The issue of Los Angeles County’s Zero-Bail Initiative is a hot one. Proponents argue that the program is successful since people who cannot typically afford bail are not forced to stay in jail because of their finances. Detractors argue that the Zero-Bail Policy eliminates the deterrent necessary to ensure suspects report to the court at the appointed date and time.

On Monday, January 22nd, a man facing charges including felony evading a police officer with great bodily injury (the injury was inflicted on a bystander during the evasion) did not show up for court. The alleged crime happened on Nov. 24, 2023, when the suspect stole a vehicle and attempted to flee police in a high-speed chase.

During the chase, the suspect collided with a white truck which injured the driver severely. The driver was taken to the hospital for treatment where he later died. However, once apprehended, a judge chose to release the suspect on his own recognizance (O.R. release) without payment or citing any legitimate reason.

The suspect’s lawyer reported having been unable to reach their client for the previous two days and is unaware of the suspect’s whereabouts.

The situation above highlights just how useful and effective financial deterrents can be. A person who is bailed out of jail, whether by themselves or someone else, is on the hook for the entire amount of bail if the defendant doesn’t show up for court. When suspects are let out of custody without any measures to ensure they return to court, why should they?

Another thing to note is that it’s up to the police to track the suspect down and bring him back into custody. Had this person been bailed out of jail by a bail bondsman, it would be up to the bondsman, not the police, to track down and return the suspect. Instead, you have to pay for his capture and inevitable prison sentence.

Robin Sandoval
Robin Sandoval is a California Licensed Bail Bondsman and owner of SCV Bail Bonds. Robin writes blogs and articles to help increase community awareness of the bail industry. If you have questions or want to suggest a topic, email robin@scvbailbonds.com, visit www.scvbailbonds.com or call 661-299-2245.
Robin Sandoval
Robin Sandoval