Bail is a right provided by the United States Constitution’s 8th and 14th amendments. If one is detained in Connecticut and the judge, police or bail staff have set bail, the defendant, a friend or a family member may contact a bail bondsman on their behalf to help them post bail. The bail bond agent may ask the defendant or indemnitor (an individual who agrees to assume obligation over the defendant) questions in order to get an idea of the defendant’s background, charges and any other relevant information in order to decide whether or not to post the bond on behalf of the defendant.
If the bail agency agrees to post bail for them, there are conditions that are set by the agent. The terms include that the defendant show up on the court dates, arrive on time, and that the indemnitor be legally responsible to the bail bondsman on behalf of the defendant. They must pay the full bail bond and take care of any other monetary needs that may arise. The indemnitor will also have to prove that they make more than $20,000 a year and that they have a strong relationship with the defendant, so that they may sway the decision to a positive outcome.
If the defendant does not show up on the court date, the indemnitor is responsible for all of the extra fees that the case may incur, with the court and with the bondsman. If the defendant is acquitted, the case is dismissed, or when the defendant receives their final sentencing, the indemnitor will receive all of their cash back besides the fees paid to the bail bond agent.
Additionally, in Connecticut many bail bond agencies may require a minimum of one cosigner regardless of the defendant’s financial situation in order to ensure their appearance in court and fulfillment of any other requirements. The cosigner(s) is/are financially responsible for the defendant.
What fees and conditions are associated with Connecticut bail bonds?
Under Connecticut law, a bondsman is generally required to charge a minimum of 10% of the amount bail is set for if the amount is less than or equal to $5000. If the bail amount is set at more than $5000 the fee is 7%. The following are examples of the fees they may have to pay:
If a company offers a larger discount they may be unlicensed and untrustworthy. This fee is not refundable and is considered a “premium”.
Additionally, in many instances you may also need to give them some form of collateral on top of the 10% fee to the bondsman. This collateral may be in the form of additional money, a house, land, cars, jewelry, firearms, etc. In the case that the defendant does not show up to court, the bondsman forfeits the money posted on the defendant’s behalf, and the collateral is used to ensure that the defendant pays the agent back. Collateral is returned once the defendant has fulfilled his/her court requirements.
Famous Cases and Bail Bond Regulation Changes
Bail was set at $2,000,000 for Robert Graham, the highest amount in 2015, who was arrested in Hartford for the murder of his then girlfriend Tashauna Jackson in August of 2015. Bail was set at this amount due to the police’s belief that he was dangerous and may be violent again if released. However, Graham’s attorney maintained that there was not enough evidence that he was involved with the disappearance and murder of Jackson.
In 2010, the case of Selami Ozdemir became a highly debated issue. Ozdemir was detained on domestic disturbance charges, for which bond was set at $25,000. Within 90 minutes he had posted bail and was released, only to obtain a 9 mm handgun, become intoxicated and commit a murder suicide. Many questions were raised as to how he was able to post bail and be released so quickly, not even having enough time to process his situation and calm down.
After a 5 month investigation by the State District Attorneys Office, they discovered that the bail bond agent who processed his bail did not receive any payment from Ozdemir and had not properly set up a payment schedule. This caused the state of Connecticut to begin investigating bail bondsmen and their practices. As a result of these investigations, they found that many bail bond agents were not following the proper procedures as set by Connecticut State law. Subsequently, Public Act 11-45 was passed, which requires bail bondsmen to maintain detailed bookkeeping and pay a yearly auditory fee of $450.