How Do Bail Bonds Work?

You may need bail to be released after an arrest. What do you do if you, family members, and friends don’t have enough money to bail you out? A bail bond may be the answer. For a fee, a bond can be posted. It will need to be paid if you don’t return as promised. This bond may be the only thing between staying in jail or your freedom.

Kevin Churchill can help you through the process and get you back home as soon as possible if you’re arrested. He defends those facing criminal charges throughout the Denver metro area and in many other district, county, and municipal courts throughout Colorado. Call our office at (303) 832-9000 if you have been charged with, or are being investigated for, an offense.

How Do I Get Out of Jail?

If you’re taken into custody, placed under arrest, and processed, the next step would be a hearing for your release. The prosecution may claim you’re too great a flight risk or pose too great a threat to the community to be released, but that’s relatively rare. Colorado courts may use the Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool to decide if you’re likely to return to court and/or re-offend while on release. It involves assigning a score based on many factors, including whether you:

  • Have a mobile phone
  • Own or rent your home
  • Have current or past substance abuse problems
  • Have an arrest record
  • Had a bond revoked in the past

Bail or Bond?

You may be released on a promise to appear or by paying your bail. Or you may need to post a bond to be released. The more the judge fears you may not return, the higher the bail, the more you risk if you don’t come back for future proceedings.

Bail is money you pay to secure your release from jail. If you, family, and friends can’t bail you out, you may be able to use a bondsman. If you fail to appear, you forfeit this amount, and there may be a warrant issued for your arrest.

A bail bond is an agreement with the court and a condition for your release after an arrest. A bond can require putting up money or property, or it can require you to follow certain conditions to be released. A bond schedule provides guidance for setting bond amounts based on the charge.

You’d also have to pay a fee (which could be 10% to 15% of the bond amount) to the bail bondsman. If you do not comply with the conditions of release, you may have your bond revoked.

What Type of Bond Can I Use?

There are different bonds that a court can choose from, depending on your alleged offense and risk assessment factor, subject to statutory conditions of release.

  • Cash bond: You and/or someone else pays the total amount of the bond in cash to release you from custody
  • Personal recognizance bond (PR bond): This is a signature bond that doesn’t involve money or property as long as you appear at all future court dates. Your signature, and possibly the signatures of others, is the promise to appear in court
  • Professional surety bond: This is posted through a state-licensed bondsman
  • Property bond: This uses your ownership or equity in real estate in Colorado. The equity must be at least 1.5 times the bond amount

What Strings are Attached to the Bond?

Your failure to appear will cost the bondsman money, so they may require you to check in with them regularly and/or wear a GPS location device until your next court date. If you don’t show up for court proceedings after posting bond, you may have a warrant issued for your arrest and forfeit any security interest put up as part of your bond. You also may be pursued by a “bounty hunter” hired by the bondsman who will pay them a percentage of the bond.

Whatever the expense or hassle that comes with posting bail or a bond, the point is you’re free again and no longer in custody. You can get back to your family, friends, and job. 

Arrested? Get the Help You Need From an Attorney You Can Trust

If you’re being investigated or are charged with a crime, a skilled Colorado criminal defense lawyer can be your greatest ally. Choosing the right lawyer is a critical decision. It can make a difference in your case’s outcome, which can shape the rest of your life. Kevin Churchill understands what you’re going through and how much you need a powerful, high-quality criminal defense. He’s the attorney you can trust to get you through the process so you can get the best outcome possible.

Call Kevin Churchill at (303) 832‑9000 today for a free consultation over the phone or at his downtown Denver office.

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