Across the Street Bail Bonds offers more than bond services when citizens are facing charges. Over the course of three years since the company’s beginning, owner Jeff Botellio streamlined the bail bond process with high technology and networking, so the company is prepared to efficiently serve clients.
He works with people who have no income. He also counsels people to help them make clear choices, has hired some and has helped some transition into rehabilitation programs.
His Carthage office is located at 205 S. McNeill Street and can be reached at (910) 585-1174.
“We go above and beyond to give people a chance to defend themselves, to improve themselves outside of the jail settings, and honor their word,” Botellio said. “We trust first.”
Some clients need recurring bond services. Botellio sees them in and out of the jail system physically and mentally ravaged by addiction, and the people who care for them “broken.”
Bail bonds ensure that a person will go to court on the assigned day “at no cost to the taxpayer,” Botellio said. “But Biden is trying to stop the bail bond system.”
The bail bond system uses money or property, posted by a friend, family member or a bail bond company as collateral to ensure the person facing charges will attend court. Without bail bond companies, the full responsibility of people facing charges would rest on law enforcement.
“Think about it,” Botellio said. “If you had to hire police, with benefits for them and their children and wives and pay for their equipment and cars, to go around getting everyone rounded up for court, you’d need to hire 20 more police for this county.” “When police are taken off the task force to get people in court, it puts the burden on everyone else.”
Botellio said should someone’s bond be set at $5,000 the deposit is $500. If that person misses court for whatever reason and goes to their attorney and apologizes, the attorney may be able to get the judge to set a new court date and offer a strike-out order for arrest.
But if the person misses court and does not go to their attorney, then the bail bond charges increase, like for “someone who has a habit of missing court dates.”
Jeff Botellio at Across the Street Bail Bonds on Oct. 28 in Carthage.
Botellio had to hire bounty hunters to assist in apprehending a client facing a list of felonies and had “skipped court” in January. It cost Botellio over $9,000 to bring back the fugitive to face charges.
Bail bonds people are licensed by the state, and Botellio recommends that people ask for references “before choosing a bondsman because like every business there are bad apples.”
Botellio assisted a recent client, “A-to-Z Girl,” age 29, with no health insurance, enter an addiction program. It will begin at a state detox facility followed by Freedom House, a long-term facility, and then to a safe house.
“She was addicted by her parents,” Botellio said. “Lots of time parents get kids hooked especially girls when they are twelve or so, and they start “working” for their parents doing whatever it takes to get them drugs. She doesn’t know any other way to live. These people need to be taught there’s another way.”
A-to-Z Girl had no driver’s license and no car. “I met her six to seven months ago and thought she didn’t have a chance.”
That is when A-to-Z Girl was given a chance – by Botellio. He gave her a job and shelter, so she “didn’t have to go back to hustling.”
Some clients are referred to Trosa Inc. in Durham. It is a two-year substance abuse recovery program that gives people tools to succeed.
“Sometimes they [clients] come back and say “thank you,” Botellio said.
Employee Stephon Johnson gives away a turkey on Oct. 28 at Across the Street Bail Bonds to Tiffany Dowdy.
Community-giving was alive and active at Across the Street Bail Bonds in preparation for Thanksgiving when they gave away 100 free turkeys and plan to hold another giveaway in two weeks.
“I noticed there were not a lot of resources for the community,” Botellio said, about the homeless population, “so we decided to do something.”
Across the Street Bail Bonds also has an office in Raeford at 137 Main Street.
Feature photo: Jeff Botellio is on the job Oct. 28 at Across the Street Bail Bonds in Carthage.
Article and photos by Sandhills Sentinel Journalism Intern Stephanie M. Sellers.