Occupy LA residents were cleared out in the last couple of days. So where did they all end up? We interviewed some businesses in the local Van Nuys area to find out where they all ended up.
We visited one of the oldest Bail Bonds companies in the area, S&H Bail Bonds. According to the bail bonds agents at this company, 100 people from the Occupy LA are being detained at the Van Nuys Jail. This Van Nuys Bail Bonds company has been bailing out defendants from the Van Nuys jailsince 1948.
Actually, when we were in their office, there were a couple of people there bailing out their friends that were in the adjacent jail. See, S&H Bail Bonds is located just next to the Van Nuys Fire Station which is directly across from the Van Nuys Jail. While we were there we witnessed a little bit about how bail bonds work.
The friends of the defendants that were in the S&H office were asking questions about how the bail bonds work and this is what we got. Someone needs to sign for the responsibility of the defendant. They, the signor, will be partially held responsible for making sure the defendant makes all of their court appearances. On the paperwork with the friend, signor, they will need to provide their information and sign on the dotted line.
Then there is the question of fees. A bail bonds company is regulated by the California Department of Insurance and is required to charge 10% of the total bail. Today, at the S&H bail bonds office, the friend that was bailing out their friend from the jail reported that the bail was $5,000. The friend has two choices here.
- Cash Bail: This is when they take $5000 cash to the court or jail and use that as collateral to make sure the defendant attends all of their court appearances. At the end of the case, the defendant and whomever else put up the money, get the entire amount back.
- Use a Van Nuys Bail Bonds Company: 10% of the total bail is paid to the bail bonds company for their services. Their services are putting up the $5000 bail for the defendant who is jail. This is $500 and is a non-refundable fee.
The friend we witnessed at the bail bonds office used a credit card to pay for the fee and then signed the paperwork. That transaction was fairly quick. The rest of the scenario does take quite a while. The defendant must be processed through the system and this could take a very long time depending on how many people are at the jail that need processing, how quickly his prints come back in the computer, and many other things dealing with the jail itself.
Our reporters waited around for a while to see if we could witness the rest of the process, but within 30 mins, we had other news to report. We ventured into the Van Nuys Jail and saw that there were many other bail bonds agents in there doing business. Since there were 100 defendants from the Occupy LA there, you can understand why the jail was bustling with business. We noticed that there were many bail bonds agents visiting defendants. We found out that this is called, interviewing. The agents will visit the defendants and interview them to get information. The information is used to analyze the risk on bailing them out. For example; someone who is from Mexico, has no family in the US, and no job, might be a big risk to bail out. On the other hand, someone who has a full time job, spouse, kids, house, and live in the area, would probably be a better bet for bailing out.
Today at the Van Nuys Jail is located at the Van Nuys Civic Center at the end of the corridor. In this Government center there is also the Van Nuys Superior Court, Municpal Court, and an Office for Mayor Villaraigosa. S&H Bail Bonds is located just 100 yards from the jail on Sylvan St, right next to the Van Nuys Fire Station. When we were in their office we saw pictures from 1948 where it showed their offices from back then. Very old cars, with polices officers with those old hats with the big bills on them. The City Hall across the street used to be the old Van Nuys Police Station. We like to thank S&H Bail Bonds for allowing us to visit their bail bonds offices.
If you need to contact them, their phone number is 800-500-7090 and their address is 14419 Sylvan St., Van Nuys CA 91401