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 Post subject: Ongoing legal issue with bondsmen
 Post Posted: Sat 12 Mar 2016 07:39 
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Joined: Fri 02 Mar 2007 10:51
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Location: South Central Virginia
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So here's the deal...

I bond someone out... they go to court, make all their appearances... the case is finalized/adjudicated... but the defendant is not sentenced for another 3 months???

He's not in custody... he's still out on my bond... what happens if he decides not to stick around for his sentencing.... ??

My contract says my liability ends when the case is finalized... is that the same as adjudicated???

Apparently not... at least in the jurisdictions I work...

... very slippery slope...

ALSO... "deferred disposition" is another situation... case is done but the defendant is not totally done until he stays 'clean' or 'good' or whatever the judge decides... for another period of time... sometimes and most of the time... at least a year... or two... or even three... and the bond is still hung out there... so... do I lock him back up or what.... legal or unethical... where to on this deal??

My power says he must appear until the charge is finished... but sentencing taking place 2 or 3 months after the decision has been rendered is ... out of line, IMHO... but of course, I am but a lowly bondsman... 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Ongoing legal issue with bondsmen
 Post Posted: Sat 12 Mar 2016 10:12 
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Wow! I absolutely agree with you. A slippery slope indeed it is.

Have you researched the legal definitions of the following terms in Black's Legal Dictionary?:
    Finalized
    Adjudicated
    Deferred Disposition

In my opinion, whenever a matter is adjudicated the accused should automatically be remanded, regardless of however long it may take for a criminal court to render a sentence. Furthermore, whenever a criminal court fails to do as stated previously I see nothing unlawful or unethical with a bondsman surrendering the accused back into actual custody in an effort to professionally mitigate unnecessary liability.

Don't ya just love "Catch 22's"? You're damned if ya do and you're damned if ya don't...

I'm wondering as to whether or not there is any case law regarding such matters.

I wish you the greatest of fortune!

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 Post subject: Re: Ongoing legal issue with bondsmen
 Post Posted: Sat 12 Mar 2016 10:26 
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It's not unusual for the Courts to play by their own set of rules. I've dealt with a number of cases where Courts have refused to release a Bond because a defendant failed to pay a fine imposed as part of their sentence, usually on minor summary or misdemeanor offenses. As far as returning a defendant under the scenario Bill mentioned I agree with Jason that it would be legally appropriate. However, I would be reluctant to do unless it was in a state like PA where you have to apply for a Bail Piece and a judge signs off on it after reviewing the details in your application, because it could easily be spun into a story that would paint a likely one sided and negative picture of the Bondsman.


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 Post subject: Re: Ongoing legal issue with bondsmen
 Post Posted: Sat 12 Mar 2016 14:07 
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ChuckJ wrote:
It's not unusual for the Courts to play by their own set of rules.


Boy, did you just make an understatement.... I have been screaming that to the rafters for years... my favorite yell.... "the rule of thumb is... there is no rule of thumb"

chuck] wrote:
I've dealt with a number of cases where Courts have refused to release a Bond because a defendant failed to pay a fine imposed as part of their sentence, usually on minor summary or misdemeanor offenses. As far as returning a defendant under the scenario Bill mentioned I agree with Jason that it would be legally appropriate. However, I would be reluctant to do unless it was in a state like PA where you have to apply for a Bail Piece and a judge signs off on it after reviewing the details in your application, because it could easily be spun into a story that would paint a likely one sided and negative picture of the Bondsman.


I often pull a 'bailpiece' off the appropriate website (download the form and fill it out) then get it signed by the clerk of court (judge is not needed in Virginia for signature)... then just put a copy in my folder and if and when it is needed... I have it...

We do not have to have a reason... if we simply feel the defendant is a "flight risk" we have the right to remand... most jurisdictions in Virginia comply with those directives but as said above... sometimes they just get squirmy and do whatever the hell they want.... regardless of state code.

I cannot number the times I have heard a sitting judge... look out over the courtroom and say... "well I'm just not going to make my clerks do that???"................... REALLY????

Always remember newbies to this industry.... just because it is wrong... doesn't mean it is wrong... a sitting judge can do whatever the hell he wants in his courtroom... he is King, the Monarch, the one time you will absolutely have to "pay attention to the man behind the curtain"... the Wizard of Oz has spoken!!

... you may well be able to appeal but the cost is on you and even if you get it overturned... you will still have to jump through a lot of hoops and probably spend a lot of money....

... and............ you will have put yourself on the wrong side of that particular judge... THEY USUALLY DO NOT FORGET IT WHEN THEIR DECISION IS APPEALED AND YOU WIN.

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Bill Marx, Sr.
"FREE STATE BAIL BONDS"
"FREE STATE INVESTIGATIONS"

DCJS: 99-176979
Cell: 434-294-0222

"Endeavor to Persevere" "Lone Watie"

"Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that , comes from bad judgment" "Will Rogers"


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 Post subject: Re: Ongoing legal issue with bondsmen
 Post Posted: Sat 12 Mar 2016 16:50 
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I have had that happen a couple of times and have asked the Court to be relived of the Bond . . . and the Court has done so reading it into the records. Have you asked the Prosecutor to be relieved ? and if they choose not to do so can you not surrender the Bond ?

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 Post subject: Re: Ongoing legal issue with bondsmen
 Post Posted: Sat 12 Mar 2016 17:57 
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The bail piece system in VA is a bit simpler than PA. In PA the bondsman has to go to motions court (usually) a certain specified day of the week, complete a bail piece/application and show cause for the judge to sign it. Many states don't have a bail piece, you have to use a Forfeiture notice or other form/process to surrender a defendant.

I know of at least 1 magisterial district judge in PA that only allows bondsmen he knows to post bond and has told other bondsmen I don't know you so you wont be posting in my court. Completely illegal but..... in PA the MDJ's are elected and take about a month of training, no law degree needed.


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 Post subject: Re: Ongoing legal issue with bondsmen
 Post Posted: Sun 13 Mar 2016 12:50 
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The original issue is, when is the defendant sentenced?

I have read several CA Appeal Court cases. If a defendant "agrees" to a plea and is told what the punishment "will be" but is given more time to get their affairs in order, he has not been sentenced until he returns to court. That could be weeks or months later.

In that situation we are still on the hook for the bond. In most cases, the bail agent doesn't attend every court date so they would not know that there could be an increased risk.

However, and it is rare, if the Court actually imposes the sentence and then gives the defendant more time before surrendering for their jail time, the bond should be exonerated.

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Tony Suggs
Castle Confidential Investigations
Richmond, CA 94804
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