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The following article will cover:

  • The process of getting a bond set for a criminal offense.
  • The different kinds of bonds and the potential restrictions that could come with them.
  • Why working with an attorney early on can result in a better bond outcome.

Exploring Bail Bond & The Pretrial Process In Colorado

How Does The Bail Bond Process Operate In Colorado? What Restrictions Can Be Associated With Bond?

Almost all criminal charges in Colorado are eligible for bond. This means that nearly anyone who can afford to post bail is able to remain in the community out of custody while their criminal case is pending.

But what is bail? What is bond? These are interchangeable terms that are used to describe the amount of money a person needs to provide so that they can be released and live in the community while the criminal case against them is pending

Bonds take many different forms. The most common is the Surety Bond where a bondsperson will post the total amount of the bond in exchange for a fee. In Colorado, that fee is typically 10% of the total bond amount. (i.e. if your bond is $1,000, you would pay a bondsperson $100 to post the remaining $900 in bond for you.)

For a Cash Property Bond, you put up your own property as collateral, or you post cash for the entire bond. In some situations, a judge will not allow the accused to work with a bondsperson. Instead, you must post every penny of the bond in your own cash.

Finally, Personal Recognizance Bonds are those for which a person only signs a piece of paper, promises to come back to court, and is not required to pay any money before they're released.

In addition to the monetary side of bond or bail, it’s common for these specific conditions for you to adhere to. For example, judges typically require you to remain in the state (unless you get special permission to leave).

In other cases, you may have to go through a program called Pretrial Services, which monitors criminal defendants. This form of minimal supervision could entail check-in phone calls or text messages. Alternatively, you could be required to check in after court with a pretrial officer.

Finally, some bond conditions include the use of GPS tools like ankle monitors, while the most restrictive bond condition is called “maximum supervision”. Under maximum supervision, you’ll essentially be under house arrest while your case is pending.

Why Is Early Involvement Of A Criminal Defense Attorney Crucial, And What Can Be Addressed At The Pretrial Stage?

Having a defense attorney come on early in your case is critical for many reasons including, but not limited to:

1.) Reasonable Bail Bond

Having an attorney who can help you get a reasonable bond set is important. Additionally, your attorney can help make sure that the conditions of bond aren't overly restrictive.

2.) Legal Advisement

When you appear in front of a judge for the first time after an arrest, the judge will usually speed through some very important information (called a legal advisement) that can be confusing if you have never faced the criminal process before.

In this first appearance, the judge is not there to answer all your questions. Having an attorney who can slow that process down and explain what’s happening in a way that you can actually understand can be very beneficial.

3.) Protection Orders

Protection orders are typically issued when bond is set at the beginning of a criminal case, Because of this, it’s crucial to have an attorney involved early on who can ensure that the protection orders, (especially in domestic violence or violent crimes), are not overly restrictive.

Criminal defendants are rarely able to advocate for themselves effectively when it comes to protection orders. As a result, judges frequently issue “blanket” protection orders that are not necessarily appropriate for the situation at hand.

For example, your children could be included as protected parties when they shouldn’t be, making it impossible for you to see your kids until the orders have been modified. Without the help of an attorney, other similar restrictions can be put in place that can turn your life upside down while your case is pending.

What’s more, it’s very common for people to “run afoul” of the rules set in protection orders simply because they don’t understand them. In fact, it’s far too easy to turn one criminal case into multiple cases simply because you don’t understand the protection orders from the start.

Unfortunately, prosecutors will often use this to their benefit. If they can show that you have violated your protection order, they can add a new charge, making it far more difficult to negotiate your case later on.

An attorney serves both as an advocate and a source of guidance, helping to limit the restrictiveness of protective orders and help you navigate them without incurring additional criminal charges.

4.) Advice On Mitigation

In some cases, it may be beneficial to seek out mental health treatment while your case is pending. For example, if you’re charged with domestic violence, DUI, or drug possession, you may benefit from anger management or drug and alcohol treatment.

Many clients can find a better case outcome if they’re able to show the court that they’re taking proactive steps to remedy the situation. What’s more, many of these treatments are a requirement of probation. By getting started before you’re officially ordered to do so, you can lessen the amount of time you’ll be under restrictions for the court.

5.) Getting Help Before Charges Are Filed

Something that many people don’t realize is that just because you’ve been arrested, it doesn't mean that criminal charges have been filed against you. In some cases, the time between your first meeting with a judge (see 2. Legal Advisement above) and the time that you are formally charged with a criminal offense can be anywhere from three to 30 days.

Having a lawyer to help you gather evidence and show your side of the story to the prosecutor can have a massive impact on the overall outcome of your case. Most importantly, this is never something that you should try and do on your own. While it’s critical for you to maintain your right to remain silent, your attorney can facilitate the conversations that you want to have with investigators while protecting you from incriminating yourself. For more information on Bondable Criminal Offenses In Colorado, an initial consultation is your next best step.

The Zorrilla Law Firm - Denver, CO

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(303) 951-8004

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