Lessons Learned From a Bad Bail Bondsman

Working in the bail bonds business, we hear stories from clients and other bondsman about horrible arrests, mistaken identities, rough experiences, and other blunders by the police and bail agencies.

Sometimes these stories are sad, sometimes they are frustrating, and other times they are funny. This tale is a combination of all three. We heard it from a client, but were not involved in the disastrous events. We have reprinted it as a cautionary tale, as well as a demonstration of what not to do when hiring a bail bondsman.

Worst Bail Bondsman Ever

This woman, we’ll call her Shelly, even though that’s not her real name, received a call informing her that her college-aged son had been taken into custody for public drunkenness and minor in possession. He was a sophomore at UCLA and was drinking with his fraternity before a football game, then got so drunk he was stumbling to the stadium. Normally, campus cops would simply tell a student in that condition to return home, but he started back-talking and insulting the officer, causing his arrest.

The mother was rattled and unsure what to do. Breaking down crying, she consulted one of her neighbors, who told her that she knew someone who had just gotten licensed as a bail bondsman. Desperate, the mother agreed.

Shelly got his number, called him, and explained the situation. Talking to the guy on the phone, she felt like something was slightly off, but was too distressed to put her finger on it. She asked to use her credit card, but the bail bondsman demanded cash. She asked if she could meet at his office, but he said they should just meet at the jail. Again, these should all be warning signs, but when you’re worried about your son and his future, you may think irrationally.

Anyways, Shelly drives to the jail, which takes a while because of traffic, and finds that the bail bondsman is not there. She waits and waits and waits, before finally calling her neighbor, since she doesn’t have the cell number of the bondsman and nobody is answering her calls. The neighbor is able to get in touch with him and he calls Shelly, asking where she is and he’s been waiting for her. But, as it turns out, he thought she said that her son went to UCLA and went to that local jail instead.

Needless to say, Shelly was now furious. She told the guy to forget it and hung up on him. She asked the clerk for a few Los Angeles bail bonds numbers, and she gave Shelly a few. Luckily, 1-800-BAIL-BOND was in the area, and we were able to quickly arrive at the jail and bail out her son.

Lessons to Learn

So what lessons can people take from this? Here are a few tips:

  • Ask for the bail bondsman’s license. Shelly just trusted her neighbor’s word.
  • A legitimate business will be able to take credit cards and HAVE AN ACTUAL OFFICE.
  • Stay calm. Had Shelly taken the time to look up businesses online, she could have avoided the whole ordeal. Hearing that a loved one has been arrested is hard, but you need to take a deep breath and think things through.
  • Call 1-800-BAIL-BONDS from the start! With two years in the business, we have a trusted business that will help you out in a pinch.


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