Collect Bail Bond calls come from the jails at all times of day and night, but mostly in the middle of the night. So, off I go to talk to the person who has been taken into custody and do the necessary paperwork to get them released.
I’m sure you have heard the phrase; one thing leads to another. In the bail business, it’s a common theme and here are three examples, although I could write about dozens. I’ll keep it simple.
The common scenario is that the person arrested was pulled over for not coming to a complete stop at a red signal before turning, or performing a rolling stop. A rolling stop, or what some call; a California stop, is the driver slowing down and then proceeding. In other words, running the stop sign.
The problem erupts when they’re pulled over. Rolling down the window, the officer gets a whiff of alcohol from the driver. What follows is a sobriety test, a search of the vehicle, and if there are other occupants, license verification and determination if the passengers have been consuming alcohol. The driver should have come to a complete stop.
This story pops in my head as I write this. In the late 80s, I was out at a restaurant/bar with two friends. We left and was pulled over for erratic lane changing. I was not the driver. I was a passenger. One officer put the driver in the police car and drove off. The other officer asked if we had been drinking and we both said, “yes, we had consumed alcohol beverages at the restaurant/bar.” The result was the passenger officer driving our friend’s car and driving us to the police station. We got out when we arrived and thought that we could drive our friend’s car and go home. Not so. The officer had us get out, he locked the car and said, “good night.” I said, “How are we to get home?” His reply, “You both are big boys, you’ll figure it out.” It was a long walk.
Another sad ending is when the driver gets pulled over and drugs are found. To add to this example, you need to learn this little twist. The owner of the car was too intoxicated to drive. So, a friend said that he would drive. Keep in mind that this was not his car, he was just doing his friend a favor by driving. Well, the substitute driver rolls a stop sign, in a hurry to get home and end the evening. The lights flash, the driver pulls over, and the officer does an inspection. Bingo! Illegal drugs in the trunk. The driver was arrested. Yes, it wasn’t his car, but since he was driving the responsibility for its contents were on his shoulders. Think twice about volunteering to drive a friend’s car.
This example is a reality check about what an officer’s perception can be. We know the set up. The officer wants to inspect the car and says, “Pop the trunk.” Surprise! In the trunk, the locked trunk, is a baseball bat. However, there is no baseball glove, no baseballs, no ball cap, no bases, nothing else baseball related. Busted for having a concealed weapon. A footnote to this example would be those miniature baseball bats that you buy as a souvenir with your favorite team’s logo on it. If it’s late at night, chances are good that you are not on your way home from a ballgame. Be careful.