentation proving there was a contract for the full amount owed signed by both parties.  At this point you can expect a judgment against you for the money owed on the bail bond plus court costs which will affect your credit.  What a nightmare! What about public safety?   When a person charged with a violent felony charge or charges is released from jail on a bail bond where they paid next to nothing down… safe do you feel?   There have been several cases in the news where a defendant bailed out of jail with a small amount down and offended again.  Case in point Maurice Clemmons and 4 police officers are dead.

Pierce County Sheriff's Department mugshot of ...

How do you get your loved one out of jail if you can’t afford the premium on the bond?  If the bail amount is $25,000. the premium is $2,500.   Most bail bond agencies will require at least 50% down and allow you to make payments on the other half over a set time as long as the indemnitor owns a house.  The house will be used as collateral to insure the premium is paid and secure the bond.    Many bail bond agencies like Bail Bond Woman don’t charge interest on the premium owed on a bail bond.   Shop around until you find an agency that doesn’t charge interest.   The amount of money you save is worth your time.  What agencies should you avoid?

  • Avoid bail bond agencies that say  “ZERO DOWN”
  • Avoid bail bond agencies that say “little or nothing down”
  • Avoid bail bond agencies that say they offer “payment plans with low-interest rates”

What if you don’t have the 50% down required for the bond?   Wait until the arraignment and hope for a bail reduction.   If the bail isn’t reduced at the arraignment your attorney will request a Bail Review Hearing.  When the charges are serious the bail amounts are higher.   In some cases the bail is just too high and your loved one will have to stay in jail.  

Final thoughts on bail bond payment plans.  Buyer beware of payment plans that are too good to be true.  If you think the bail bond premium needs to be 10% and no discounts for any reason…. please write to your congressman.    If you think  bail bond agencies offering payment plans should be required to collect at least 50% down and collateral should be mandatory when making payments….. please write to your congressman.  If you think the premium should be collected and a contract signed before a bond is posted….please write to your congressman.  In San Diego we have bail bond agencies that post bail bonds with a simple phone call from the jail inmate.  On a promise to pay when they get out of jail.  I doubt the drafters of the 8th Amendment would be very happy with these bail bond agencies.   If you want to put a stop to this kind of freestyle posting of bail bonds…please write to your congressman.   A bill made its way around Sacramento on bail and payment plans a while back.  The bill was defeated because the lobbyists representing the big bail bond agencies and sureties made sure the law didn’t pass.   Still think payment plans are a good idea?


Chapter 16 / When is it Time to Step Up to the Plate?

Stepping up to the plate and admitting guilt before taking the time to speak to an attorney can have unforeseen consequences.   There’s a very fine line of when to take ownership of your actions once you’ve entered the criminal justice system .   When is it time to admit we made a mistake and we’re ready to suffer the consequences of our actions?    I will differ this one directly to your attorney that represents you in your criminal case.   

Growing up we were taught to take responsiblity when we make a mistake.   An example might be in 3rd grade you threw a ball into a neighbors window and broke the glass.   Do you run and hire an attorney before you admit you threw the ball that broke the window?  Probably not.  Would you tell your parents before going over to the neighbor’s house?   Maybe.   Having your parents doing the talking when you’re so young is always a good idea.   Parents always know the right words to say and make it seem like you knew the consequences of your actions.   And of course your parents will offer to pay for the repairs and guarantee you’re going to be punished.    Well, that’s kind of how the criminal justice system works with one huge exception.   As adults when we make a mistake that can result in criminal charges we don’t leave the scene to get our parents or an attorney.    For example, you’re driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and you hit some parked cars.   Leaving the scene to get your parents or attorney will lead to hit and run charges.  A felony.   Once laws are allegedly broken your actions are documented every step of the way by the arresting police officer in their police report.    This same arresting officer will give you an opportunity to give a voluntary statement about the charges you’ve been accused of at this point.   Now what do you do?  Step up to the plate and admit everything??  Think long and hard about everything you say and do from this point forward.    The arresting officer will place handcuffs on your wrists and drive you to the jail no matter what you say in your voluntary statement.    I hear all the time from my clients that police officers say it will help their case if they admit to the charges at the time of the arrest.    Have you ever seen that help in a criminal case you’ve seen on TV?    It’s a natural human response to just start talking when under stress.   Will the arresting officer add more charges if you don’t admit to the charges?  Doubtful.  I have heard from many attorneys they wish their clients had waited to talk about their case in the privacy of their offices.  The problem with hindsight is…. its hindsight.  

