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The Bail Process In Colorado

(courtesy of the staff)
Bail involves a process in which a defendant is
released in exchange for money. This exchange
provides a type of "insurance" known as Surety,
or a guarantee that the defendant will show up
for all of his or her court dates. Bail bonds exist
because trials can take weeks or months to work
their way through the court system and bail permits
a defendant – who may be innocent – to prepare
their defense for outside the confines of a jail while
pursuing normal activities such as
family and employment.

When people are arrested for an offense, they
generally are taken to a local law enforcement
station or jail where they are booked. This involves
recording information about the crime that allegedly
has taken place, as well as basic information about
the suspect. During booking, a police officer usually
will take a mug shot and fingerprint the suspect.
Then they will run a background check on the
suspect. The officer will hold onto any of the
suspect's personal property – this will be returned
to the suspect when he or she is released. The
officer generally will allow the suspect to make a
phone call and will check to see whether the
suspect is intoxicated. After the booking
procedure, the suspect is incarcerated in a
county jail or station lock-up.

What happens next depends on the offense and
the jurisdiction. For crimes not deemed serious,
the suspect is often allowed to post bail
immediately. In cases involving serious crimes,
the suspect will have to wait in jail – usually no more than 48 hours – for a bail hearing. At the bail hearing, a judge or magistrate will decide
whether the suspect may be released on bail. The judge then will ‘Set’ the amount of bail. 

When determining bail for a suspect, the judge will consider the suspect's flight risk and the severity of the crime. If a suspect has a criminal history, or a history of not showing up for court appearances, that may affect a judge's decision regarding bail. The judge may consider whether the suspect is a risk to others, whether the suspect has ties to the community, the stability of residence, work history and the nature of the crime. As a result of this information, bail and release conditions are established. Ultimately, the bail is at the judge's discretion, although some jurisdictions have bail schedules, which set a standard bail amount.

Posting Bond

Once the amount for bond is set, the suspect can usually be released if he or she posts the bond in cash or in assets such as Real Estate. If the accused, or the family, friends, employers etc. of the accused does not have the money or the assets to pay for bond, they may apply with a bail bondsman. The bondsman will take a percentage of the bond amount called, 'the premium,' with is typically and amount of 10 and 15 percent of the bond amount. Small Bonds are often quoted at 15% and larger bonds at 10%. The cosigner (family, friends, employers etc.) sign a contract with the Surety agent / Bondsman pledging their willingness to ensure the appearance(s) of the defendant
at each and every scheduled court date. The defendant will be scheduled for release after the bond is posted.
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