How Bail Bonds Work
Bail is a process through which the court, or a Justice of the Peace sets frees an individual who has been arrested or incarcerated, to guarantee the discharged individuals future appearance in the courtroom for more actions. Being let go from custody is typically enacted by putting up an amount of cash, or a bond, although initially bail included the delivery of other kinds of assets, including title to property or bonds and stocks. The primary usage of bail in modern legal programs is to secure the liberty, awaiting trial, of one imprisoned and charged with a criminal offense.
Typically, the purposes of bail awaiting trial in criminal instances are to steer clear of imposing punishment upon an blameless person, (who could be found innocent at trial) and to encourage the planning of his defense.
The amount of bail is usually set in relation to the gravity of the offense accused of, although some Judges/Magistrates take into account other factors, such as the effectiveness of the evidence, the character of the offender, and his monetary ability to obtain bail. Many areas now file further criminal charges for failing to show up (C.R.S. 18-8-212) in addition to sacrificing the guarantee that was employed to post the bond.
How does bail get the job done?
When a person is charged with a crime, typically that individual is going to be taken to a nearby law enforcement station, or County Jail for booking. As soon as arrested and booked, the defendant has several options for release, pending the final outcome of his or her court case. Bail was created to ensure the physical appearance of a defendant in the courtroom at the time the judge directs.
Consider some of the bonding solutions if someone is arrested?
There are five basic bonding options available. The five options are:
Cash Bail – Cash bail means a person must give the court the total amount (face worth) of the bail in cash. Please note, this is not by credit card, check or other economical resource, only cold cash! The cash will be held by the court until the defendant appears to all of his/her court docket occasions and the case is decided. As of July 1st, 2011 if the defendant appears for all of his/her scheduled court hearings, the cash bail should be returned LESS any fees or penalties charged.
Surety Bond – An alternative to cash bail is a surety bond. This method involves a contractual enterprise secured by a certified Bail Bond Agent having adequate assets to satisfy the face price of the bond. The bail agent promises to the court that they will settle the bond forfeiture if a defendant fails to show up for their appointed court appearances. The bail agent’s guarantee is made through a surety company and/or by pledging assets belonging to the bail agent.
For this service, the defendant is billed a premium; the premium fee in Colorado is 15% or $50.00, what ever is greater. For example, if the bail amount in $1,000.00, the premium billed would be $150.00. Ahead of the putting up of the surety bond, the accused, close friend or family member will have to talk to an accredited bail broker. When a bail agent is approached, an interview or appointment will be promptly slated.
Through relating to the friends and relations of a defendant, together with through the acceptance of equity, the bail agent may be reasonably assured that the offender released on a surety bond will appear to all of his/her court docket hearings.
After that course of action is completed, the bail agent will certainly put up a bond for the complete bail sum, financially ensuring the defendant’s return to court as slated.
With money on the line, the bail agent carries a financial involvement in supervising his/her clientele, and ensuring that they show up in the courtroom every time the legal court orders them to appear. If the offender doesn’t appear in court (cuts out), the bail agent has the personal financial incentive to find the person and bring him/her to court.
Property Bond – In extraordinary cases an individual may be released by placing a property bond with the court. Using a property bond, the court records a loan on the property, or home to secure the bail amount. If the defendant fails to appear on the court docket as scheduled, the court may foreclose on the property to obtain the forfeited bail amount. Most Courts in Colorado are no longer permitting Property Bonds.
Release on Personal (Own) Recognizance (PR) – Another method of release, pending trial, is through a county or police force administered pre-trial release program. Typically, the employees of such programs meet with offenders in custody and make recommendations to the court concerning the release of these individuals on their own recognizance (i.e., without any personal financial security to guarantee the defendant’s return).
The interview practice is often conducted over the telephone, usually with minor query into the defendant’s background. The interview process attempts to see whether the detainee is probably going to show up in court. There is usually no confirmation of information supplied by the defendant. Given that no money, property or bond is submitted to obtain the defendant’s physical appearance in the courtroom, he/she faces no private economic hardship from the cognizant decision not to appear in court. Further the staff of a pre-trial release process doesn’t have any financial inducement to bring a defendant to court if he/she fails to come to court (skips).
