Can Cops Lie?

utah-bail-bondsman

When you’re talking to a police officer or a suspected police officer, you need to keep yourself legally safe. To do this, you need to know what your legal rights are, and which myths about cops are true. Here’s what you need to know about speaking to the cops.

Conversations With Police Officers

KnowYourRights_v4Your conversation with a police officer will vary depending on the circumstances. Generally, there are three situations when you’ll speak to a cop:

  • General conversations

If there’s a crime or investigation, police officers may question nearby citizens. You have no legal obligation to respond to their questions, and may politely decline. Lying, however, is considered obstruction of justice.

  • You’re detained

You’re considered detained when a police officer has shown enough authority that you are no longer clear to leave. This could occur if you’re pulled over, or if an officer asks you to stop walking. At this point, you still have the option of silence. You should avoid moving on until given express consent to leave.

  • You’re under arrest

Arrests are when you’re held against your will. This means being handcuffed or brought to the station. It deprives you of your right to move around freely, but your right of silence remains.

In these situations, the safest thing you can legally say is something along these lines: “I wish to invoke my right of silence. I want to talk to my lawyer.” At this point, police officers will be required by law to stop. If they don’t, repeat your phrase politely until they stop.

The Myth That Cops Can’t Lie

The biggest reason to invoke your right of silence is because cops can legally lie. The fact that they must answer ‘are you a cop’ truthfully is a myth. It it was true, undercover operations would be pointless.

Cops can claim they have evidence, witnesses, or confessions that they actually don’t have. If you find yourself in this situation, just repeat that you wish to remain silent and speak to your lawyer. It’s your best legal defense.

By law, entrapment occurs when an officer uses overbearing coercion to incriminate you. This means using tactics that would cause most people to plead guilty, regardless of if they’re guilty or not. Specific entrapment laws vary by state.

Will Cops Charge You If You’re Uncooperative?

Another common myth is that a police officer will charge you if you decline to speak with them. Actually, police officers aren’t able to make any charges against you. They’re only able to make recommendations. The prosecutor is the person who’s able to bring charges against you.

This makes it even more important that you don’t give away any unnecessary information. Many criminals end up getting charged because of the evidence they gave away willingly!

Safely Interacting With Police Officers

No matter how brief your conversation with an officer is, you need to know how to safely interact with them. A police officer’s biggest concern is safety. Therefore, your actions should ensure that they feel completely at ease. An officer who is nervous will be much tougher to deal with.

Here are some tips for safely dealing with cops:

  • Keep your hands in view at all times. Don’t place them in your pockets.
  • Don’t make any sudden movements. If you need to reach for something, do so slowly.
  • Never touch any police equipment – this is threatening. This includes police animals, flashlights, and vehicles.
  • Remain calm and collected.

At Bad Boys Bail Bonds Utah, we believe you’re innocent until proven guilty, and we treat you that way. If you do catch yourself on the wrong side of the law, we’re here to assist you with any bail bond needs. For your convenience, we’re open 24/7, 365 days a year.

Prisoner Rights vs. Prisoner Privileges: What Is the Difference?

inmate rights vs privlages

Recently Greg Holt, an inmate in Arkansas, sought to grow a beard for religious purposes, which is denied to inmates except for those who cannot shave due to medical problems.  Is this a right or a privilege?  And if it is a privilege, do all inmates all get the same access to privileges?

What Is the Difference Between a Right and a Privilege?

Inmate rights is a right which is guaranteed by constitution or statute, either state or federal, which may not lawfully be suspended for any reason without due process of law. A privilege is that which is granted, sometimes conditionally, by the written rules governing the operations of a facility, which may be suspended in accordance with those rules.

So then, is Mr. Holt’s beard, grown for religious purposes, a right or a privilege?  According to a recent decision by the Supreme Court, it is a First Amendment to free exercise of religion that cannot be suspended by the state without a compelling reason.  The prison claimed that contraband could be hidden in the beard which would create significant safety issues.  According to Justice Alito, the idea that security “would be seriously compromised by allowing an inmate to grow a half-inch beard is hard to take seriously.”

According to the Fourteenth Amendment, “no state…shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law,” meaning that state governments cannot deprive their citizens of constitutional protections such as privacy or freedom of speech and religion.  This due process protection is not as clearly applied to those who are incarcerated.  For example, prisoners have no Fourth Amendment expectation of privacy while incarcerated, yet retain substantial First Amendment speech and religious rights.  In addition, basic rights anchored in law include housing, food and drinks, basic clothing, a bed and a mattress, physical and mental health care, and legal aid and representation, including filing petitions to the court.

On the other hand, privileges are those freedoms within prison that provide entertainment, comfort, recreation, and mental stimulation.  Privileges are not constitutionally protected, can be offered and retracted by the prison, and may be offered to some inmates and not others.

Do All Inmates Have Access to the Same Privileges?

In a word, no.

Prisons assign individual classification levels to inmates, which are almost always based on the offender’s behavior while incarcerated and only sometimes are based on the crime that led them to prison. If an offender disagrees with his/her classification, it can be challenged through a Classification Review Officer.

