A family member or friend getting arrested is a traumatic experience. The first thing you must do is find a reputable bail bonds agent, also known as surety bail agents. As the offender is in jail, someone close to that person must act as his or hers indemnitor. This is someone who will make sure that the defendant makes all court dates and gets there on time. They will have to find a licensed bail bond agent and give them personal information as well as a fee to get the process started.
The information needed is as follows:
- Legal name and ID number of the offender
- The offenders booking number
- The jail the offender is being held at
- The charge that he/she was arrested for and the bail amount that was set by the judge
- Current pay stubs of the indemnity (Note: They must have been employed at that job for a minimum of two years.)
- Must be citizen of the United States of America
- Must be 18 years or older
After all of this information is verified by the bail bond agent, they will process the correct paperwork, post the bail on behalf of the offender and the offender will be set free on bail. The defendant must then attend all court dates on time or the contract with the agent will be nullified and the money given to the agent by the indemnitor will be lost.
Charges and Fees
In Colorado the bail/surety bond fee is 15% of the total bail set or $50.00, whichever amount is greater. For larger bonds, the fee is negotiable if there is an approved cosigner. You will also have to pay a fee between $10.00 to $50.00 to the jail itself.
There is a set bond schedule for general felonies, such as drug felonies,traffic offenses, misdemeanors and petty offenses. This helps set the amount of bail for those individuals accused of criminal offenses.
Bail Bonds Regulations
There are some regulations in place to determine how much an offender will be charged. The state of Colorado has some specific rules that need to be followed stated in its “The Criteria for Setting Bail in Colorado”:
In determining the amount of bail and the type of bond to be furnished by the defendant, the judge fixing the same shall consider and be governed by the criteria:
- The amount of bail shall not be oppressive.
- The defendant’s employment status and history and financial condition.
- His/her character and reputation
- His/her past and present residences
- The nature of the offense presently charged and the apparent probability of conviction and the likely sentence.
The state of Colorado wants to make sure that inmates aren’t in state correctional facilities while they await their trial, as that causes overcrowding. Making bail reachable for an individual is one of the ways they help solve this issue. There have been some problems with courts adhering to these rules and it is something that is in constant revision by the state.
History of Bail Laws in Colorado
When the United States became independent from England in 1776, they adapted many of the same legal and penal policies as the English. The English established their bail bond system back in the 13th century, and with a few adjustments to the policies the newly formed United States implemented a similar system.
Ever since then each state has adjusted their systems and created their own laws, some giving more power to judges and courts over the amount at which bail is set for defendants, while other states have strict guidelines that must be followed depending on the crime that was committed. 12 Colorado counties started a program that helped judges with bail decisions by providing detailed information on the defendants. They attained this information by going to different government offices and getting as much information possible on the defendant and their specific situation.
Each county then changed their rules based on new laws that were passed and how their specific court handled cases. By 2012, every county was using a different variation of the system and the state of Colorado decided to overhaul and make a single risk assessment instrument for all of the counties to use, known as “The Colorado Pretrial Assessment tool.” Based on the information given to the judge, with this assessment he or she can then make a knowledgeable decision on whether the defendant will or will not be allowed to post bail, and if so, how much bail should be charged to the defendant.
In May 2013, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed law HB 13-1236. This law requires that offenders who are eligible for release on bond be released with the “appropriate and least restrictive conditions.” It also requires bail also be individually determined and tailored to particular circumstances, as most states that allow bail have a set guideline for how much bail should be set based on each particular crime.
In July 2015, Emanuel Gbogi was arrested for minor offenses but his bail was set at $1,000,000, one of the highest bonds given in Colorado for such a small offense. The judge was made aware that Gbogi might be flight risk and consequently set his bail at such a high amount. His attorney argued that as an Army veteran, small business owner and homeowner this flight risk was not merited. This issue brought about intense debate within the people of Colorado because they as a state pride themselves on giving fair bail.
Colorado is a state where bail bonds are available, if you find yourself in need of this service you may want to hire a bail bond agent to ensure that your money (besides the necessary fees) will be reimbursed. Please click on our link to find the best possible result for your situation. Fill out your application at bailbonds.org to get the process started.