No one can tell you what to do when its 3am and you’re standing on the side of the road doing a sobriety test with a police officer.   The key is be prepared for anything that happens in your life.   How can you prepare for getting arrested?   Does that sound absolutely ridiculous?   We didn’t have this class in high school.   Maybe we need this class taught in high school so our young adults understand the consequences of their actions.   I’ve put together a short list of things to have with you when you’re arrested:

  1. You need to memorize at least one phone number of a friend or family member to bail you out.
  2. Write phone numbers on your hand before the arresting officer takes away your cell phone.
  3. Before the arresting officer bags up your property make sure your wallet with your Debit or Credit Card is in the bag going with you to the jail.
  4. Try to remember the name of the arresting officer and the location of the arrest if your car is left at the scene.
  5. When the officer asks you to give a voluntary statement remember its VOLUNTARY
  6. Once in custody stay focused on getting out of custody as soon as possible to properly prepare to defend yourself against the charges brought against you.   
  7. The advice attorneys always give their criminal case clients is don’t discuss your case with anyone except them. 

Back to the original question.  Is there ever a time to admit you broke the law and take ownership of your actions?   Listen to your attorney that represents you in your criminal case.    That’s why you have an attorney.   Their job is to protect you and make sure you understand the charges and the consequences of owning the charges brought against you.

Chapter 15 / How to Select a Bail Bond Agency

A bail bond agency calls to bail out your loved one.    How do you know the caller is really calling from a bail bond agency?  Ask the caller for their first and last name.  Ask them to spell their name.  In California licensed Bail Agents can be found on the California Dept of Insurance website.    

If the person calling you is a licensed California Bail Agent their name and license number will be on this website.  You can see the name of their bail bond agency and how long they’ve been in business.    

What if your loved one calls you from jail and requests that you bail them out?  How do you find a bail bond agency?  Go to a website such as (Yellow Pages) and type in bail bonds for the city and state where you live.  Keep in mind if you do a Google search the bail bond agencies that will be listed on the first page paid thousands of dollars to be there and may not even have an office in the city where you live.    Chances are you’re calling a large agency with an answering service that will forward your call to an agent hundreds or thousands of miles away.    Do you really want this kind of service?    I doubt it.

San Diego County Jails have a card in each jail cell with the names of all the bail bond agencies that belong to the Bail Agents Association of San Diego County.     Each agency has been thoroughly checked and must meet certain criteria to be on this card.   The bail bond agencies on the jail cards must have an office in San Diego County,  the owner of the agency must be a licensed Bail Agent in California and a member of the association in good standing.  The employees of agencies that belong to the association must be licensed Bail Agents in California.   These jail cards are updated each year.     

How do you know if the bail bond agency is a good agency?    When you’re trying to bail someone out of jail every minute counts and you don’t have very much time for a thorough investigation.   Here’s a list of a few things you should look for before making your choice.

1. Do they have a website?   Go to their website.   Is their Insurance License prominently displayed on their website?   

By law in California licensed Bail Agents must have their license number on all advertising.  Including business cards, websites and phone book ads.

2.  Is the agency listed on or ?  Customer Reviews on Yelp are filtered by their staff.   Do  the Customer Reviews appear to be written by real customers?    Look at the dates on the reviews.  Read the names of the people that wrote the reviews.   Real customers won’t use their real names for a bail bond.  Many people will make up a nickname.  If they were all written within a few days or weeks they’re probably fake.  Duplicate reviews by the same name usually indicates a fake review.    Don’t be fooled by agencies that try to move up in rankings on search engines with fake customer reviews.    Most people can tell if the customer review is fake and written by the agency.