Inmates also have varying privileges based on a matrix level prescribed by an Offender Management Review team, which looks at the inmate’s prison accomplishments and/or failures. A prisoner’s classification impacts everything from the number of visits and phone calls an offender can make to how much out-of-cell time is allowed and how much they can access education, programming, and other services.

What Are Some Examples of Inmate Privileges?

  • Access to formal and informal educational programs.  These programs might include GED programs, vocational training, college courses, or simply library and computer access.  According to Congressman Bobby Scott, studies “have shown that inmate participation in education, vocational and job training, prison work skills development…all reduce recidivism, significantly.”
  • Communication with loved ones.  Visitation, telephone calls, letters all work to keep an inmate connected with his family.
  • Inmate work programs.  Most inmates have a job while they are in prison.  This job can provide much needed vocational training and can make it easier to transition back into society when their sentences are over.
  • Purchasing commissary items.  Inmates with jobs will earn a small wage which they can then spend on items at the commissary to provide entertainment or comfort.
  • Day-room and recreational activities.  The day-room is a place where inmates can gather to play games, watch television, or simply visit.

Prisons grant privileges for a number of reasons.  Privileges are used as an incentive for good behavior and sanction bad behavior by inmates.  Privileges are used to alleviate widespread prisoner dissent which can lead to riots.  While privileges can make incarceration more tolerable, it is important to remember that they are not the same as constitutionally or legally guaranteed rights.  Privileges can be suspended at any time or any reason as set forth in the prison’s rules.

Bad Boys Bail Bonds Reflects On Ten Years in Business

BadBoys_10Year_Anniversary_Blog

Bad Boys Bail Bonds Utah is a family owned bonding agency that began in 2005. This year we are celebrating our 10 year anniversary. We started the business after witnessing people who had made minor legal mistakes being treated like nothing more than a dollar sign. We realized that we could be part of the problem, or part of the solution. We help families navigate the complex legal system and get their loved ones back to their regular lives and jobs. Being in the bail bonds business is rewarding to provide a service people depend on.

What has Changed in the Utah Bail Bond Industry Over the Past 10 Years?

In the past, bail bondsmen were not held accountable for the minimum or maximum amounts they charged. This resulted in charges being all over the board with little uniformity among companies. Now, bail bonds companies must charge a 10% minimum bond fee, and can charge up to a 20% maximum bond fee. This has helped level the playing field for bail bond companies in Utah.

Another small change in the bail bond industry has to do with the actual jail. Nowadays, the jail charges a bonding fee to the inmate. The jail charges a $5 fee for each warrant the inmate is bailed out on. This means that if you had two warrants, the jail would charge you $10 on top of your bail amount. If the jail charges a fee in order to process a bail bond, the actual fee may be passed through to the defendant or the co-signer.

bail industry badge utah

Difference Between Bail Bond Agents and Bail Recovery Agents (Bounty Hunters)

Bail bond agents put up the money in order to get you out of jail, whereas bail recovery agents, also called bounty hunters, are the ones who arrest you and bring you back to jail. Bail bond agents hire bail recovery agents for a percentage of the bond to return a bail skipper to jail, which protects the bail bond agency’s investment. While they are completely different occupations, the bounty hunter is vital to the financial success of the bail bondsman.

What has Changed in the Bail Recovery Industry Over the Past 10 Years?

pistol petes utah bounty hunter training

Contact Pistol Petes to become a Utah certified bail recovery agent

The bail recovery industry has also changed over the past decade. One of the biggest changes is that the industry is much more regulated. A person choosing this line of work, now must get certified before being able to get a job in the field. Here is what it takes to become a Utah bail recovery agent:

  • Must meet some basic requirements such as being 21 years of age, a legal citizen of the United States, and you cannot have any felonies on your record
  • Must complete utah bail enforcement education and training requirements
  • Must pass Utah bail recovery exam
  • Must submit an application to the state of Utah
  • Obtain proper weapon permits

Once a recovery agent obtains their license they can get their official badge. Utah Code Ann. § 53-11-121 allows a bail enforcement agent or bail recovery agent to wear or display a badge of a design approved by the Bail Bond Recovery Licensure Board. Bail recovery agents are required to carry their badge with their professional license number on it.

Benefits of Privatized Bail Bonds vs Government Controlled

Bail bondsmen and bail recovery agents are entrepreneurs. Bail industry professionals pay for their own handcuffs, pay for their own education, etc. If the government handled these industries, it would cost Utah more in taxes in order for the state to provide the equipment and training to government employees. Privatized bail saves tax payers money!

Another benefit of bondsmen and bounty hunters is the time they free up with local law enforcement. Bounty hunters handle the tasks of taking criminals who have jumped bail, back to jail (usually for minor offenses like pot charges). This leaves the police more time to focus on more serious crimes that could be occurring. Additionally, bail and bounty agents treat people with care and respect. People who contact us for bail are paying customers, and we treat them well so they will return to us next time.  If the government handled the bail industry, people seeking bonds would be treated more like they are at the jail (and we’ll leave you to form your own opinion on how that would be different)

Bad Boys Bail Bonds Utah

This Utah bail bond industry is rarely ever dull, and many aspects have changed over the past decade. One thing unchanged is our commitment to the people of Utah, and our goal of offering excellent service to our clients 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is our intention for our customers to be able to turn to us for ten more years, and beyond!

