Bail Jumping : Think Before You Jump

Bail Jumping : Think Before You Jump

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.

Holidays See An Increase in Arrests

Holidays See An Increase in Arrests

It is an unfortunate fact of life that the holidays see an increase in arrests every year. This is a volatile time of year for many people, and for some there is an emotional element that makes it difficult to get through the festivities without overindulging. This may be a result of depression or sadness over the loss of a loved one, job loss, illness, or separation from friends and family. Sometimes this overindulgence results in an arrest, especially when far too many people get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. It’s good to know what to expect and how to handle it if this happens to you or a loved one.

In most cases, the start of the holiday season is considered to be Thanksgiving, which is the most traveled weekend of the year. The season continues through New Year’s weekend. During this time, police departments across the country beef up patrols, and arrests for driving under the influence reach their highest. Many states conduct campaigns during this time frame to make the public aware of drunk driving and its consequences.

One of the best safeguards against a DUI is simply not to drink when you have to drive; the other is to have a designated driver before attending any function where you plan to drink, or plan on taking a cab or Uber. Getting a DUI at any time of year is a serious matter that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Drunk driving charges can come with severe criminal penalties, but even supposedly minor offenses can make a major dent in your wallet. In Colorado, the average cost of a DUI is $10,270.

Consequences of driving under the influence can cost you both time and money, not to mention possible disruption of your future plans. If the worst happens and you find yourself arrested and in need of bail in Colorado, call Dennis Blackwell Bail Bonds for help. Conveniently located within walking distance to the El Paso County jail in Colorado Springs, you can call on Dennis Blackwell Bail Bonds for immediate service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For information on visitation rules for the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center (CJC), Colorado Springs, check out this page. You can reach the offices of Dennis Blackwell Bail Bonds at (719) 390-3930. The friendly staff will be happy to walk you through the process when you need bail bonds in Colorado.

Property Bond Basics

Property Bond Basics

Property Bond & Posting Bail

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

Bail Bond Basics

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.

Can You Post Your Own Bail Bonds?

Can You Post Your Own Bail Bonds?

Finding yourself in trouble with the law can often be an embarrassing experience. Even the best of us are prone to making poor decisions every once in a while. If those bad choices end up getting you involved with the law, you may want the issue resolved as quickly and quietly as possible. In these cases, posting your own bail will often be your best bet in correcting the situation in the most private manner. If you don’t have the money available at that moment, however, you may wonder… Can you post bail bonds for yourself?

Well, yes and no.

Just like when you apply for a car loan, a bail bondsman needs to assess the risk of loaning you money. You wouldn’t give a buddy twenty bucks if you knew he wasn’t ever going to pay you back, right? It’s the same concept. Let’s say that you’re a pretty stand-up individual: you have lived in the area for quite some time, your credit is good, and you have a steady job. You have one too many, get behind the wheel, and get pulled over by an officer. Because of your steady financial situation, a bail bondsman may allow you to be the lone cosigner on your bonds, especially if it is your first offense. If you own a home, especially one that is equal to or greater than the amount of your bail, you are even more likely to not require another signer.

However, let’s say the opposite of this is true. You’re new in town, you’ve had run ins with the police before, you are currently unemployed, and your credit is in a slump… because your personal equity is insecure and erratic, a bail bondsman will likely require another signature. If you don’t have any friends or family in the area, you may be required to contact someone else for a cosign, or you won’t be able to post bail.

No matter your situation, the most important thing to remember during is time is to be honest with your bondsman. We all have problems sometimes; if you are in financial straits, say so. If you don’t own a home, don’t tell a bondsman that you do. The truth will always come out during research, and being caught in a lie will only make you seem untrustworthy. If you need additional assistance, a bail bondsman will often have information on other sources that can support you in your time of need.

A Tribute to Colorado Springs Police and all Emergency Responders

A Tribute to Colorado Springs Police and all Emergency Responders

Last Friday, December 4th, UCCS Officer Garrett Swasey was laid to rest at Evergreen Cemetery, with hundreds of Colorado Springs citizens, community members, and uniformed officers in attendance through the five mile processional. Officer Swasey was one of the first on the scene during the unspeakable events that took place at Planned Parenthood on November 28th and was killed in the line of duty. The shooter, who will not be named here, also killed two civilians.

But, as appalling as the results were, the outcome would have almost assuredly proven much worse if it wasn’t for the timely, far-reaching, and outright heroic actions of the Colorado Springs Police Department and Emergency Responders. As soon as gunshots first rang out at an officer near the area, the CSPD sprung to action. Officers arrived swiftly to protect innocent bystanders and apprehend the suspect, returning fire. As the event escalated, officers began rescuing and escorting individuals nearby and in lockdown at a local King Soopers, taking them to shelter and protecting them from harm. Police and Emergency Responders also closed roadways in the area, set-up several shelter-in-place alerts, and kept anyone else from entering the scene as officers attempted and eventually succeeded in detaining the suspect. Ambulances came in droves, ready to take injured citizens to get the aid they needed. As of this writing, all those injured at the time of the shooting have either been released from the hospital or are listed in good condition.

While it is difficult to comprehend such violent acts, especially those that catch the attention of an entire nation, and while such deeds are sure to spark heated debates that seem to go nowhere, there is one thing we can all agree on: the Colorado Springs Police Department and Emergency First Responders saved lives that blackest of Black Fridays, and we are all indebted to their services, especially those of Officer Garrett Swasey, who gave his life protecting ours. The police and the Emergency Responders put so much on the line and ask for such little in return. We need to change this mindset. So the next time you see an officer, or an Emergency Response team member, even if they’re pull you over for speeding, thank them for everything they do.