3.  Look for experience.   A Bail Agent licensed for over 10 years is a good sign. 

4.  Just because a bail bond agency spends thousands of dollars on advertising doesn’t make it a good agency.   Do you think because they have a full-page ad in the Yellow Pages they’re a good agency?    Not necessarily.    What kind of service do you think you’re going to get with a big bail bond agency that has TV commercials, radio commercials,  billboards, bus stop benches, full-page ads in the phone books?     Chances are pretty good their phones are ringing off the hook and they have a minimal number of people working in their office juggling phone calls and bonds.   The person that negotiates a bond must be licensed.   How many licensed agents do you think work between Midnight and 8am?   Whose the loser?   The person in jail getting short-changed because their time in jail is increased while the big bail bond agency is trying to handle their phone calls and people coming into their offices to be processed.       Still think bigger is always better?

5.  Beware of bail bond agencies that offer to discount or undercut other agencies to get your business.   Each bail bond agency in California has a rate filing and in most cases the premium is 10% of the total bail amount.     If an agency offers to write a bond for 5% or less be careful.   The agent may not be licensed or is willing to lose their license to get your business.   Any bail bond agency that charges less than their rate filing is breaking the law.    If you know the premium is being discounted and you get caught the consequences will be severe for the agent, the agency and you as the client.    The agent could lose their license, be arrested and pay a fine.    The defendant could be taken back into custody and the bail could be enhanced as a result of this criminal act.       The client could be subject to criminal charges of conspiracy to commit fraud.    Trying to save money with a bail bond is a big mistake.     The California Dept of Insurance is actively investigating bail bond agencies advertising “little or nothing down.”     Buyer beware.    

6.  Back to the California Dept of Insurance website.     Look carefully at all the information about the agency.   Look at the address of the agency.   Length of time they’ve been in business is important.   Look at the number of Sureties that have appointed this agent or agency.    This is another red flag.    If you see an agent or agency jumping from Surety to Surety that would be a red flag.     Why do they need to keep changing Sureties?  (a Surety is the insurance company that underwrites the bail bonds for the agent or agency).

7.  Make sure the bail bond agency that you call actually has an agent that lives in the city where your loved one is in custody.   And not just a “posting agent.”    Definition of posting agent is a person that merely takes the bond to the jail.  You won’t have any interaction with this person.   Many bail bond agencies claim to have offices all over California.  When in fact they’re in L.A. or even outside of California and using fake phone numbers with area codes for your city.  Another clue about a bail bond agency that operates in one city and claims to be EVERYWHERE is the information they tell you.  Did the agency tell you they were in contact with the jail in San Diego?  Or they need to gather information from the jail?    This is “double talk” for scrambling to find someone to post the bond for them in San Diego.    The San Diego County Jails are set up to be “user friendly” for the general public, attorneys and bail bond agencies.    Everything you need to know can be found on the San Diego Sheriff’s website.   Check the Sheriff’s website yourself.  The process is 4-10 hours before an inmate is cleared for a bond and eligible for release in most cases.   No smoke and mirrors in San Diego.     A bail bond agency in Los Angeles has no idea how we operate in San Diego and will keep feeding you misinformation while they scramble to find someone to post your bond.   If that’s the kind of business you’re looking for I wish you luck.   Most people prefer working with a licensed Bail Agent from start to finish.   Not a drive through bail bond agency where you pay your money and hope when you call them again they know you and something about your case.   

 When you call Bail Bond Woman you’re getting a California licensed Bail Agent since 1996.    I physically live in San Diego and when you call Bail Bond Woman you’re speaking to the actual Bail Agent that will go to the San Diego County Jail and meet your loved one.    Not a posting agent that will post the bond and leave.     The relationship starts with a bail bond and doesn’t end until the case is closed.    Visit my website   you will see my license number is prominently displayed.     If you click on this link  you can see my name, address, how long I’ve been licensed and the dba Bail Bond Woman was approved in 1998.      I was appointed by Safety National Casualty Corporation in 2002.    Read the Customer Reviews     The customers that wrote these reviews wanted others to know the type of service you can expect when you call Bail Bond Woman.   

The trauma of learning your loved one has been arrested is overwhelming.   Having to deal with an inferior bail bond agency is the last thing you need at this difficult time.    Do your homework before you decide what bail bond agency to use.

Chapter 14 / Immigration Hold Disaster

You just visited the Sheriff’s website and found your loved one in jail. 