 

Solitary Confinement: Torture by Any Other Name?

Solitary-Confinement

In 1842, Charles Dickens wrote that an inmate in solitary confinement “is a man buried alive … dead to everything but torturing anxieties and horrible despair.”

In their Statement for the Record to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Solitary Confinement in June of 2012, the Physicians for Human Rights confirmed that 170 years later, Dickens’ observations still apply. Although the harmful effects of solitary confinement have been well documented since its first use in the early 19th century, isolation has seen a resurgence in popularity since the 1980s. Solitary Watch offers the following estimate on the number of U.S. prisoners currently detained inside cramped, concrete, windowless cells in a state of near-total solitude:

“Based on available data, there are at least 80,000 prisoners in isolated confinement on any given day in America’s prisons and jails, including some 25,000 in long-term solitary in supermax prisons.”

Utah State Prison’s Uinta 1 facility, the prison’s super-maximum solitary confinement unit, is always at or near its 96-inmate capacity. Prisoners have reported a series of violations to Solitary Watch over the years.

What is Solitary Confinement?

Solitary confinement is also known as isolation, control units, supermax prisons, the hole, SHUs (Special Housing Units), administrative segregation, maximum security, or permanent lockdown.

Prisoners can be placed in these units as punishment, for holding while they are under investigation, for behavior modification purposes, due to gang involvement, or as retribution for political activism. Jailhouse lawyers and jailhouse doctors are often placed in solitary confinement to curtail their advocacy work on behalf of other inmates.

A 2006 investigation found that as many as 64 percent of prisoners in isolation were mentally ill. People of color are over represented in isolation units as they are in prisons overall.

The tiny, well-lit cells have a toilet, a sink, and a steel bed. There is a small slot in the door to accommodate a food tray. Prisoners usually have their phone, mail, and visit privileges revoked. A 2014 study found that over 90 percent of New York City’s inmates did not even receive their legally required one-hour of recreation outside of their 7-by-12-foot cells. A 2012 letter from a Raleigh, N.C. prisoner, describes life in his 6-by-8-foot cell with one hour of daily recreation, walking around a cage.

SHU Syndrome and Prison Psychosis

Prolonged solitary confinement has been demonstrated to cause anxiety, depression, anger, paranoia, hallucinations, confused thought processes, and violent fantasies. Self-harm and suicide are more common in solitary than among the general prison population.

Physiological effects include headaches, lethargy, nightmares, insomnia, dizziness, heart palpitations, oversensitivity to noise and touch, digestive problems, weight loss, and eyesight deterioration. The Physicians for Human Rights add that “because they have more limited access to medical services, both pre-existing illnesses and illnesses resulting from time spent in solitary confinement often go untreated.”

Many prisoners are released directly to the streets after spending years in isolation, American Friends Service Committee states. “Because of this, long-term solitary confinement goes beyond a problem of prison conditions, to pose a formidable public safety and community health problem.” Because inmates are prohibited from educational and vocational opportunities and have limited visitation rights during their incarceration, they are “deeply traumatized and essentially socially disabled.” It is no surprise that their recidivism rates are high.

In testimony before the Senate Judiciary on Solitary Confinement in 2012, the Physicians for Human Rights concluded:

“The physiological and, especially, psychological harm caused by even a relatively short period in solitary confinement is indisputable…There is no question that the harm caused to an inmate or detainee kept in solitary confinement outweighs any benefit in all but the most extreme cases.”

Is Solitary Confinement Torture?

The Physicians for Human Rights believe so. In the way in which it is used in the United States today, solitary confinement constitutes torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, in violation of both international law and America’s founding principles.”

International human rights experts have recommended that solitary confinement be abolished totally as a human rights abuse and form of torture. In August 2011, Juan Mendez, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, “concluded that even 15 days in solitary confinement constitutes torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, and 15 days is the limit after which irreversible harmful psychological effects can occur.”

24 Hour Bail Bondsman in Utah

Bad Boys Bail Bonds agents are available 24/7, 365 days a year, serving the entire state of Utah for their bail bonding needs. We are a family owned company who will make sure your loved ones spend as little as time as possible in jail. Contact a Utah Bad Boys Bail Bonds agent today!

What Rights Do Utah Inmates Have While Incarcerated?

What Rights Do Utah Inmates HaveWhile

Recently, the ACLU of Michigan filed a federal lawsuit concerning alleged inhumane treatment of female inmates in Muskegon County Jail. The Michigan suit claims physically unsafe conditions, degradation by allowing male guards to watch the women shower, change clothes, and use the restroom. The complaint also alleges that women were denied access to basic sanitary items such as toilet paper, clean underwear, and feminine hygiene products,

Londora Kitchens, one of the plaintiffs’ in the lawsuit, pointed out that she knew she had broken the law which garnered jail time, “However, nobody deserves to be forced to live like an animal and be treated like one. We are women deserving of basic respect, sanitary conditions, bodily privacy, and simply to be treated like the women we are.” This brings us to the topic of inmate rights. What (if any) rights do inamtes have while they are incarcerated? We don’t have time to discuss all inmate rights in this blog, but let’s talk about a few main rights.

