Bail is a security, that may or may not include monetary conditions, deposited with the court by a defendant as a guarantee he or she will be present for all of their court proceedings during pretrial release. Except for murder and certain violent crimes, most defendants charged with a crime are eligible for bail, allowing them to avoid being detained while waiting for trial and other court dates.
Changes in Bail Bonds In Colorado
In 2013, the Colorado legislature enacted new laws concerning a pretrial system that moves away from the use of money for bail and towards individual determinations and the use of evidence-based predictors. The shift in bail bond rules is due in part to research that the use of secured money bonds does not add to court appearance or public safety rates. With research, data, and analytics allowing for the development of pretrial risk assessment tools that better predict successful pretrial release, the move from a “gut instinct” based bail setting system to a scientific and objective based system furthers the criminal justice system’s goals of increasing public safety and reducing crime.
Through research and data, the development of the Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool (CPAT) provides guidance to judges for setting bail by identifying which defendants are most likely to be a threat to public safety or fail to appear for a court date during the pretrial period. CPAT takes into account twelve factors identified as the most statistically significant in predicting an individual’s success on pretrial release.
The 2013 change in laws about bail bonds in Colorado allows for a more equitable determination of bail, reducing the unnecessary detainment of a defendant because he or she may not have the financial resources to meet a monetary bail condition. By looking at the individual defendant’s overall situation and applying the CPAT, courts may avoid unnecessary pretrial detainment, which is beneficial to the system overall.
For more information from a trusted, experienced, and respected bail bond agent, Dennis Blackwell Bail Bonds is available 24 hours a day to answer your questions at (719) 390-3930.
Before you think about skipping bail and heading for the hills, there’s a few things you should be aware of. First off, bail jumping is a serious offense that can result in a number of actions, as well as legal and financial consequences.
But first, let’s define what this evasive act is. Bail jumping is the act a person who is released on bail commits when they fail to appear for their court date with the intent of avoiding a trial, possible conviction, and sentence.
When someone jumps bail, they have committed two acts. The first is defying a court order. The second is a breach of contract with the bail bonds company used to secure their bail. In the first instance the court can issue a warrant for their arrest, file a contempt of court charge, and tack on additional charges. The additional legal consequences depend on many factors, including the nature of the charges, prior convictions, prior court appearances, and stability in the community. The DMV can also suspend the defendant’s license until the warrant is cleared.
Regarding the contract breach, bail money or assets used as collateral to secure someone’s release will be forfeited. Or, in other words, if you’ve co-signed and put up bail money or a car as collateral for a loved one, you could lose that money or property if the defendant is not brought back to court or into custody within a certain amount of time. There are other financial costs you may be liable for if you put up bail for someone that jumps. Those costs include expenses incurred by the bail bonds company as a result of bail jumping, such as investigation fees to find the defendant, attorney fees, and other expenses incurred by the bail bond agent.
Bail jumping is a serious offense with serious consequences. Missing a court date for a legitimate reason or a mix-up with court dates that results in a missed court appearance is one thing, and can usually be remedied with some communication with the bail bonds agent and court, additional paperwork, and explanations. Missing a court date with the intent of avoiding trial, convictions, and sentencing is another, more critical, matter. Make sure you, if facing a bail situation, or your loved one, if you are putting up the bail, understand the consequences involved with the act of jumping bail.
For more information from a trusted, experienced, and respected bail bonds company, Dennis Blackwell Bail Bonds is available 24 hours a day to answer your questions at (719) 390-3930.
If you have a friend or loved one who has been arrested, you may not know how to find out where they are booked in jail. To find a person who has been arrested and booked into jail, you can go to the Colorado Department of Corrections Offender Search and input information such as the person’s first and last name, date of birth, and gender to search for them in the system. If you have a six-digit DOC number (an identification number assigned by the Department of Corrections), you can also input this number to locate someone. This is the primary means by which the department identifies offenders.
You can also search for someone and look up criminal and arrest records in El Paso County by using the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office inmate locator. Simply input the first and last name of the person you’re searching for, and choose Colorado in the drop down menu of states, and press the “search” button.
Another way to search for someone in the El Paso County area is to use the El Paso County jail inmate search function provided on the El Paso County Sheriff’s Department’s website. To use this function you will need a last name and booking number to find an inmate. If you have difficulty locating someone, call the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center at (719) 390-2000 or the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office booking desk at (719) 390-2151.
If you or a loved one ever have a need for bail money and you do not have the resources to raise the cash on your own, you may need a professional bondsman. For the best bondsman, Colorado Springs residents call Dennis Blackwell Bail Bonds, the premier bail bond agency serving Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and the entire United States. For over 24 years they have offered a fast, reliable service for people who need a trustworthy bail bond agency.
Conveniently located within walking distance to the El Paso County jail in Colorado Springs, when you need El Paso County bail bonds, you can call on Dennis Blackwell Bail Bonds for immediate service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The friendly staff will be happy to walk you through the process and help discover what you need. You can reach the offices of Dennis Blackwell Bail Bonds at (719) 390-3930.