When you see the name of your loved one,  click on the name to see a pop up window with the Inmate Detail.    Go down the page to the bail information.   If  you see “Not Eligible for Release” this means the inmate is still being processed.    From the time an inmate arrives to the time they clear could take 4-10 hours on average.     Once the inmate clears the bail information will change to “Eligible for Release” and the bail amount will be displayed.   What happens if the inmate isn’t eligible for release? What if there’s a HOLD placed on the inmate?    What causes a Hold?    Violation of Parole or Probation can cause a Hold on an inmate.  You might see “State Parole Hold” on the inmate detail.   These inmates cannot be bailed out.

What about an Immigration Hold?      If an inmate cannot prove they are in the United States legally the “ICE” or Immigration Customs Enforcement officer assigned to each San Diego County Jail has the authority to place a hold on an inmate until the court either releases the hold or the inmate is taken to a Federal Detention facility and goes through further proceedings to decide if the inmate will be deported, held or released.     During the past year the number of Immigration Holds have increased due to the fact that ICE Agents are placed at each San Diego County Jail 7 days a week and 24 hours per day.   Every inmate is screened for documents which prove they’re in the U.S. legally or haven’t violated the Visa Waiver they signed when they entered the U.S. agreeing not to break any laws while in the U.S. as a guest of this country.   Visit the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security website for more information about the Visa Waiver Program. 

Most people think that an Immigration Hold is something placed on a person that entered this country illegally.   Times have changed.   A student visiting from a foreign country or someone here for a vacation could find themselves in a San Diego County Jail with an Immigration Hold placed on them by merely getting arrested.     One might think a simple charge for a DUI is no big deal but you’re wrong.    If you’re a U.S. Citizen it’s a $2,500. bail for your first DUI and you’re out of jail.   If you’re here as a visitor in the U.S. it’s a $2,500 bail and an Immigration Hold placed on you because you violated the Visa Waiver you signed upon entering the U.S.    Your vacation just became your worst nightmare.    Getting arrested for a DUI has a domino effect.   If you were driving a rental car it was just towed to a storage facility for about $350 and add about $35+ per day until your rental car company retrieves it since they’re the registered owners.    Your hotel room could be a problem if you fail to return and check out on time.    Your belongings will hopefully be stored and not lost.   You can’t call home unless you know the phone numbers since they take your cell phone away from you and its an International Collect Call which will be very expensive if someone answers your call.   If you’re a student you risk being deported and kicked out of school.   Not to mention if you’re here on vacation you might miss your flight home and incur more expenses.     As you can see this has all the makings of a disaster no one ever anticipates or knows how to handle.

Can you post a bail bond for someone with an Immigration Hold?  Yes, you can post a bail bond for someone with an Immigration Hold but be aware that ICE has 48 court hours (weekends and holidays don’t count) to pick up the inmate.    If ICE doesn’t pick up the inmate (rarely) within that time period the inmate will be released out on bond.     So even though you posted a bail bond the inmate won’t be released directly from the San Diego County Jail unless ICE decides not to pick them up.    If ICE picks up the inmate from a San Diego County Jail the premium was contractually earned by the Surety for the bail bond because they were technically released from the San Diego County Jail.    Once the inmate is at a Federal Detention facility the decision to deport, release or hold the inmate is made through Immigration proceedings.  The bail bond posted for this inmate has future court date(s) for the San Diego Superior Court.   If the inmate is being held in a Federal Detention facility they cannot appear at their Superior Court proceedings.   The bail bond will forfeit and the person responsible for the bond will have to pay for any and all fees agreed to when the bond was written.  Such as court fees for the forfeiture of the bail bond and even the full amount of the bond if it goes to Summary Judgment.   If the inmate is ultimately deported the documentation from Immigration must be obtained in a timely fashion to exonerate the bond upon a motion to the court.     As you can see the situation is a gamble and could end up being very costly for the person taking financial responsibility for a bond with an Immigration Hold.    It would be in your best interest to consult with an attorney who has knowledge about immigration law before you decide to post a bail bond for someone with an Immigration Hold.

