Why We Have a Bail System

When a person is arrested and charged with a crime, they are brought to a hearing where a judge looks at the details of the case such as the manner and seriousness of the crime, and considers details about the accused like criminal history and the likelihood that they would flee.  They consult with a bail schedule (bail guidelines) and set bail.

What Not To Do In Court

If you’re appearing in court, you want things to go your way.  The judge and jury (if it’s a jury trial) will scrutinize everything you do and everything you say so it’s important to be alert, respectful, and mindful of your words and actions.  Once you know what NOT to do, you’ll be closer to a positive outcome of your trial.

What To Do During a Traffic Stop

Everyone who has a driver’s license will get stopped by a police officer for a traffic violation at some point.  Even the most careful driver will go a little over the speed limit or fail to come to a complete stop now and then.  For police officers, traffic stops can be dangerous and the people they stop can be unpredictable so they follow specific procedures with every stop to ensure the safety of everyone involved.  By following some simple recommendations, you can get through the traffic stop quickly and smoothly.

Bail Bonds: The Basics

If you or a loved one has never been arrested, when it happens, it can be scary and confusing, whether you’ve been arrested for a serious crime or a minor infraction. Here are some basics on what happens when you’ve been arrested and how to get out of jail.

What Should I Do If I Have a Warrant?

It happens all the time on police dramas and reality cop shows. A person is stopped for a minor traffic violation and when the officer looks up the person in the system, they inevitably have an outstanding warrant for their arrest so the officer slaps on the cuffs and hauls them in.

What is a Bail Enforcement Agent?

Formerly referred to as “Bounty Hunters”, bail enforcement agents are licensed professionals who work with bail bondsmen to recover a defendant who has failed to show up at scheduled court dates and may or may not have skipped town.  Often, bail bondsmen are bail enforcement agents and track down the defendant for themselves.

Bad Bail Bonds Agents

In February of this year, the New Orleans State Insurance Commissioner claimed that local bail bond agents had been regularly charging their clients a 13% premium on bonds issued, 1% higher than the 12% state-mandated limit which could result in refunds from the companies who have been overcharging for years to their clients.

Which is Better: Cash Bond or Bail Bond?

If you or a loved one has been arrested, there are some decisions that will have to be made, one of which is the type of bail to pay.  You may be released on your own recognizance depending on the crime, your criminal history, community ties, and other factors that lead the court to believe that you will show up at your court dates to face the consequences of your actions.

Federal Court Bail Bonds

Bonds for federal court are Signature Bonds (unsecured bonds) usually signed by a responsible 3rd party (co-signed).  A Property Bond is also used in federal court. This is a bond that is secured by property, usually in the form of real estate.  It requires a recent appraisal of the property along with a current lot book report from a title company and notarized documents must be filed with the county recorder’s office.  

What Do You Do If You Missed Your Court Date?

Missing your scheduled court date is not like missing a scheduled dentist appointment.  Failure to appear in court is a crime that could cost you money as well as your freedom.  Fortunately, if you don’t ignore it and you take steps to fix the problem, you may be able to rectify your situation.