Archive for April, 2011

Dog the Bounty Hunter Posts Bail Bond for Nicholas Cage

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Can we stand one more story about a celebrity meltdown? Actor Nicolas Cage was arrested Saturday in New Orleans on charges of public drunkenness, domestic violence, and disturbing the peace. (Is making bad movies a bailable offense?) Apparently the bad boy star of both memorable films ( Leaving Las Vegas, Adaptation) and box office bombs ( 8mm, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin) was taken into police custody after grabbing his wife’s arm and insisting that they were renting the address in front of them (they weren’t) trying to pull her inside. When police arrived on the scene, an obviously inebriated Cage dared the cops to arrest him ( how can that not end badly?). The local law was willing to let it go, telling Cage to go home, when he repeated his dare, and the cops willingly obliged.

Bail was set at $11,000 for the man also known as Charlie Sheen’s best friend ( that’s a character reference?) which was posted by none other than reality TV show star Duane ‘Dog’ Chapman, well known bail bondsman, and no stranger to legal problems himself. Within 8 hours, Cage was released.

‘Dog” was quoted as saying he was a dedicated fan of Mr. Cage, and refused to grant any interviews about his client. He claimed to just be doing his duties as a bail bondsman, and it had nothing to do with his show, he was merely ‘making a living.’  He explained that there were two sides to his job: releasing clients after they have been arrested, and picking them up if they don’t appear in court. He did not believe that the latter would be the case with Nicolas Cage.

Following Cage’s bail-out, “Dog’s” wife Beth posted a message on her Twitter account stating that her client was released after 8 hours from the New Orleans jail, stating that she felt it was a long time. Typically, 8 hours is NOT a long time to be released on bail, there are county jails in California where 12 to 24 hours are the norm.

Christina Aguilera hears “The Voice” (of a bail bondsman?)

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

It’s would seem that in today’s Hollywood, a necessary part of any movie star’s entourage should include not just a publicist, agent, bodyguard, or hanger on, but a bail bondsman! What is it about today’s newsmakers that leads them toward the type of entertainment that invariably results in well publicized arrests?

Add to the list of Tinseltown notables requiring a California bail bondsman, Christina Aguilera. After partying late into the night at a fashionable restaurant, on Mar. 1, the golden throated platinum one and her new boyfriend, Matt Rutler were stopped for  driving erratically. It was determined that Mr. Rutler was indeed intoxicated, although he was only slightly over the legal limit of .08% blood alcohol content. Officers determined Rutler was drunk and was arrested for misdemeanor DUI.

He was arrested in and booked for a DUI, with a bail of $5,000, which he had posted by a West Hollywood bondsman and released. Ms. Aguilera however, was so intoxicated, that officers took her into custody by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at the County Jail, keeping her in a cell for a few hours, until she was deemed sober enough to function on her own and was able to call someone to take her home.

The singer who is a coach/judge on the new talent/reality show “The Voice” is on a roll. She lost her footing and briefly went down at the Feb. 13 Grammy Awards during a tribute medley to singer Aretha Franklin. She also made headlines by botching a line while singing the national anthem at the Feb. 6 2010 Super Bowl. Hey, Christina, maybe you should contact Charlie Sheen, ask him who his bail bondsman is: you could probably get a group rate!

Bounty Hunting, Bail Bondsman and California State Law

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

Bounty hunting or what is referred by the legal system as “fugitive recovery services” is a term that now evokes images of the wild-west or the likes of “Dog” the Bounty Hunter made popular by the television series on bounty hunting. This semi-fictional character which portends to be reality TV, gives the industry a bad name. If Bounty Hunters were like “Dog”, California bondsman would all be sued for civil rights violations.  The fact is that bounty hunting is very much a part of the American system of justice today.

In the US, bounty hunting is rooted in the bail bonds process.  If the terms of bail are broken, a bail agent is authorized to find and return the defendant to police custody, hence the need for bounty hunting.  A bail bondsman can do their own bounty hunting or contract with an individual or company that is licensed to provide bounty hunting services.

In September 1999, California enacted law A 243 regulating bounty hunters, termed “bail fugitive recovery persons” in the statute. This law added section 1299 to the California Penal Code. The bail fugitive recovery person is defined as one who has written authorization by a bail agent contracted to investigate, monitor, locate, and arrest a bail fugitive for surrender to appropriate authorities, or any person employed to assist in the arrest of such a fugitive.  Certification for fugitive recovery was granted only to those who could demonstrate knowledge of state laws and can pass a background check could work as bounty hunters.

Unfortunately, CPC 1299 had a sunset clause and the California State Legislature allowed it to lapse. California no longer has control over the bounty hunters and the bail industry is in an uproar over this. The legitimate bail agencies want to see restrictions and rules governing bounty hunters. The bail bonds industry in California is imploring the state legislature to re-enact CPC 1299; for the protection of public safety and common sense.