Property Bond Basics
There are a few ways to satisfy a bail requirement ordered by the court, which can grant you temporary release from jail while awaiting trial. If allowed by the court, a Property Bond is one way to secure that requirement.
A Property Bond is a secured bond that posts the value of tangible property, such as a home or other real estate, to the court in exchange for temporary release. Or in other words, your home is held as collateral in an agreement to appear in court as ordered by a judge. Property bonds are obtained by the court and held by the county clerk until a verdict has been reached.
Where property bonds in Colorado are accepted, the unencumbered equity in a home must be at least equal to one and a half times the amount of the bond set by a judge. For example, if bail is set at $20,000, the unencumbered equity in the home must be $30,000.
A home with a mortgage may be used for a Property Bond, if it has the required amount of equity to satisfy the bond’s terms. Equity is value of the home, minus any encumbrances on the home, such as a lien or mortgage. For example, if a home is worth $200,000 and it has a mortgage of $150,000, the equity available is $50,000.
To prove you have the equity to afford a Property Bond, a number of required documents must be submitted to the court. Below is an example of what may be required.
• Warranty or Quit Claim Deed
• Most current property tax receipt
• Current Notice of Valuation of the property by the County Assessor
• Written letter from the mortgage company indicating current balance
• Evidence of Title issued by a title insurance company (with all liens or encumbrances)
• Deed of Trust naming the Clerk of Court as the beneficiary
• All parties on the deed as owners must be present to post a Property Bond
When a property bond is issued, the court secures a lien against the property held as collateral. As with any bail bond, if the you fail to appear for your court dates, the bail is forfeited. In this case, foreclosure may be brought against the property at which point the court can collect on the lien and the bail amount owed.
Not all jurisdictions accept property bonds and those that do may have different requirements and processes. Check with your court, bail bondsman, or bail bonds agent for jurisdiction specific requirements and related information.
For questions about this and other bail bonds, contact Dennis Blackwell Bail Bonds at (719) 390-3930, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Bail Bond Basics
A Law and Order SVU judge slams down the gavel looking at a defendant in her courtroom while exclaiming, “Bond is set at $50,000.00!” Enter the tell-tale, bong, booong, bong Law and Order chime and fade to black. But, what is bail and how does it work?
Though the bail process is pretty straight forward, it can be intimidating. If faced with the need to satisfy bail, it helps to have a clear understanding of why bail is necessary and what’s involved. Let’s look at the basics.
What is a bail bond?
It’s a financial agreement between a defendant and the court. The defendant pays the court an amount set by a judge with the agreement that he or she will show up to all their court dates in exchange for being released from jail between those court dates. If the defendant shows up for all of their court appearances, their bail money will be returned to them once the case is settled. If, while on bail, the defendant fails to show up for a court date, two things happen. First, they forfeit the bail money. Second, a warrant is put out for their arrest for failure to show.
Now, if a judge sets bail at $10,000.00 and the defendant doesn’t have the money to put up for bail, there is an alternative to staying in jail for months waiting on court dates. This is where a bail bondsman comes into play.
How do bail bonds work?
It’s a bit like a loan. If the defendant doesn’t have the $10,000.00 in cash, he or she can employ a bail bondsman, also known as a bail agent, to help satisfy the full bail requirement. What a bondsman will do is take a percentage, often 10%, of the total bail from the defendant and put up the remainder. In the case of a $10,000.00 bail, the defendant pays the agent $1,000.00, and the agent takes that and $9,000.00 of their own money and pays the court the total bail. But, this isn’t a discount bail program letting the defendant out of the total financial burden. In addition to the 10%, the defendant must also put up collateral equal to the remaining $9,000.00. Should the defendant skip town and not show up for court, the bail bondsman loses their $9,000.00. So, in that event, the bondsman would like to recoup that loss. Collateral does that. Often collateral is a deed to a house, a car, jewelry, or other asset. If the defendant shows up for their court date, the total money put up for bail will be returned to the bondsman and defendant. This service is not free. The bail bonds company will charge a bond premium of between 10 to 20% of total bail amount. This is a non-refundable fee for their service.
When does a judge set bail?
Upon being arrested and booked into jail a hearing is scheduled where a judge will determine how much bail will be set at. This usually occurs within 48 hours. For low level offenses, some jurisdictions will set bail at booking, without a hearing, allowing the defendant to bond out with a credit card.
How is the amount of bail determined?
Most jurisdictions have a bail schedule that judges use as a guide in setting bail. The type of offense, number of offenses, severity of the alleged crime, and defendant’s character (to include, community ties, employment status, family and living situation) are all taken into consideration. As each offence has its own set of specific circumstances, the hearing judge has considerable leeway and can use their discretion in determining bail.
If currently facing a bond hearing and have questions or need additional help, give us a call and we’ll get you a quote and help you navigate this process so you can focus on your case.