Monday, April 27, 2009

Welcome back!

So, I had put away the blog for several long months. Finding motivation to write something every couple of days was just too daunting. However, a couple of months ago, a cousin turned me onto Facebook, and I find myself writing little things on FB every day. So, I thought that if I could do that, maybe I can return to the blog.

So, today's story comes from my life as a PD.

I had a client last week; female, charged with possession of methamphetamine for sale. What we in the business refer to as a "slinger". She was out on 20 grand bail, and was supposed to be in court on Thursday. She was a no-show, so the bench warrant went out, and the bond was forfeited. Her dad was in court, and wanted to know what happened. He spoke only Spanish, so I used an interpreter to explain that she didn't show up, and so a warrant for her arrest has been issued. He said that she was in transport from Oregon, where she was in child custody proceedings. I told him that, if you don't make your court date, this is what happens.

She comes in the next day, Friday. She explains that she's not guilty; co-arrestees are lying, and that she lost her children due to the arrest. I explain that she may have a defense, but first, I gotta get the warrant recalled and see if the judge will keep her out of custody. Even though the DA objected really loudly, the judge let my client go on her own recognizance (OR), but told her to come in today, with reassumption papers from the bonding agency, so she could be placed on the same bail that was originally posted. If the bonding agency wouldn't do that, then she would be held on the original bail amount. I gave her specific instructions as to what to do, and I told her to be in court promptly at 9am with those papers, otherwise she was going into custody.

So what happens? Today, at 9am, no client. She saunters in at 9:45am. I ask her where's the papers? She says that the agency won't give them. I told her she's going into custody. We spend the next half an hour arguing this; that she needs to be out for her kids, that she is innocent, that I'm doing nothing to help her, and I'm just trying to fuck her like everyone else. Pissed at this point, I remind her that I got her sprung last week, and it was her responsibility to take care of the bond, and if she feels persecuted, leave me out of that. She says that she paid the money for the bail, and has the receipt. Her dad is right there, arguing on her behalf, in Spanish. I tell them both that I need the reassumption papers. I call the agency, who tell me they won't issue them b/c my client still owes them money. So, at 10:30, I tell them to come into the court so she can go into custody. She's still in the hallway, on the phone negotiating with the agency. I tell her to come in, and walk into the courtroom and wait. I see Dad walk in two minutes later, grab my client's sweater from the seats, and go back out. 5 minutes later, the hallway is empty. I told the court, and the bench warrant went out.

So at 10 minutes til noon, I'm summoned to the front desk. My client, in her wisdom, left court, drove her dad to the bond company in Downtown LA and got the papers. I told her it's too late; there's a no bail bench warrant now and she'll have to appear at 1:30 to get taken into custody. We argue for 10 minutes; she claims that she got the papers, so everything is OK. I tell her she's 3 hours too late, and she left court. She calls the bond agent to get advice, and on the phone says, "and can you recommend a real attorney, because this one isn't helping". At that point, I said, "See you at 1:30".

So, at 1:30, I gave the judge the reassumption papers and asked for the warrant to be recalled and bond to be reinstated. The DA pointed out that the client insists on doing things her own way and has no respect for court proceedings. The judge doubled the bail. Dad was pissed. He says that I should've gotten her released. I told him she should've taken care of what she needed to get taken care of. He looks at me and says that if I had kids, I'd understand. As if, by virtue of having no children, I am incapable of any fucking understanding about parents and children. I told him if he knew the law, he'd understand. He asks how much is bail? I tell him. I ask him if he'd like to know when his daughter has to return to court if he bails her out. He waves me off, and says that he'll just pay to get his daughter out. I tell him that if he doesn't know when to come back to court, there'll be another bench warrant. He dismisses me and says "I'll just pay for her to get out". I gave up beating my head against the wall. I told him to have a nice day.

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