What Rights Do Inmates Have?

While some inmate rights may vary slightly from state to state, federal law guarantees basic human rights to all inmates under the United States Constitution of America. Inmates in Utah have inalienable rights that must be upheld through the entire legal process, from pretrial detainment to conviction, and incarceration, should that occur. We should also mention that inmate rights are different than inmate privlages.

constitution gaurantees certain rights to inmates

Pretrial Detainees

Pretrial detainees are afforded the same human rights that any inmate is privy to. The intake process and screening should be done in a timely manner, which assures the detainee of proper medical and mental health assessments. Officials must take into account, the detainee’s age, vulnerability, and special needs when choosing housing. Single cell occupancy should be given if the detainee is not deemed safe among other inmates. The detainee is entitled to a clean, safe, environment that allows visitation and recreational activities. Any detainee with special needs is entitled to proper care.

Inmates Have the Right to Be Free from Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Inmates are afforded the right to be free from any cruel or unusual punishment. When a person is incarcerated, the incarceration is the punishment for the crime they committed, there cannot be further punishment by guards or other prisoners. No torture, abuse, or degradation is legally allowed to occur.

 

Inmates Have the Right to Nutritios Food and Exercise

Inmates are also guaranteed by the law to adequate nutrition, healthful food, which is palatable. Inmates are entitled to at least one hot meal per day. Any inmate with special dietary needs has the right to have their dietary needs met. All food must be prepared in a sanitary way.

Inmates are entitled to exercise outdoors for a minimum of one hour per day if weather permits. Inmates have the right to adequate time out of their cells each day for recreational purposes, as well as time to maintain their health.

Inmates Have the Right to Be Free from Sexual Harassment

All inmates have the right to be free from sexual harassment from not only other prisoners, but guards as well. This includes more than sexual aggression and includes sexual innuendo, suggestions, or any type of sexual harassment.

inmate rightsInmates Have the Right to Voice Complaints and Access to the Courts

All inmates also have the right to voice any complaints they may have against the jail or prison where they are housed. Inmates have this right without the fear of reprisal. Inmates have the right to have access to the courts to voice any complaints as well.

Disabled Inmates Rights’ Are Protected by the American’s with Disabilities Act

Disabled inmates are protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act. A disable inmate must be given adequate medical attention according to their needs, as well as the adequate housing and access to all facilities that other inmates have access to.

Inmates Have the Right to Adequate Medical and Mental Health Care

All inmates are entitled to adequate medical and mental healthcare. This includes continued care, checkups, and emergency care. If special medical treatment is required, inmates have the right to receive such care, including dental care without being charged a fee. Geriatric, female inmates, inmates under the age of eighteen, and inmates with disabilities are entitled to treatment sensitive to their needs when possible.

Inmates Have the Right to Freedom of Speech

Inmates have the right, just as any American, to freedom of speech which is protected under the First Amendment, just as freedom of religion is protected. Inmates may exercise this right to the extent that it does not interfere with their status as an inmate. For instance letters may be written and received, without fear of reprisal if an inmate expresses views on prison life or prison staff.

Inmates Have the Right to Be Free from Discrimination

Inmates also have the right to be free of any kind of discrimination while incarcerated. This includes discrimination due to age, religious beliefs, sexual preferences, disability, or racial segregation.

Inmates Have the Right to Privacy

Inmates also have the right to an appropriate degree of privacy when using the restroom, showering, and any other situations where a degree of privacy would be expected. There are exceptions to this in prison, however privacy is to be observed whenever possible.

Inmates Have the Right to Organize

Inmates also have the right to organize in prison for many purposes. One of which, is to demand changes in the prison if problems in living conditions, healthcare, or inmates rights are being violated. Inmates have this right as well as the right to be free from reprisal for doing so.

Inmates Have the Right to Be Notified of Disciplinary Action

Inmates also have the right to know what type of conduct warrants a disciplinary action. All rules and regulations should be made available to the inmate in a handbook or in a way that may be reviewed if needed.

Knowing your rights is the best way to protect them. If you have been arrested, Bad Boys Bail Bonds makes sure that you don’t have to spend any more time in jail than you have to. At Bad Boys, we believe you’re innocent until proven guilty and we treat you that way. We hope you never need us, but if you do we’re here for you 24/7. If you or a loved one needs a great bail bond company, you’ve just found it.

