Kentucky Bail Bonds have a special set of circumstances surrounding them. In 1976, a law was passed – Kentucky Statue 431.510 that banned commercial bail bonds as well as bounty hunting. Kentucky was among the first four states in America to do this. The reasoning behind this was the idea that commercial bail bond systems – or “for profit” bail bonds was detrimental to the poor. That is, it discriminated against the people who were unable to pay. This was punishing them unfairly and gave an advantage to the upper class.
In place of this system the state of Kentucky created the Pretrial Services Agency as a division of the Administrative Department of the penal courts. Conditions were set that the Pretrial Services Agency would function under the assumption that those accused of said crime, would have an opportunity to not spend the time in jail between the arrest and the trial. This operates as most commercial bonds do and the accused are free to go about their days not in jail until their scheduled court appearance. They of course are expected to stay in the state and not leave their local jurisdiction until a trial has started and they are either let go or convicted.
Bail Bonds Cost
Price varies per bond, but as it is a department of the state issuing the bonds they are much lower than other commercial bail bonds dependent on the severity of the crime. Once bail is set the defendant will be released once they pay the court a minimum of 10 percent of the bail price in either cash or through property.
This greatly differs from commercial bail bonds, as the bail amount will be returned to them once the accused turns up in court on the scheduled day. Again as there are no commercial bail bonds in Kentucky, many criminal defense attorneys are more than capable of handling Kentucky and all other bail bonds in other American States. Now something that should be taken note of are other Bondsmen from different states will be unable to help others in need of assistance in Kentucky.
When an accused family member is looking for bail bondsman they should be directed to go to local jails to obtain information on how to bail them out, as the local department will have all the necessary information streamlined for them.
Current Regulatory News
Currently, a number of questions will be asked about a defendant’s criminal history and other factors surround their lives. The accused are then assigned a type of risk scores that judges will look to when they are setting the price for bail.
In 2011, state legislators passed a new reform bill that would allow defendants who had low to moderate scores bail without having to give them the bail amount at the time of bail. This law in 2011 was a precursor to changes that have been happening around the country. For example in 2014 in a New Mexico Supreme Court, it was ruled that setting a high bail that would be impossible on purpose is unlawful. In the case this was dealing with the defendant was let go without having to issue a monetary contribution.
There is contention with the current system, as some believe that they are not doing enough with unjust prices for bail bonds and others see this as being too soft on crime. A prosecuting attorney name Ray Larson in Kentucky has been a vocal critic of the scoring systems of the defendants. He sees this as having a negative effect on crime victims as he thinks the state is just putting criminals right back in the open without concern for the victim. Kentucky is a state that is considered a “right to bail” state which means that accused cannot be denied bail unless for they’re charged capital crime.
Bail Bonds History
Kentucky’s claim to fame in regards to Bail Bonds is that it is the first state of the United States to completely abolish commercial bail bonds and bail bondsman. Their relevant history really starts in 1976 when they first abolished it. Pretrial Services has gone through a few changes up to the current year, as they were the first to go into uncharted territory.
The Bail Bond Reform Act of 1976 created the Pretrial Services, it is the only program in the nation that operates statewide alongside the Kentucky Judicial branch. Up until the early 2000’s there wasn’t much legislation that changed the way they operated. In 2005 they began creating a system that was the precursor the 2011 risk based initiative they currently use on defendants when posting bail amount. The “Pretrial risk assessment” is an evidence based practice tool that determines risk of flight and if the accused will commit any crimes while the trial is waiting scheduling. Kentucky has 120 counties and Pretrial Services operates in every single one of them.
Something that they started after the Reform Act was that after 12 hours that an arrest has been made, a Pretrial officer will be sent to conduct the interview and the risk assessment. They will get all basic information, which includes: the defendant’s name, place of residence, community involvement, place of work, address, and criminal record. A background check is then run. Once all of this has been completed the court will review the assessment and then post the bond.
Famous Kentucky Bail Incidents
Kentucky has been the stage for a national ranging legal battle as a Kentucky Clerk has repeatedly denied a judges order to issue same-sex marriage licenses. In 2015 Kim Davis was jailed for this offense and without bail as well. Some of the factors behind not granting bail could be due to the fact that she has continued with denying licenses and has publicly stated she will continue to do so. It is a surprising case as the laws she is breaking should still be on grounds to be allowed bail before a trial is scheduled. But most likely the judge is going on the assessment that she will keep up with this designated criminal behavior.
Kentucky is on the forefront of not allowing the commercial bail system and they seem to be doing just fine with a government agency in charge as they have done so since the mid 1970s.
To find out more about bail bonds and who to contact for information regarding bonds, Kentucky has a list of all their counties and contact information for each individual police department.