So what do you do if you can’t afford the bail bond and your loved one is stuck in a San Diego County Jail with an Immigration Hold placed on them?   Put money on their books via the San Diego Sheriff’s website:

The maximum deposit to an inmate’s account is $500.  Everything can be done online through the above link.  Gift Packs can be sent to inmates through this link as well.   Email the inmate once per day and buy prepaid debit cards so they can make phone calls without calling collect.     If you have someone in San Diego the inmate can have Social Visits which can be scheduled online through the Sheriff’s website.   Track the inmate through the Inmate Detail for court appearances and any changes in their bail amount and hold status.     When you no longer see this inmate in custody on the Sheriff’s website it usually means they’ve either been released or taken by ICE to a Federal Detention facility.      To check the Federal Detention facility for Immigration Inmates you need the number off the Sheriff’s website Inmate Detail at the bottom of the page next to the Immigration Hold.    The number you need starts with the letter “A” which is the immigration case number assigned to this inmate.     Call  800-973-2867 to check on the Immigration status.    Being there supporting your loved one is the best thing you can do until the case can be resolved.

Related Article:  Immigration Detainment Policy

Chapter 13 / To Bail or Not To Bail?

So comfortable in your bed.   Sound asleep dreaming about winning Mega Millions.    And then…the annoying sound of your phone awakens you at 3am.   Who could be calling me at 3am?   You answer the phone and I tell you that your son or daughter is in jail and they need your help.     Your first response is shock.   No parent ever wants to get “that call” and be told their child is in jail.  I’m referring to a child that’s at least 18 years old.   A child arrested under 18 years old would be at Juvenile Hall.  I receive calls from San Diego County Jails where the inmates are a minimum of 18 years old and considered adults.   In the big scheme of things I’d rather be telling a parent their child is in jail versus the County Medical Examiner calling to have them identity their child’s dead body.     Once the first shock is over most parents want to get their child out of jail.   If the bail is too high read Chapter 12 about Bail Reduction.    Perhaps the bail amount is affordable but you believe the “jail experience” will be good for your child as a valuable lesson.  Tough love.   Think long and hard about this decision…..”to bail or not to bail?”

A defendant only gets one shot at a first impression.    When a defendant comes into the court wearing a jail suit with handcuffs with a reasonable bail amount set this generally communicates to the court this person has no support.   No means for bailing out of jail.   Possibly no friends or family in San Diego.  Maybe this man or woman is homeless and has no job.    Or they’re a flight risk and friends and family believe they won’t return for future court appearances and that’s why no one bailed them out.   We can story this one all day long.   When I see a defendant standing before the judge with a bail amount which is reasonably affordable and still in custody I see a red flag.    When a defendant walks into the courtroom in their own clothes with their family and friends in tow,  the message is strong that this person has support.  Being able to appear in court out on bail sets a totally different tone to the judge and District Attorney.    I’ve learned over the years from listening to attorneys that they would rather represent a client out of jail versus one in jail.    A defendant presents themselves better out of jail.

Back to the original question.   Your child is in jail and you can’t decide if you should bail them out of jail.    Your child knew better but still made an “error in judgment” and got arrested.  Do you really want your child in jail with real criminals?   People arrested for serious crimes and that would love to take your child under their wing and teach them some new tricks.   Getting arrested is very serious no matter what the charges and given an opportunity to bail out of jail is a gift that shouldn’t be overlooked.   Leaving your child in jail to teach them a lesson may sound good in theory but the risk is on the table for the bail amount to be increased, decreased or stay the same if the case is filed at the arraignment.     A defendant must stay in custody throughout their case if there’s a bail amount set.    Depending on the charges the case could take several weeks to several months.   Which creates another problem for communicating with your loved one.    The telephone calls are expensive from the jails and the calls are recorded.    See Chapter 11.

So when you get that call at 3am and you can’t decide if you should leave your child in jail or bail them out, think about the ramifications of leaving them in jail.    It’s about how you present yourself in court.  Dressed in your own clothes or in a jail suit?   May sound like no big deal but wearing your own clothes and out on bail versus Smurf suit and handcuffs sends a powerful message to the court.     A defendant must demonstrate credibility and trustworthiness with their deeds and actions.      Bailing out of jail and returning to court for each court appearance on time is the first step in demonstrating trustworthiness.  Actions speak louder than words when it comes to criminal justice.