 

 

The Effects of Legalized Marijuana on Crime and Incarceration Rates

legalized marijuana and crime rate

With this last election, as Alaska, Oregon and our nation’s capital joined Washington and Colorado in legalizing marijuana use within their borders. But what about the effects has the legalization of marijuana had on incarceration rates in states where it’s been legalized? Will legalization lower prison populations, ease the strain on law enforcement agencies and help lower crime by allowing law enforcement officers to pursue more serious crimes? Here’s what we’ve discovered, looking both nationwide and to our eastern neighbor Colorado, whose legalization of recreational marijuana use made national headlines last fall:

Legalized Marijuana Changes in Arrest and Prosecutionlegalized marijuana stats

Though one would expect to see significant decreases in the number of people arrested for marijuana possession and use after legalization, there have actually been some other areas which have also had surprisingly low statistics for arrests and prosecutions. Whether it’s just the quiet, happy feeling calming the inner road rage or people not going on the road after consuming marijuana, with California, Hawaii and Rhode Island each seeing sharp drops in traffic fatalities after medical marijuana was legalized, according to a Forbes article earlier this year. This is attributed in the Washington Post to a substitution effect, as people substitute marijuana use for alcohol use.

Legalized Marijuana and Changes in Usage

report prepared by the Kentucky Legislative Research Commission found that in most states where medical marijuana had been legalized, there was either a small increase (1.7% or less), no notable change or a strong decrease (up to 9.2%) in marijuana use following legalization. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper stated in a recent Forbes interview that after six months of legalization, the state hadn’t seen any serious upswing in usage. There has been an increase in “marijuana tourists” in the state, as people traveling to buy marijuana has increased, but this also creates an increase in the economy through related travel expenses such as fuel, lodging and dining.

Legalized Marijuana and Changes in Crime Statistics

After Colorado legalized marijuana last fall, speculation was rampant that the crime rate would increase. A year later, those higher rates have not only not materialized, they’ve actually dropped. According to a recent report by the City of Denver, property crime declined 7.7% and violent crime declined 2.4% when comparing the first ten months of 2013 (before legalization) to the first ten months of 2014 (after legalization). What’s more, this has taken place while making the state what’s estimated to be just shy of $29 million dollars in tax revenues by the end of September to support schools and other initiatives as marijuana tourism becomes more popular.

Where Utah Stands on Legalized Marijuana

There are few proponents of legalization in Utah’s state government, with a few individuals stepping out of the shadows in the name of medical marijuana. In Utah, possession or sale of marijuana or paraphernalia in any amount carries a minimum of a misdemeanor or felony, fines and jail time, and revocation of your driver’s license for six months if convicted. If you need a bail bond company you can trust, contact Bad Boys Bail Bonds, a family-owned professional company open 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

What do you think of the legalization of marijuana? What about the uses of hemp? Tell us in the comments!

 

Police Shootings in Utah Under Public Scrutiny

police brutality

Are police officers using excessive force that isn’t justifiable? This question is being asked nationwide, as videos have shown police officers using force to stop victims who are unarmed. In the Utah cases of Danielle Willard, Dillon Taylor, and even the dog named Geist, Utahans are asking if police officers are using excessive force unnecessarily.

Cases of Excessive Force by Police in Utah

Danielle Willard
In the Danielle Willard case, Utah police shot Willard during a drug raid after she was reportedly “seen” buying drugs. Some witnesses said Willard tried to “ram” police with her vehicle, though reconstructions of the scene of her death suggested the officer firing the fatal shot stood by Willard’s vehicle, not in front of it. Her death raises the questions of whether police take too many liberties with their power and why there is a lack of transparency in the Salt Lake City Police Department. Salt Lake City District Attorney Sim Gill ruled the shooting and Willard’s death as “not justifiable” after officers’ accounts were not consistent with evidence presented. Officers claimed there were drugs in her system, but no drugs were found and tire marks at the scene did not support the theory Willard peeled out at the scene. There was no evidence that Willard attempted to harm officers. Her 2012 death isn’t the first time doubt has been cast on the actions of officers in the Salt Lake City police force.

utah rally against excessive police force

Dillon Taylor

Police appeared in riot gear and one was wearing a body camera when they confronted Dillon Taylor. Taylor had been described by witnesses as having robbed a convenience store. But, he was wearing headphones and couldn’t clearly hear officers’ requests to get on the ground. Officers reported Taylor was combative, pointing to footage from an officer’s body camera. Salt Lake City District Attorney Sim Gill ruled the shooting justifiable, given Taylor’s actions in a 30-second video. However, many Utahans question using military-grade weapons on civilians.

Can police use force if they “perceive” a threat, even when no threat exists? In the Darrien Hunt case, witnesses reported Hunt had a sword. However, family members reported he was costumed and carried a toy katana. Family of Hunt say the young African-American was no threat in a community. A drive-through bank camera captured footage of Hunt fleeing police.

 

 

Did Taylor and Willard need to Die?

This is a question many Utahans are asking since Willard and Taylor had no weapons. Cameras used in police shootings may not be reliable because they are turned off or footage may be altered. According to Dub Lawrence, former Sheriff for Davis County, police officers may entrap and use force when the public cannot. Officers are held to a higher standard and have immunities citizens do not. For example, a police officer has 24 to 48 hours to file a report if someone dies. They also can lie during an interrogation. Lawrence spoke at an event Oct. 4 and called for citizens to question police officers’ transparency.

dub lawrence speaking out against police shootings

 

 Need for a National Database That Tracks Police Shootings Nationwide

Is there a way for Utahans to get the facts in a case, such as Hunt’s, Willard’s or Taylor’s? Some citizens may feel officers may not be telling the truth. However, there is no nationwide computer system to check facts.

