Bail and Bond
By statute, all persons arrested for DUI or any misdemeanor can post bail. Many bonds are already set on a “bond schedule” which permits a defendant to be released on bail without first seeing a judge. Anyone in custody without a set bail has the right to see a judge and request that bail be set.
A “PR bond” (personal recognizance) simply requires the signature of a person and promise to appear, but does not require the posting of money or security. Sometimes PR Bonds require a co-signature of a person or persons other than the defendant.
The purpose of bail is not to punish a defendant, the hardship on the defendant should be minimal, and the bail cannot be excessive. Excessive bail is prohibited by the 8th Amendment to the Constitution. Bail is simply a vehicle to assure the defendant’s presence in court for trial.
The court may impose certain conditions on a defendant’s release on bail. Common conditions in a DUI case include: random breath analysis (BA’s), random urine analysis (UA’s), required permission from the court to leave the state of Colorado, no possession or consumption of alcohol and/or drugs without a prescription, no driving without a valid driver’s license, and no possession of firearms. Often times the court will appoint “pretrial services” to assist a defendant with monitored sobriety during the pendency of the case.
The following criteria are to be used by a judge to determine the amount of bail:
- the amount cannot be oppressive;
- if a fine is the only possible punishment, the amount of bail cannot exceed the possible fine;
- the defendant’s employment should be considered and his/her finances;
- prior criminal record should be considered and if previously released on bail, whether the defendant appeared as required;
- the type of offense which is currently charged, the likelihood of the sentence, and possibility of conviction;
- the defendant’s reputation and character;
- the defendant’s residential history;
- family ties to the community;
- others who will commit to helping the defendant appear as required;
- restrictions necessary to prevent violations of law while the defendant is released;
- concerns about the possibility of threatening, retaliation, intimidation, or harassing of witnesses while on release;
- any other facts that indicate the defendant has strong ties to the community and will appear as ordered;
- the court will also consider whether the defendant is charged with possessing or distributing controlled substances on or near school grounds; whether or not the defendant used a child to act as his agent in the drug trade.
The types of bond a court may require include personal recognizance, co-signed personal recognizance, a secured bond secured by cash, stocks and bonds, surety, or real estate.
If you or a loved one has been charged with DUI or any criminal offense in Colorado, he/she has a right to be represented at a bond hearing and every stage of the criminal process. Contact Attorney Monte Robbins today to discuss your options at 303-355-5148 or 970-301-5541.