Being let go on Citation (Cite Out) – This procedure involves the issuance of a citation by the arresting officer to the arrestee, telling the arrestee that he/she must appear in court at an appointed court date. The Cite Out usually takes place immediately after an individual is detained. As a consequence of the failure to follow full booking procedures, the true identity and background of many folks released on citation is never identified. This results in the discharge of numerous arrestees who may well have unsettled bench warrants pending, or who may present a substantial threat to society.
Consequently, in those cases connected with “Cite Outs”, the arrestee may not be put into custody. Just like the PR release, the defendant’s physical appearance in the courtroom depends solely on the integrity of the defendant voluntarily returning to court, as directed by the court.
Just how much does a bail bond (surety bond) cost?
In Colorado, the bail payment (fee) is 15% or $50.00, whatever is greater of the full bail total. For example, if the bail amount is $5,000.00, the premium charged is $750.00.
How much of the premium will I get back?
The premium (fee for putting up the bond) is simply that, a fee or the amount to pay for the Bond Agent to publish the bond. Like every other insurance protection payment, you do not get the payment back, it is non-refundable. That is how bail agents generate their money and pay their expenses.
What is collateral?
Collateral is something of worth used to financially secure a bail bond.
What can be part of collateral?
Some examples of collateral include homes, vehicles, motorboats, jewelry, and digital equipment (you get the idea).
When will collateral be returned?
Collateral is generally given back once the court finishes with the defendant’s court case(s), exonerating the bail bond(s), of course, if all fees have been compensated.
How long does it take to get discharged from jail?
Each Jail is different it could take from 1 hour to 12 hours depending on the jail, and exactly how busy they are. Obviously, the larger the Jail, the more time it will take.
Excerpts from The Criteria for Setting Bail in Colorado:
CRS 16-4-103: Selection by Judge of the amount of bail and kind of bond.
(1) In determining the amount of bail and the type of bond to be furnished by the defendant, the judge fixing the same will consider and stay regulated by the following standards:
The amount of bail shall not be oppressive;
When an individual is faced with a an wrongdoing punishable by fine only, the amount of bail shall not surpass the amount of the highest penalty;
The defendant’s work status and history and his personal finances;
The character and scope of his family relationships;
His past and present residences;
His character and reputation;
Identification of persons who consent to help him in going to court at the correct time;
The nature of the the offense currently charged and the obvious probability of indictment and the likely term.
The defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, and, if he previously has been released pending trial, irrespective of whether he appeared as required;
All information suggesting the potential for infractions of rules if the offender is released without having restrictions;
Any facts indicating a probability that there will be violence, or harassment of feasible witnesses by the defendant;
Any other facts tending to indicate that the defendant has solid ties to the area and isn’t likely to flee authority;
Unless the district attorney consents, no person shall be released on personal recognizance if he is presently at liberty on another bond of any kind in another legal motion connected with a felony, or a class 1 misdemeanor;
Unless of course the district attorney consents, no person shall be released on personal recognizance if he has a history of offense of a class 1 misdemeanor within two years, or a felony within five years, prior to the release case.
Some Pointers on Deciding on a Bail Bonding Agent:
1. You should definitely only address a licensed bail agent. You can ask to see the bail agent’s certificate and identification prior to any bail transaction.
2. Make sure the bail agent bills you for solely legal charges. The payment billed for a bail bond in Colorado is 15% or $50.00, whichever is greater, of the complete bail amount. Any further charges ought to be itemized and explained to your approval.
3. Make sure you are provided itemized invoices for all charges.
4. You should always be given duplicates of all signed agreements.
5. If funding is supplied, make sure you understand the conditions of the financing agreement prior to signing, and make certain you are provided replicates of anything you sign.
Finally here is a tip from a notable Denver Attorney:
1. “Make sure the bail agent you contract with will be available to you after the bail bond has been posted. Part of what you pay for is service. Almost any professional bail agent is going to be readily available for inquiries, or concerns during the entire full course of action.” Welcome to BWB country!
As an informed bail bond consumer, you’ve got the tools essential to make the right judgements. You should definitely understand the bail agent you select. Use your gut instinct. If it feels right, it probably is. If it doesn’t feel right, walk away.