Our bail bonds office is located directly across from the Van Nuys Jail. Once the defendants in this jail go to court, they all head to the Los Angeles jail. Here they stay until their next court date, of which they get on a high security bus and are herded in to the Van Nuys Superior Court.
So, how does one get out of the Los Angeles Jail? Let’s first explain how they got in to the jail in the first place.
They are at home and arguing with their girlfriend or wife. The argument gets very heated. Harsh words are exchanged. Whether alcohol was involved doesn’t matter. The argument reaches a climax with the boyfriend throwing something at the girlfriend, hits her in the head and its over. She’s dialing 911 and the Police are on their way.
Five minutes later there’s a knock at the door. “Van Nuys Police, Please open the door.” Domestic violence cases are unique in the State of California. Ever since the OJ Simpson trial, there’s a new law that states that in every domestic violence case, someone has to be arrested. How the police ascertain who get’s arrested varies per each case. In this case since the girl is the one with the cut over her eye, the boy gets the handcuffs and sent to jail.
They hop in the squad car and head to the Van Nuys jail. This is the jail within the district of the responding police officers. The booking process starts and the defendant is fingerprinted. The police officers review the charges with the defendant, empty the defendant’s pockets, fill the bag, and sign the defendant over to the deputies in charge of the jail. The defendant is taken to his holding cell and sits and waits until his alotted phone call time.
The defendant has a couple choices; wait until his court date or call someone to bail him out of jail. In this story the defendant has chosen to wait in jail (2 days) for his court appearance in hopes of getting OR’d (out on his Own Recognizance).
While still in jail, the defendant learns that his bail is set at $40,000. If he works with a bail bondsman, he would need to come up with $4000 to pay for the bail bondsman’s fee. So he decides to wait out his two days and go before the judge in hopes of getting OR’d.
Two days and six very bad meals go by and now the defendant is standing before the judge. His hopes of getting OR’d are awaiting the judge’s orders. The defendant had previously called a bail bondsman, his mother, and a few others, stating his strategy. The mother is in court and in touch with the bail bondsman to let him know the verdict of the judge’s decision. If he gets OR’d, they’re good to go and no bail bondsman needed. If the judge doesn’t change the bail and leaves it at $40,000, she’ll call the bail bondsman and move forward with that strategy.
The results are back. The judge has ruled that the bail will be left at $40,000 and the next court date is 18 days away. Here’s where we find out how the defendant ended up in the Los Angeles Jail. See, he’s currently in the Van Nuys Jail. The only reason, normally, to be in the Los Angeles jail is if you were arrested in that area or if you’ve already seen the judge and transferred to the Los Angeles jail. Most defendants in Los Angeles County end up in the Los Angeles Jail once their bail arraignment has been heard and they do not post bail or get OR’d.
The mother is on the phone with the bail bondsman, getting all the paperwork done, paying the $4000 fee and signing all the paperwork. This is the normal bail bonds process. Meanwhile the son, the defendant, is in a holding cell in the courthouse thinking he is gettin bailed out. His normal path is to get on a bus and travel to the Los Angeles Jail, but he’s believing that the bailman will come through with the bond and post his bail.
The mother and the bail bondsman get to the court at 3:00pm to post bail. Leaving quite enough time to alert the court clerk and anyone else that the defendant has bailed out and may be released, BEFORE, being transferred to the Los Angeles jail.
He’s not that lucky. Aside from the bail bondsman going to the court and pestering everyone that needed to know that the defendant had a bond posted, the bail bondsman did his job; posted bail, alerted the court clerk and the one’s in charge of lockup at the court, and alerted the mother.
It seems sometimes that the deputies or others in charge of herding the defendants in and around the court and to and from the bus that goes to the Los Angeles jail get tunnel vision. They just don’t want to do the paperwork involved in dealing with the bonds that have been posted and rely on minimal duties at best. Herding the defendants to the bus.
The defendant in this case, even though all the bond paperwork was filed correctly, ended up being herded on to the bus to the Los Angeles jail. So Instead of being released at 3pm that day, he spent the night in the Los Angeles jail. A situation not happily taken on by many, since when you arrive, you get to strip down to nothing, receive a full body cavity search, and get placed in cells with some interesting characters at best. That’s where he ended up. So, instead of being released from his local Van Nuys Jail or court, he was released 19 hours later, at 9am the next day from the Los Angeles jail some 25 miles away.