Ed. Note: The following content was provided by All American Bail Bonds who is a client of KHTS AM-1220.
Bail bonds agents deal with a variety of crimes ranging from shoplifting to violent crimes, but drug possession is the most common crime bail agents encounter.
“The most common crime we see is drug possession,” said Inessa Chavez, vice president of All American Bail Bonds in Santa Clarita. “People are often pulled over in their cars and caught with it.”
Chavez and her bail bonds agents at All American Bail Bonds in Santa Clarita often see 100 clients a month, with a majority of those arrested on drug possession.
“Things might be changing though,” Chavez said. “When California citizens voted in Proposition 47, it brought drug possession charges down to a misdemeanor.”
When Prop. 47 was voted in on Nov. 4 of last year, most felony drug charges were brought down to misdemeanors.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies who have pulled someone over and found drugs in the vehicle have to let the person go with a citation, where they normally would have been arrested and put in jail.
With less people being arrested for drug possession charges, Chavez and her team at All American Bail Bonds in Santa Clarita have seen an increase in violent crimes and abuse charges.
“It’s hits home,” Chavez said. “It’s difficult to see our community not getting the help they would have gotten if they had been arrested for drug possession.”
Possession of GHB, known as the “date rape” drug, heroin, concentrated cannabis, methamphetamine, ecstasy, cocaine and other drugs are now a misdemeanor.
Now, when someone is found with drugs, they are given a citation and a court date.
“Previously in court, the person would be put into a drug rehabilitation program like the ones offered by Action Family Counseling,” Chavez said. “Now, offenders don’t have that incentive to get better.”