The terms “Bail and Bond” often have the same meaning. They involve the process of posting security with a court to ensure the later attendance of a defendant at court hearings. Because many people charged with crimes fail to appear after their release from jail, courts now require the posting of a bail / bond in all serious cases in Jefferson and Denver County. Read More: Colorado Bail / Bond Essentials.
Types of Bail / Bond Typically Required by Arapahoe and Douglas Colorado Courts
The most attractive type of bail / bond to post is a Personal Recognizance Bond. No money is required, but the court obtains a written IOU from the defendant and a cosigner. Here, there is a promise to pay money if the defendant does not appear at court – typically in the thousands of dollars for a felony case. This becomes a civil judgment against the defendant.
The next most attractive type of Bond or Bail is a Property Bond. Here, the defendant or a cosigner posts real estate, which has equity at two times the amount of the bond. The court takes a lien of sorts on the property. If the defendant fails to appear (does not show up at court), the property lien will be foreclosed and the court gets their money. The beauty of this type of bail / bond is that no money needs to be posted. Unfortunately, due to some difficulty appraising the value of the property and getting a title opinion to prove there is equity, courts are reluctant to grant this type of bond anymore.
The most common bond type in use today is a Surety Bond. When Surety Bonds are granted in Arapahoe and Adams County, a bondsman will post the money for you, in exchange for a rental fee. Yes, you are renting the money, much like a person rents a trailer or backhoe. The rental fee paid to the bondsman is generally 15% for bonds less than $10,000 and 10% for those over $10,000. Once posted, you lose your rental fee and the bondsperson who posted the money gets their money back (bondsmen actually only post an insured promise to pay if you don’t show up, not actual cash). Bondsmen are backed by a national insurance company and are licensed in each state.
Finally, Cash Bonds are often posted by people with the means to do so. As the name implies, this type of bond / bail involves posting cash with the court. The advantage of this type of bail / bond is that 100% of the money posted is returned to the person who posted the bond, once the case is concluded at sentencing.
The Amount of Your Bond / Bail in Denver Area Courts
The dollar amount of a defendant’s bond or bail in Douglas and Denver County is determined by the court in three main ways: 1) In advance of a person’s arrest by the judge at the time they issue an arrest warrant. Police will often ask a court to set a particular amount of bond at this time. 2) By schedule. Here, judges decide in advance what dollar amount and type of bond a particular type of crime deserves. So, they vote as a group and make a list or schedule of bond amounts long before any particular person is arrested for that crime. 3) The third way is by a judge when the person is brought before them in court. This occurs in many serious cases or in those where a judge wants to impose a Protection Order or Restraining Order on a defendant. Unfortunately, the accused must sit in jail until they can be seen by a judge and cannot post a bond until this Bond Hearing occurs. This is sometimes called a “no bond hold”.
Where are Bonds and Bail Posted?
In most all counties, the bond or bail is actually posted at the jail. Some locations have you post the bond at the courthouse, but this is unusual, since courts have limited hours while jails are open 24/7.
A Couple of Extra Bail / Bond Fees and Taxes
In every bail / bond posted in Colorado, you will need to pay a bail or bond fee and a booking fee. The Booking Fee is $40 and the Bond Fee is $10. The Booking fee can be refunded if you are found innocent at trial or if charges are later dismissed against you. This is a huge money-maker for the jails. Essentially, men and women must pay for the privilege of being arrested.
Our criminal defense lawyers frequently appear before courts to obtain more reasonable bail bonds, and bond conditions, for our clients. This is important since many times bonds amounts are determined by a judge with only the input of a biased police officer. The police are never looking out for your interests. In addition, there are many conditions of bond which can make your life after release very difficult. Imagine if a judge told you that you cannot return to your job.
If you or your loved one is facing an arrest or bond hearing, contact the best criminal attorneys at our office by calling 303-731-0719. We look forward to meeting you or your loved ones in person. We can even go to county jails for attorney meetings with the accused. We know that many innocent people are arrested and charged with crimes. Together, we can protect your future.