USA Today reports from University of South Carolina criminologist Geoff Alpert, who has long studied police use of deadly force, said the FBI’s limited database underscores a gaping hole in the nation’s understanding of how often local police take a life on America’s streets — and under what circumstances.

”There is no national database for this type of information, and that is so crazy,” said Alpert. “We’ve been trying for years, but nobody wanted to fund it and the (police) departments didn’t want it. They were concerned with their image and liability. They don’t want to bother with it.”

Alpert said the database can confirm that a death has occurred but is good for little else.

“I’ve looked at records in hundreds of departments,” Alpert said, “and it is very rare that you find someone saying, ‘Oh, gosh, we used excessive force.’ In 98.9% of the cases, they are stamped as justified and sent along.”

How to Reduce Police Shootings in Utah

What is the best way to handle situations where suspects or victims seem unarmed? Should police use non-lethal means? Utah’s laws allow for deadly force, allowing Utah school teachers to carry guns in the classroom. Until lawmakers are willing to revisit laws, ordinary citizens may not be able to defend themselves if officers decide someone’s actions justify using deadly force. But, what constitutes the need to use deadly force over non-deadly force? Without direction from lawmakers, police officers may make their own laws and break them without consequence. According to Duff, this is why ordinary citizens need to know what changes lawmakers are considering for bills and officers be held to the same transparency citizens have.

 

Will Removing Military Grade Weapons or Wearing Body Cameras Help Reduce Police Shootings in Utah?

Would having cameras and banning military-grade weapons stop officers from killing unarmed civilians? Would it matter in the police by suicide cases? According to Lawrence, having military-grade equipment gives police officers in Utah and elsewhere an unfair advantage. Not all Utahans want military weapons removed. Eighty-three percent of Utahans want weapons to be used responsibly and have advocated non-lethal alternatives, such as tear gas or rubber bullets. Many Utahans have questioned whether officers should wear cameras, because cameras can be turned off.

 

Utahans Call for More Transparency in Regards to Use of Lethal Force by Police

Why aren’t police by suicide valid in cases such as Taylor’s, Hunt’s or Willard’s? In Hunt’s case, the police determined from the trajectory of bullets that Hunt was fleeing the scene and not being confrontational. Thus, this rules out the police by suicide defense, where police can rule a shooting as “police by suicide” if a victim threatens to harm an officer. Many Utahans question if police officers need checks and balances. According to Dub Lawrence, a former marine, police officer, and SWAT,  demand officers be transparent in order for laws to change.  Listen to Dub Lawrence here speak about exaclty what the problem in Utah is.

Utahans are petioning to recall the current Mayor of Salt Lake City, Ralph Becker, citing his inaction regarding use of excessive police force. Utahans want a mayor who is ready and willing to take action to represent the wants and needs of it’s people. You can visit Change.org to sign the petition recalling the current mayor.

 

Holding the Men in Blue to a Higher Standard

In the minds of many Utahans, the actions of Salt Lake City’s finest have shown many police officers abuse the power they are given and not face any consequences. Many Utahans are outraged because officers do not have to answer for their actions, as no officers in Hunt, Willard, or the Taylor cases had disciplinary actions levied against them. Shouldn’t police officers held to a higher standard? An example of this may be bus drivers across the nation. A bus driver has a Class B and Class C license. In the government’s eyes, bus drivers should be better drivers than the everyday man, and held to a higher standard. A bus driver is expected to be better and are fined more severely when they receive traffic violations.

Many Utahans expect the same of their law enforcement officers and demand Utah’s finest take responsibility for actions. Unfortunately, some police officers, Utahans feel, have used the law to cater to their needs. It has allowed Utah police to not only get away with murder, but commit it with excessive force in some cases. Attorneys in the Hunt and also in the Willard case have proven there was no reason for either Hunt or Willard to be shot an excess of four times, to more than six times for Hunt.

 

Is Deadly Force Needed as Much as it’s Used?

Readers commenting on the Saratoga Springs case, called for the truth. While the use of force may be warranted in this case, many Utahans do not believe all police officers are villains. There are good officers. But, the problem lies in how we assume innocence, based on appearances. Many Utahans simply want Salt Lake City Police Department to be accountable and use other means before using lethal means.

Tell us your thoughts — What do you think will make the difference? How can we protect our officers AND citizens?

 

If you or a loved one is arrested on suspicion of a crime, contact Bad Boys Bail Bonds Utah to request bail. We are here when you need us, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We will get you out on our bail 365 days.

Most Shocking Celebrity Arrests & Their Bail Amounts

celbrity arrests and bail bonds

 

Young Jeezy, August of 2014/illegal assault rifle

Bail amount of $1 million

As part of the investigation into the shooting death of a man at a Wiz Khalifa concert, a search warrant was issued for Young Jeezy’s tour bus as Khalifa and Jeezy were touring together. During the search, police found firearms that belonged to the members of Jeezy’s entourage, as well as Jeezy’s illegal assault rifle.

