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October 2010 Archives
Recently Big Boyz Bail Bonds of Essex Maryland was contacted by a frantic woman
whose 20 year old son had just been arrested on his first criminal charge. After we
were able to initially calm her down, we explained to her the process and all of the
possible outcomes and methods for getting her son released. She and her husband
are homeowners but because her husband was out of town at the time she would
have been unable to put up her house to the courts as collateral. She was told to
contact a Bail Bondsman in Essex and decided to call Big Boyz Bail Bonds because she heard we were the fastest, cheapest and most reliable Bail Bond Company in Baltimore.
Her son was taken to the precinct in Essex, Maryland (Baltimore County) for
fingerprinting. From there, inmates get taken to the courthouse on Kelso Drive in
Essex for a bail hearing in front of a district court commissioner. The problem is they
have to wait for a contracted security company or police patrol car to come pick up
the inmates and transport them. Often times, these transporters wait until the
precinct has accumulated a group of prisoners so that they don't have to take
multiple trips. Unfortunately for this young man, it was a slow evening for crime in
The precinct informed the worried mother that her son would be taken over
around 9pm. Upon hearing this, Big Boyz immediately sent a licensed bail bonds
agent to wait with her in the parking lot of the courthouse. Hour after hour passed
by and they still hadn't transported the defendant. Big Boyz actually had to send a
relief agent at 1am so that the original agent could go home and get some sleep. At
4:15am the defendant was finally brought over to see the commissioner. After a brief
hearing, the young man was released on his own recognizance meaning the services
of our company were not needed. The mother was very relieved, and happy to save
some money of course!
Big Boyz was not upset when this occurred. Our Maryland Bail Bonds
Company prides itself on providing top-notch service to our clients and their
families in their times of trouble. Had this young man got bail, our elite bail bonds
company was there so that he would not have had to spend any unnecessary time in
handcuffs. His mother was very appreciative of our patience and attentiveness
during this difficult time. We are confident that should she or anyone she knows
need the services of a Maryland Bail Bonds company, Big Boyz will come highly
recommended by her.
Posting bail bonds in Baltimore County has been the same for as long as most Maryland Bail Bondsmen can remember. Just recently however, Baltimore County District Court decided to tweak the system a bit for us posting your bail bond. It is still up in the air as to whether this is positive or negative change for the industry. But what is clear, is that most all bondsmen have their own view point about the change.
So what did Baltimore County change? The change is simply that bail bondsmen are not only required to list the fee required for posting bail in Maryland but we are also required to list the amount of money we took as a down payment. There has been no real reason given to Baltimore County Bail Bondsmen as to why this change has been put into place. However, there is much speculation as to why.
Technically, bail is not about the amount of money one pays to release somebody. As we have discussed in the past, the purpose of bail is to insure that the defendant appears for court. If we fail to do our job, the State of Maryland is guaranteed the total sum of the bond to be paid directly to them plus judgment interest. Of course the money is guaranteed to the State depending on which insurance company is backing the particular bond (but that is for another blog entry).
So why implement this change? One theory might be that high ranking officials such as commissioners and judges are intensely interested in seeing if the bails they set fits the crime. Are alleged criminal offenders getting out too cheap? Or are they looking into the integrity of the bail bonds industry as a whole? Are they setting themselves up for a statewide audit of the industry? One might hope that the particular "bondsmen" in question have the paperwork to back up their bail bonds affidavits.
Big Boyz Bail Bonds welcomes this change for a multitude of reasons. We are very much pro-regulation of this business, and if this is a step towards that then we back it 110%. It is our hope that one day, bail bonds can be seen for the public safety service that we provide and eventually clean up the tainted image that so many rogue bail bondsmen helped to create.
Last week a ruling came down from the Baltimore City Circuit Court that now
entitles "poor" or indigent defendants the right to counsel when they appear before a
commissioner at their initial bail hearing. According to a Baltimore Sun article if this ruling is upheld it could be a "historic leap in constitutional protection throughout Maryland."
The ruling was issued by Circuit Court Judge Alfred Nance, a reversal of his decision
from 2007. According to Nance "if bail is denied or set at a level that the defendant cannot afford, the defendant is deprived of his or her freedom, a fundamental right."
In theory this ruling seems like a no brainer. Individuals who cannot afford private
counsel would now be provided with a public representative throughout the entire legal process. Currently, indigent individuals could be incarcerated anywhere from 1-30 days without representation. Due to the fact that the demand for representation is greater than the supply of available public counsel, a defendant usually will not obtain this representation until after their bail review hearing. However, the lack of currently available public representatives is a major problem.
If the current supply of publicly available counsel is already stretched thin, how would
adding an additional task to their plate improve anything? The State of Maryland would need to hire a lot more lawyers to the Public Defenders Office in order to handle this increased demand. Initial Bail Reviews are also conducted 24 hours a day; this would mean that public counsel would be working all hours of the day/night. I would highly doubt that a new, young lawyer fresh out of law school would be eager to take on this task. This is going to present a major issue when it comes to finding additional lawyers to fill these positions.
"This is the first time that a Maryland court has recognized that poor people are entitled
to legal representation when they first appear before a judicial officer" according to Doug
Colbert, a University of Maryland School of Law professor. I would ask Mr. Colbert how he plans on funding this new endeavor. If the clients are without available funds, they clearly would not be assisting in the expenses. Thus, the only feasible answer would be to raise taxes on the citizens of Baltimore City who work for a living and are not out allegedly committing these crimes in the first place. I would also argue that although freedom may be a fundamental right, when you are being accused of commiting a crime you may in fact eventually lose that right.
Last night, Baltimore-native celebrity R&B singer Mario was arrested on a second degree assault. According to the Baltimore Sun article that reported this story it is alleged that he assaulted his own mother.
A Baltimore City District Court commissioner set a $50,000 bond on Mario and it is reported that he posted this bond. (I suppose Mario would not sign an autograph for the commissioner) As I read the article I was curious to find out how he posted this rather large bond. Certainly a pop-celebrity would have the means to post his property or even post $50,000 in full in cash.
Unfortunately, Big Boyz Bail Bonds did not get a call on his bond from our 1% down ad in the phonebook. It would have made great press had Big Boyz sprung this singing/dancing phenom from the clink. Did Mario have a homeboy-fly-by-night bondsman he could call to pull him fast? This did not seem likely. As I pulled the case from district court # 2B02092085 it became evident that Mario was granted the opportunity to post a personal pledge bond.
In posting a personal pledge, it basically means that all Mario had to do was sign his name pledging the State of Maryland he would pay them $50,000 if he failed to appear for court. He did not have to fork over any cash, use a maryland bail bondsman, or post the deed of his property; he was released with little to no hassle.
For more information on this story, please visit the Baltimore Crime Beat section on the Baltimore Sun's Website.