Do you have questions about bail bond’s service? We have the answers!
Get the answers to all of your questions concerning bail
Bail is the defendant’s guarantee to be present at all court proceedings.
A “personal recognizance bond,” when authorized by a court, permits release from custody on the defendant’s “personal recognizance,” which is a promise to appear as required by a court.
- It is not necessary to deposit money with the court.
- Failure to appear will result in the issuance of an arrest warrant.
- The district attorney must consent to a defendant’s release on personal recognizance bond in any case involving.
- felony charges
- class I misdemeanor charges
- defendant’s prior conviction of a felony within the last 5 years
- defendant’s prior conviction of a class I misdemeanor within the last 2 years, or defendant’s previous failure to appear on a bail bond.
- If the court permits, a defendant may be allowed to deposit cash or other valuable property to be held by the clerk as a guarantee that the defendant will appear as required.
- Some jurisdictions allow property bonds guaranteed by a pledge of unencumbered equity in Colorado real estate.
- Other courts do not allow real estate to be used as a property bond. Requirements and procedures for property bonds vary between jurisdictions.
- Bail bonding agents must be licensed by the State and have an appointment from an insurance company or be a qualified cash bonding agent.
- Bail bonding agents are paid a premium, which is usually nonrefundable, to post the bond.
- If the defendant fails to appear, the court may order the bond “forfeited” and require the bonding agent to pay the court the full amount of the bond. Bail bonding agents have the right to apprehend, return the defendant to custody, and to use collateral taken for the bond to pay the bond forfeiture and costs.
The defendant must also agree to meet certain requirements known as “conditions.” The most important condition is that the defendant appears at all hearings.
- Failure to appear may result in arrest and forfeiture of the bond amount. “Failure to Appear” is a separate criminal offense that can result in imprisonment from 6 months to 1 year and the loss of eligibility for probation or suspended sentence.
- Other standard conditions prohibit the defendant from committing a crime or leaving Colorado while released on bail.
- The defendant must acknowledge the existence of a mandatory restraining order that prohibits contact with witnesses or the alleged victim.
- Defendants are commonly required to immediately notify the court of any change in residence or mailing address.
The court may issue a warrant for your arrest, revoke your bond or increase the amount of your bond.
- You may also be charged with a completely new crime, known as “failure to appear.”
- The bail bond may be forfeited and the property or money deposited as collateral for the bail bond may be lost.
It is important for you to act quickly. If you posted a bond with a bail bonding agent, contact the agent immediately.
- The bail bonding agent may provide you with a “consent of surety.” You must take the consent of surety to the court clerk and ask for a new court date.
- If you did not post a bond through a bonding agent, then go to the court clerk as soon as possible and make arrangements for a new court date.
- In either case, a warrant was probably issued for your arrest for failure to appear.
If you have failed to appear in court when required, the bond may be void unless you obtain a consent.
If you are convicted, plead guilty, nolo contendere, or there is an order of deferred prosecution or deferred judgment, your bond will automatically expire unless you obtain a consent of surety for the appearance bond to continue until your sentencing date.
Courts generally allow a short period of time before judgment on the bond is entered.
- It is in your best interest to immediately contact the bail bonding agent and assist in having the defendant appear in court before judgment is entered.
- If the bail bonding agent has to locate and arrest the defendant, you may be responsible for related fees and expenses.
- Surrendering the defendant may keep you from having to pay the full amount of a forfeited bond.
Yes. The defendant is obligated by the bail agreement to appear when required by the court.
- The bail bonding agent is authorized by law to use reasonable force to apprehend and return the defendant to custody.
Yes. There is an automatic “mandatory restraining order” that is in effect from when the defendant is advised of rights at arraignment to the final disposition of any appeal.
- The defendant is automatically restrained from harassing, molesting, intimidating, retaliating against, or tampering with any witness to or victim of the acts charged. Violation of this mandatory restraining order can result in separate criminal charges.
