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Old August 7, 2015, 02:17 PM   #1
TailGator
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Bounty Hunters

There have been numerous reports in the media about team of "bounty hunters" that mistakenly raided the home of a chief of police while pursuing a drug offender who had jumped bail. The reports seem to indicate that the agents of the bail bondsman broke the door down to gain access, and is now facing charges. From what little I know on the subject, it appears that such folk operate quite independently of conventional law enforcement agencies, with little oversight, and sometimes with little accountability.

I'm not sure how one would tell the difference between the agents of a bail bondsman and home invaders with no badges or identifying clothing. What would happen legally if one defended one's home against such an error?

It is sometimes advised that, if people identifying themselves as police officers arrive unexpectedly, one should confirm their identity with 911. Would local law enforcement be aware of the activities of bail bondsmen?

I can imagine such a mistake ending very badly for either or both sides. And if a police chief can be the victim of such an error, it would seem almost anyone could.
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Old August 7, 2015, 06:06 PM   #2
leadcounsel
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Wrong address raids are one very good reason to CLEARLY post your number address on your home, mailbox, front door in very very visible large numbers/letters.

Having often been very confused about which house is which when trying to find an address, it's puzzling why more people aren't more distinguishing about their street address.
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Old August 7, 2015, 07:46 PM   #3
AK103K
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Quote:
Having often been very confused about which house is which when trying to find an address, it's puzzling why more people aren't more distinguishing about their street address.
Perhaps they just want privacy, and dont want to be found. We've always preferred that.

The internet has made privacy a thing of the past. We used to always have an unlisted phone number, and a P.O. Box, with no house address on anything, physical or paper, but certain government records that required them. Even then, it was pretty easy to foil that somewhat, using the P.O. Box address.

These days, a quick internet search on you will usually show where you live, where you used to live, who lives with you, your phone number, and even more. You really need to work at anonymity these days.

Out here in the country, if you didnt have a P.O. Box, at least we used to have RR address's (which were pretty anonymous), but no more, since 911 address's have been issued. The post offices here, have limited hours, no lobby hours, and basically no hours on the week ends, so, unless youre retired, or close to home during the day, getting to your P.O. Box is about an impossibility.

Then there is Google maps.....
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Old August 8, 2015, 12:24 PM   #4
leadcounsel
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Perhaps they just want privacy, and dont want to be found. We've always preferred that.
How does posting your street number on your house offer you any less privacy? Your house is clearly visible, presumably.

And actually, not having your house labeled would give you less theoretical privacy with your mail or packages ending up at the neighbors, people knocking on your door by mistake, etc.

Seems like odd logic IMO. ...

And, as I stated, a clearly labeled house will hopefully avoid the 1 in a 100 million chance of a mis-police raid (not that I live in such a neighborhood, but it's always possible - so before someone predictably chimes in, please spare us all the "live in a better area" comments). Clearly having your address posted puts you legally in a much better position if such a thing were to arise.
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Old August 8, 2015, 12:48 PM   #5
T. O'Heir
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Not having your house labeled isn't allowed in a lot of places. EMT and fire types need it. Still can result in wrong address raids. Excrement happens.
There's a post about the team of "bounty hunters" on The High Road. Apparently the police chief met 'em at the door with a baton and discouraged 'em.
"...broke the door down to gain access..." That's called "break and enter" up here. Also called a 'home invasion'.
"... legally if one defended..." Kind of suspect a lot depends on where you live. State laws regarding bounty hunters and bondsmen being different. A 'castle doctrine' law should be a CYA for the home owner.
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Old August 8, 2015, 01:30 PM   #6
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If someone kicks my door in the minimum they are going to get met with is me and my .45. Though likely my wife would be right behind me with her 9mm. If it was the middle of the night the 12 gauge with strobe light would be the welcome wagon. I would think either of those scenarios would change a mind or two in a hurry about coming into my house.

As for house numbers...for your safety, in time of need for emergency services, having your address boldly posted makes for a much easier job of us finding you for a fire or ems call. Every second that your loved one lies on the floor with no pulse is a second closer to no return. If we have to hunt for your house the odds are not good.
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Old August 8, 2015, 09:16 PM   #7
AK103K
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How does posting your street number on your house offer you any less privacy? Your house is clearly visible, presumably.
If someone is looking for you through your address, I would think it was pretty obvious.

Ive lived in houses that were both visible from the road, and those that werent. Up until a few years ago, none had a "mailing" address on them. A couple had the obligatory "fire" ID, but that was simply to let the fire/ambulance know where you were (no 911, you had to call county dispatch and give them the number). It wouldnt do anyone else any good, unless they had the map. Cops could use it though.

As far as mail, it always went to the post office box. Kind of hard to screw that up. UPS (I hate UPS too, by the way) has had more troubles with our current house that has an address, than all the others without one combined. Id much rather use USPS and FedEx. UPS only gets checked as a last resort.

The only people who knock here, that I dont know, are the occasional JW's, and anyone who's had a wreck down on the road, and cant get a cell signal, which is pretty much anyone who has a wreck. Very little (read that "no") cell service here.

Quote:
Seems like odd logic IMO. ...
I cant imagine why.

Quote:
And, as I stated, a clearly labeled house will hopefully avoid the 1 in a 100 million chance of a mis-police raid (not that I live in such a neighborhood, but it's always possible - so before someone predictably chimes in, please spare us all the "live in a better area" comments). Clearly having your address posted puts you legally in a much better position if such a thing were to arise.
All it takes is a dyslexic clerk, or one who is a poor typist, and your now visible, and "correct" address, just made it a lot easier to make your life miserable.

Then again, I suppose it would make your case against the department, a bit stronger, if you make it through the raid.
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Old August 8, 2015, 10:09 PM   #8
Signal-0
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Some bondsmen advise us when they are in the area, most do not. I've met a few who have sense, most I've met don't... I stay away from them as much as possible.

If your home was unlawfully entered, depending on your state law, you can use reasonable force to protect yourself and family from what you perceive as an immediate threat. Florida law provides for a PRESUMPTION OF FEAR OF GREAT BODILY HARM when your home is unlawfully entered.
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