As a result, Young Jeezy and five men from his entourage were arrested on illegal gun charges. Jeezy and all five members of his entourage pleaded not guilty to the charges. After posting the $1 million bail, all six men were released from jail.

Even famous, easily recognizable people that are a minimal flight risk have to post bail. Even Jeezy’s prior legal issues that include an arrest in January that stemmed from an argument with his son in 2012 and a DUI arrest in 2008 do not justify his severe bail amount.

 

Todd English, Celebrity Chef, Arrested in August of 2014 for DWI

Bail amount of $1,500

Celebrity Chef Todd English is the creative force behind numerous restaurants throughout the nation, he frequently appears on the television series “Iron Chef USA” and authored several cookbooks. The 54-year-old chef was driving along county road 39 in Long Island at approximately 3:30 a.m. when he was pulled over by the Southampton Town Police. The police arrested English, who was charged with a DWI, which is a misdemeanor. English posted his $1,500 cash bail and was released.

 

Lamar Odom 2013 DUI (crack)

Bail amount of $15,000

On August 30, the California Highway Patrol in San Fernando Valley arrested Lamar Odom for driving under the influence. Odom was pulled over for driving too slow on Freeway 101. He was reportedly driving 50 mph. He failed several sobriety field tests and would not agree to chemical testing. In the state of California, this refusal translates into a yearlong suspended driver’s license.

They took Odom to a nearby station, booked him and set his bail at $15,000. He was then transferred to a jail in Van Nuys. Odom called on his drug dealer to post his bail. The bail was posted and Odom was released from the Van Nuys jail facility.

As this news story unfolded, reports indicate that Odom never even called on his wife or her family members post his bail. Kardashian found out about her husband’s arrest the way the rest of us did, through the media.

 

Chris Brown 2009/assault on girlfriend Rihanna

Bail amount of $50,000

Chris Brown, R&B singer and dancer, was arrested and then charged with making criminal threats (which is a felony charge). This comes after an early morning attack on his pop star girlfriend, Rihanna. She was hospitalized following the incident due to severe bruising on her face.

Eventually, Brown posted the $50,000 bail and was released. Allegedly, Brown and Rihanna were sitting in a vehicle in the Hancock Park neighborhood when an argument ensued. The argument began escalating after the two exited the vehicle. A 9-1-1 call reported the disturbance and when the police arrived, Rihanna was present but Brown had fled the scene.

The incident with Rihanna led to Brown receiving a sentence of 5-years’ probation. He was also ordered to enter a residential drug treatment facility and given a restraining order stating that he was not to be within 50 feet of Rihanna. In 2013, Brown violated his 2009 probation when he was arrested in Washington D.C. This incident resulted in his previously ordered probation being revoked.

Brown was charged with a misdemeanor and no bail amount was set. In February 2014, Brown was ordered to remain in jail for at least a month because of his 2013 probation violation.

 

Phil Spector 2003/murder

Bail amount of $1 million

In 2003, a 9-1-1 call led police to the Los Angeles mansion of 62-year-old Record Producer Phil Spector. The body of actress Lana Clarkson was found slouched over in a chair. Clarkson had been shot through the mouth with a revolver.

Spector was on the scene. A struggle occurred between him and the police when he was asked to show them his hands. Spector was eventually subdued with a Taser.

Following a six-month investigation, Spector was charged with the murder of Lana Clarkson. Renowned defense attorney Robert Shapiro arranged for Spector’s bail, which was set at $1 million. He posted bail and remained a free man for six years before his conviction in 2009. Spector was convicted of second-degree murder and illegally discharging a firearm. Spector was sentenced to 19 years to life for the murder of the actress.

 

Double-Amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius, aka Blade Runner, 2013/murder

Bail amount of $1 million

Oscar Pistorius admitted to accidently killing his girlfriend, 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day. Pistorius claims that he shot Steenkamp because he thought she was an intruder. Desmond Nair, Chief Magistrate, ruled Pistorius be given the harshest bail requirements allowed in South African law. This means that his defense attorneys must detail exceptional reasons as to why Pistorius needs to be free prior to his trial; this is on top of giving up his two South African passports, surrendering his guns, posting an $11,300 cash bond and proving that he has another $988,700 available to pay his entire bail amount if necessary.

 

Haley Joel Osment 2006/ DUI – Marijuana possession

Bail amount of $15,000

Haley Joel Osment, 18-years-old,  has been charged with several misdemeanors including a DUI, possession of marijuana, driving with a .08 blood alcohol level (or higher), an enhancement of driving with a .15 or higher and a vehicle infraction of driving while under the age of 21 years with a blood alcohol level of 0.5 or higher.

While driving home in the early hours of July 20, Osment lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a brick pillar. The collision occurred around 1 a.m. Osment was treated for a shoulder injury and a broken rib. No other bystanders were injured.