No, unless you receive permission from the court and the bonding agent. It depends on the terms of your bond set by the court and on your agreement with the bonding agent. You will probably need the court’s approval and a Consent of Surety.
“Collateral” is a deposit of money or property to protect the bail bonding agent from loss if the defendant fails to appear and the bond is forfeited.
- Collateral can come from the defendant, or from friends and family, who are known as “co-signers” or “indemnitors.”
- A written contract must be signed when the collateral is taken and the bail bonding agent must provide a receipt.
- The bail bonding agent has a right to use collateral to pay forfeitures and the expenses of apprehending and returning the defendant to custody.
You must go to the court where the bond was posted and get a “bond release” or “certificate of discharge” which must be given to the bail bonding agent.
- The bonding agent then has a limited period of time to return your collateral.
Yes, but you can only be charged if the collateral was stored in a public storage facility.
- You are only liable for the actual storage fees charged to the bonding agent.
- The bonding agent is required to inform you of the storage fees you will be charged at the time the contract is negotiated. (Remember, the agent must give you a receipt for the collateral.)
Bail bonding agents are required to describe the condition of the collateral when it was taken in the collateral receipt.
- If your collateral is damaged, first inform the bonding agent and then the insurance company on the bond.
- If you are not satified with their response, call the Division of Insurance.
Maybe. Read the bail agreement carefully to see what bounty hunting fee(s) you have agreed to pay.
- It is always a good idea to ask for a statement of the costs incurred.
- The bond must be posted within 24 hours of receipt of full payment or a signed contract for payment.
- If the bond is not posted, all moneys, premium and collateral must be refunded, and all liens released, within 48 hours of receipt.
- If you do not receive a prompt refund, contact the Division of Insurance.
If the bond was posted, the bonding agent acted properly. However, another court or law enforcement agency may have a “hold” of some type on the defendant.
- Only the court has the authority to order the bonding agent to return the premium.
- You will need to present your request to the court and request the court consider the refund of premium.
There is no limit. A bonding agent may take whatever collateral is believed necessary to cover the bond.
- The bonding agent may only keep the value of the collateral necessary to pay the defaulted bond, costs and bounty hunting fees.
- The balance of the collateral must be returned.
- Ethical bonding agents would never ask you to sign such a release or receipt.
- The bonding agent holds the cash as collateral in the event the defendent fails to appear.
No. A bail bonding agent does not deposit cash with the court. The bonding agent files an appearance-bond and attaches a power of attorney obtained from the insurance company appointing the agent.
- Bail bonding agents are prohibited from soliciting bail bonds in or around a place where prisoners are confined, arraigned or in custody.
- A bonding agent may not contact a defendant in custody to solicit business.
- It is proper for a defendant or co-signer to contact the bonding agent.
- It is not uncommon for a jailed defendant to have the bail agent call a co-signer to make arrangements for bail.
The co-signer is responsible to pay the bail bonding agent the amount of the bond and any reasonable bounty hunting cost incurred by the bonding agent.
- If the defendant is found, the co-signer is responsible for whatever fees are incurred to apprehend the defendant as agreed to at the time the bond was negotiated.
If the defendant cannot be located and the court orders the bonding agent to pay the amount of the bond into the court, the co-signer is responsible for the payment of such money to satisfy the court.
- If you are clearly threatened with bodily harm by a bonding agent, call your local police department.
In the State of Colorado, you usually must be 18 years old to sign a contract.
Contact the bonding agent who placed the lien on the property. If the lien is in the name of the insurance company on the bond, you must contact the insurance company. You will need to provide a bond release, or certificate of discharge, to prove that there is no more liability on the bond. THIS GUIDE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE
Legal advice can only be provided by an attorney. Do not rely upon this publication for legal advice. Court clerks, sheriffs, police officers and bail agents are not authorized to give legal advice. If you require legal advice, you should contact an attorney.
- Read all agreements carefully before you sign.
- If you don’t understand something, ask for an explanation.
- Always get a receipt.
- You should get copies of everything you sign.
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