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Where Did the Money Go? Bail and Bond Issues in Colorado

Where Did the Money Go? Bail and Bond Issues in Colorado

In Colorado when you are arrested and processed for a DUI or DUID the officer in many cases will release you to a sober person or take you to a detoxification center. If they arrest you and book you into jail you will be advised the next morning by a judge or magistrate of your rights and the amount of bond you will need to post before you can be released.

In cases where there is an accident with serious injury or death, bond may be set at an extremely high amount. Your attorney can argue and explain to the court that you are not a current or future threat to the community to allow bail to be reduced. This explanation may include a willingness to do random or continuous alcohol monitoring.

A police officer may arrest a person without a warrant for crimes committed in the officer's presence. In the alternative, an officer may arrest a person when there has been a warrant issued for the person's arrest. If a warrant has been issued, the issuing judge sets a bond amount when signing the warrant. This is done off of a bond schedule, but the amount can always be higher if the judge deems it necessary. In DUI cases, the arrest is usually the result of the officer witnessing the alleged crime occurring.

Cash Bond

If the bond is posted in cash, this money is not lost as long as the defendant appears for his court appearances. At the end of the case, the cash bond is returned to the person posting the bond. However, some courts will apply the cash bond towards payment of any court costs or fines assessed against you if it was your money and not that of a surety. Be sure to keep your cash bond receipt until the case is closed and to know whose name is on the bond.

Bail Bondsmen

If a bondsman is retained, they will charge a premium of ten to twenty percent of the amount of the bond plus any bond posting fees charged by the jail. For example, if the bond is $1,000, a bondsman will charge usually in the range of $150 to $225 which includes his percentage, plus jail fees. The bondsman's percentage will depend on the amount of risk involved in writing the bond. This percentage is the fee or retainer that is paid to the bondsman who then posts the full amount of the bond and is not refundable. The person paying the bondsman is paying him to place a guarantee with the court that the bondsmen will pay the full amount of the bond if you don't appear in court.

Most bonding companies will want a guarantee from the person posting the bond that you will appear. This assurance is usually in the form of a cosigner on the bond or posting collateral. Any cosigners are responsible to the bondsman for the amount of the bond if you don't appear in court and the bond is forfeited.

Be aware that every court and jurisdiction will have different rules and procedures concerning bonds. Some jurisdictions will "P.R. bond" a person charged with DUI. "P.R. bond" means the person is released on their own personal recognizance. If they fail to appear, they can be charged with further crimes for not appearing.

In serious cases where the bond can be tens of thousands of dollars, an attorney may be able to get the bond reduced depending on the facts of the case. This reduction in bond can be achieved by agreement with the prosecutor or lowered by a judge in certain circumstances. The issues the judge and/or prosecutor will look at are the risk to the community, the defendant's ties to the community (e.g. owns a home, employed, family in community, etc.), risk of flight, the facts and seriousness of the alleged crime, and possible punishment.