Osment faces up to six months incarceration on charges he was driving while intoxicated and had marijuana in his possession. His blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit at .16 percent. Osment’s bail was set at $15,000. He was released from custody after posting his $15,000 bond.

 

Aaron Hernandez, former NFL player,  2012 murder of two men in Boston

Bail was denied

Former New England Patriot tight end, Aaron Hernandez, was indicted by a grand jury for the July 2012 murder of Safiro Furtado and Daniel Abreu. The two men were in Boston, sitting at a traffic light when the driver of another vehicle began to shoot at them.

Boston police believe that Hernandez may be the shooter. Hernandez was being held without bail for an unrelated 2013 death of semi-pro player Odin Lloyd, which Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to. Hernandez’ Defense Attorney Michael Fee states that all the evidence against his client, in relation to the Lloyd murder, was circumstantial. Fee requested that his client be granted bail; however, no bail amount was set.

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If you or a loved one is arrested on suspicion of a crime, contact Bad Boys Bail Bonds Utah to request bail. We are here when you need us, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. For a small fee, we can initially provide the funds necessary to get you or your loved one released from jail until the pending trial.

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Most Common Reasons People Need to Post Bail During Summer

Most Common Reasons People Are Arrested

We know that summer is one of the most magical times of the year. The crops are in full bloom, school is out, and the time to take a long vacation is way past due. Unfortunately, the summer brings forth many activities that can escalate into a legal situation.

When someone is accused of committing a crime, we know it’s easy to become overwhelmed and tired with the fight. We’ve put together a brief explanation of why so many more people seem to get arrested during the summer months.

 

Arrested During a Concert

The high summer temperatures make people impulsive and irrational with their decisions. Furthermore, summer-time events bring diverse groups of people together. In some situations people can become out of control and enraged leading to a fight. This type of behavior is prominent during large scale events such as concerts where alcohol consumption occurs.

 

Drinking and Driving

 Having a cold one, or several, on the front porch quickly cools off the summer heat. Few things compare to the ice cold beverage, but some people choose to take the risk of going for more or a bite to eat after they succumb to the alcohol. The police departments know that alcohol consumption increases during the summer months; therefore, they increase the number of active patrols to catch people with a DWI or DUI.

Speaking of driving related incidents, people driving unsafely or while drowsy may find themselves at the other end of a patrol car. We know that many people choose to take lavish road trips with friends or family. The amount of DWD, or driving while drowsy, cases rises every summer. If you feel you’re becoming too tired to drive, you should stop at a rest stop for a few hours or check into a hotel for the evening. You won’t make it to your destination if you have a wreck or are incarcerated.

 

Robbery When People Are on Vacation

 Being away from home for an extended vacation or period of time brings up another common reason people get arrested: home theft. People make choices about how to spend the summer. Excessive spending and partying can easily become a desperate search for money or valuables in another’s home. Summer should be a time of relaxation and enjoyment. We realize that some people experience events beyond their control that results in being arrested. Some people find themselves in situations of their own creation. Others may be impaired due to the presence of alcohol or even drugs.

 

Salt Lake City Bail Bond Agents

In order to have the best possible experience during the long awaited summer break, you must adhere to the laws and avoid breaking them at all costs. If you do get arrested during the summer, there are ways to get back to the sun. However, you must have a reliable, dependable bail bondsman to address your legal situation. Within a few minutes, Bad Boys Bail Bonds Utah can work to have you out and enjoying the summertime once again.

From Bad to Worse: Why Skipping Bail Should Never Be an Option

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Skipping out on bail isn’t just an “option” that most people hope they never have to use – it should never be an option in the first place. Getting arrested is already a very serious situation for everyone involved. You don’t want to take a bad situation and somehow manage to make it even worse by skipping out on bail. Not only will you be making things more difficult for yourself, but you’ll also be creating huge number of new problems for the person who was kind enough to bail you out in the first place.

Loss of Collateral

One of the first things that will happen if you skip out on bail is that the person who put up the money for bail will lose whatever they had to use as collateral on the bond. If the person who bailed you out collected the necessary money through various means or emptied their savings account in order to help out a friend or family member in need, they can consider that money “gone” the moment you don’t show up for court. This could create an extremely negative financial situation for that person depending on the total amount of the bond in question.

Future Bail

From a personal standpoint, your chances of ever getting bail in the future also go down to what is essentially zero if you skip out on bail a single time. Even though nobody ever plans on the need to get bailed out multiple times in their lifetime, it would still be a nice option to have. No matter what crime you would be charged with in the future, it would be very difficult to get a judge to even consider setting bail if you’ve already proved that you can’t be trusted to hold up your end of the bargain in the past.

Co-Signers

In the event that you run out on bail, the people who put up the money for the bond are responsible for a number of different things. If a bail bondsman needs to hire a bounty hunter to come and get you back from wherever you’re hiding, for example, those people who just wanted to help out a friend will be financially responsible for any additional expenses that they incur.

Skipping out on bail for any reason creates huge issues for everyone involved. Not only are you making life extremely difficult (and potentially expensive) for the people who tried to help you out, but you’re also all but guaranteeing extended jail times both now and in the future.