If you're not a lawyer, bondsman, police officer, or court employee, you likely don't know much about posting bail and posting bond at Arapahoe, Denver, and Douglas County jails. The criminal defense attorneys at O'Malley and Sawyer, LLC have 40 years of combined experience in the criminal justice system. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you navigate successfully through the system. In today's blog post, we're going to look at frequently asked questions about posting bail and bonding someone out of a Colorado jail.
What is Bail and Bond in Colorado Jails?
In order to understand how bail / bond works in Adams, El Paso, and Jefferson County jails, we need to understand that the terms “bail” and “bond” mean the same thing. They are interchangeable. When a person “posts bond” or “posts bail,” they are putting money into an account held by the court. This money is security to ensure that the defendant returns for court after their release from jail. In most serious criminal cases in Colorado, bail / bond must be posted.
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Where Do I Post Bail or Bond?
When a defendant posts bail or bond in criminal cases in Colorado, it is usually posted at the jail itself. It is unusual (because jails are open 24/7, as opposed to courts), but, in some counties, bail is posted at the courthouse. This will mainly occur if someone is not in custody, but the court orders them to post a PR Bond.
Types of Bail / Bond Required by Denver Area Courts
There are a few different types of bonds / bail which are required and allowed by courts in the Denver area and across the Front Range. Let's take a look at each of them.
A PR (personal recognizance) Bond doesn't require any actual money. Basically, a defendant writes the equivalent of an “I owe you” to the court with the aid and signature of a cosigner. This document promises to pay a certain amount if the defendant fails to appear at court. Most felony cases require a large amount to be posted, and if the defendant fails to appear, it will become a civil judgment against them. Because no real money has to be put down, a PR Bond is often the best options for defendants who are looking to bail out of a county jail.
A surety bond is the most common type of bond and requires the involvement of a bondsman. Bondsmen don't post actual money. Instead, they post an insured promise with the court to pay if the defendant fails to appear. When the defendant shows up for their last court date, the bondsman is no longer held accountable. Think of this type of bail as renting money – you must pay a fee (usually around 15% for bail amounts less than $10,000, and 10% for bonds above it) in order to post a surety bond through a bondsman.
Real estate is used as collateral when a property bond is posted. The real property used as collateral must have equity that is at least two times the bail amount. When this type of bail is used, a lien is placed on the property. If the defendant fails to appear at court, the real estate will be foreclosed, and the court will get their money. Because no real money must be put down, this type of bail is often attractive to defendants. But, courts are loath to grant them, because property appraisal, liens, and foreclosure can be a complicated process.
If a person has the income and the ability to post real money for their bail in a Colorado jail, cash bonds are a good option for posting bond. Obviously, a defendant must have access to a large amount of cash in order to utilize this type of bail (unlike the Property or Personal Recognizance bonds). The benefit of posting a cash bond is that 100% of it is returned to the person who posted it once a defendant has completed sentencing and finished their criminal case in a Colorado court (unlike a surety bond, where the bondsman fee is never returned).It can be scary to have a friend or loved one in jail. Contact us to schedule a jail visit with a lawyer.
What is a Typical Bail / Bond Amount in Colorado?
There are three different ways a bail / bond amount is set in criminal cases in Colorado. These are:
1.According to the Law: In some cases, the judge sets the bail amount by using the amount that fits the crime as listed in the schedules as set by judges of that County.
2.In the Courtroom: In some cases, the bond amount is set when the defendant appears in the courtroom before a judge. This means they must sit in jail until their first appearance (this is often referred to as a “no bond hold”). This is most common in serious felony cases, or when a judge also imposes a Restraining Order against the defendant.
3.Before Arrest: In some cases, the judge sets the bond amount before the defendant is even arrested for a crime. It is decided when the arrest warrant is issued, at a time when police officers have the only input on the amount.
Extra Bond and Bail Fees and Taxes
As usual when it comes to the government, there are taxes and fees involved when you post bail or bond. Put simply, these are fees you pay for the privilege of being arrested. Jails make a lot of money through these “fees.” They include”
(A).The Booking Fee: In most cases, this fee is $40.
(B).The Bond Fee: In most cases, this fee is $10.
The Booking Fee can be refunded if you are found innocent at the end of your trial, or if the court dismisses the charges.
Need Help with Bail / Bond? Contact an Expert Lawyer
The complexities of the criminal justice system are usually realized immediately after you or a loved one is arrested. Contacts with inmates in a county jail are extremely limited and confusing, and it can be difficult to figure out next steps and plan ahead. This is why it is crucial to work with the best criminal defense attorney who understands the intricacies of the bail / bond system in Colorado. We help our clients in many ways, including:
- Negotiations: Often, our skilled defense attorneys are able to negotiate more reasonable bonds, instead of simply accepting the amount set by the court.
- Advise You: We understand the pros and cons of each type of bond, and can advise you about the best type for you to post.
Contact a knowledgeable, helpful criminal defense lawyer if you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime in Broomfield, Boulder, or Gilpin County. Don't simply accept the terms set by the court. Fight back and protect your future by hiring an aggressive lawyer who will be your advocate in the courtroom.
Get Help Now
If you or a loved one has a question about bail and bond policies in Colorado, don't hesitate to contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney at O'Malley and Sawyer, LLC for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.Request a Free Consultation