By Claire Goforth
Michael Mills had run-ins with the law in his younger, wilder days. Now he is 43, an automotive repairman and father of four who lives in Baldwin, Fla., a quasi-independent municipality in Jacksonville. He thought that was all far behind him until he was arrested in September 2018 on felony charges of impersonating a police officer.
As a small business owner, he had the means to pay a bail bonds company $1,500, representing the standard, nonrefundable 10% portion of his $15,000 bond that such businesses charge, to secure release the day of his arrest, and was able to afford a private attorney. The state later reduced the charge to a misdemeanor, which didn’t affect bond because he’d already paid.