Legal Innovators: president Rey De Los Santos
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When Texas criminal defense attorney Rey De Los Santos served as a court-appointed lawyer, he was disturbed by the number of clients who had committed low-level crimes but couldn’t post bond.

According to a 2022 U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report, more than 60% of defendants are detained pretrial because they can’t afford bond.

“Fifty or 100 dollars can be the difference between bonding out and not bonding out,” said De Los Santos, president of “This is somebody who hasn’t been convicted. They’re about to lose their job. They’re about to lose custody of their children.”

Finding a bail bondsman can take one or two days because of the paperwork involved in applying with several companies. A family member may have to miss a day of work to do all the paperwork.

Blind Marketplace

In 2024, De Los Santos launched It’s an online application that streamlines the process of shopping for bail bonds by allowing families to get several bids simultaneously. It is currently available only in Texas. The company plans to expand into Oklahoma next year and additional states in the coming years.

Getting a bid is a four-step process. A family member registers with, inserts the arrestee’s basic information, and requests bids; bail bond companies are notified of the requests and can then make bids to satisfy the bonds.

“The bail bond companies can see the profile of the applicant, look them up in their own local system and, then give a good faith bid to that individual,” explained De Los Santos.

Bail bond companies typically know what their competitors are charging. But is a blind marketplace. “The local bonding companies do not know what the other bonding companies are going to bid. By utilizing the natural pressures of market competition, the price for bonds for those who are arrested should be lower,” said De Los Santos.

“Some bondsmen will take payment plans, some will take collateral, and some will take it all upfront, but at a lower overall price. All this is just creating a simplified marketplace where they can put the information in one place.” is a subscription service paid for by bail bond companies. The family is not charged.

Future Criminal Behavior

“There is a correlation between the imposition of monetary conditions to secure pretrial release and the increased likelihood of individuals suffering from housing insecurity, unemployment, loss of child custody, and an increased risk of future criminal behavior,” according to the Civil Rights Commission.

“The best time to retain an attorney is usually right away, before the case actually ends up in court,” explained Dey Los Santos. “A lot of times, an attorney can work something out,”

“If they stay detained before they even have a conviction, they can’t take any steps to help [their lawyer] prepare very well. If they are going to plead and are in jail, they can’t do things like taking the initiative and going to a drug rehab program on their own to try to show the judge that they’re a better candidate for probation.

“If [a lawyer] is going to jail and preparing for trial with a client, they’re talking to them between an 18-inch corded telephone and a two-inch glass window. It’s almost the equivalent of no preparation at all, to tell you the truth about when working with your clients.

“Regardless of what the theory is on law, I built this marketplace to try to lower that needed amount of money so people can try to get bonded out and have at least a fair shot at justice,” he added.

Bob Friedman

Robert "Bob" Friedman is the publisher of Attorney at Law Magazine North Carolina Triangle. He contributes articles and interviews to each issue.

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