Another Crack at Eliminating Cash Bail?

News and Resources

Animation of man in suit holding cash and yelling 'NO!' into his cell phone during cash bail reform negotiation

Things are definitely heating up on the cash bail front in Colorado. All throughout Jefferson County, Arapahoe County, Denver County, and greater Denver, bail bonding professionals are talking about what Democratic Governor Jared Polis has up his sleeve for the new legislative session.

Big news items to be aware of include a boost in homicides last year in Denver, perhaps driven by violent defendants being released due to Covid-19 precautions, and the governor taking another crack at banishing cash bail.

Homicides Up in Denver

Sadly, homicide rates for Denver soared last year to their highest levels since 1981. Of cities with a population greater than 250,000, the city registered 63 homicides, earning it the number 38 ranking nationwide. We should all be concerned about these numbers, whether you’re a bondsman or not.

But what’s the cause? Many factors contribute to the rise. In Aurora, which recorded 43 homicides last year, Deputy Chief of Police Darin Parker offered his take on the sad state of affairs. He blamed the increases in Aurora on limits on jail admissions and alterations to bail practices meant to lessen the risk of COVID-19 in jails, which has resulted in many people detained on property-crime allegations not being booked. It’s unknown if the police department was following how the jailing and bail changes may affect crimes.

But Parker added, “If someone knows they’re not going to be physically taken to jail they’re probably less deterred to commit that crime.”

Law enforcement in Colorado share the same worries when it comes to letting people out on cash bail: Balancing jailing people who may be a threat to society and reducing the chances of introducing Covid-19 to their facilities. Police also noted that some defendants have accumulated more than a dozen failure to appear warrants for failure to show in court after getting criminal “summonses in lieu of being jailed.”

Stay tuned for more controversial news.

Another Crack at Eliminating Cash Bail?

The relentless march to end cash bail in Colorado continues, and bail bonds professionals across the state should take notice. The thought among cash bail opponents – lawmakers and activists – may be that because Illinois became the first state to eliminate it, Colorado can follow that lead. Be careful what you wish for, because lawmakers, law enforcement, and voters in New York and Alaska – where bail reforms have been rolled back – had buyer’s remorse.

Democratic Governor Jared Polis seems determined to eliminate cash bail, or the money a defendant has to come up with to get out of jail following an arrest. The governor’s power, of course, lies in emotions and perceived public sentiment, with cash bail opponents saying the system “is discriminatory for both low-income and people of color. Defendants who can't afford bail often sit in jail for months awaiting trial.”

A similar bill failed to make the grade last year, but instead of saying that voters weren’t convinced of its merits – and harbor strong doubts about letting potentially violent defendants out for free – cash bail opponents blamed the failure on “different legislative priorities tied to the pandemic.”

One of the reasons that lawmakers feel they’re ready to eliminate cash bail could be due to alleged improvements in the Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool (CPAT). Two University of Northern Colorado faculty members received grants to analyze and improve the CPAT and, lo and behold, said they’ve done just that. So Colorado legislators determined to end cash bail can now point to the new and improved Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool-Revised (CPAT-R) as evidence they’re on the right track with alternatives to cash bail.

CPAT scores are controversial but still play a big role in deciding which defendants are released without cash bail. A new system could make that decision easier.

How Much Bail Can I Expect to Pay in Colorado?

If you’re an Arapahoe County resident and you’ve been arrested, here’s what you need to know about the cost of bail in Colorado. The amount of bail depends on many factors, but the bail and its conditions should be enough to reasonably make sure the defendant appears in court, while also protecting the safety of the community.

The judge could use a bond schedule, which offers guidelines for the amount of bail based on criminal offenses. Just remember, the bond arranged for any defendant can be higher or lower regardless of bond schedule amount. Ultimately, you may or may not be granted bail, or could be released on your own recognizance without having to post bail.

Here’s the criteria the court could look at when deciding the amount of your bail:

  • The job status and history of the defendant in custody;
  • The extent and nature of family relationships of the defendant in custody;
  • Past and former residences of the defendant in custody;
  • The reputation and character of the defendant in custody;
  • Identity of people who agree to help the defendant in custody in attending court at the agreed time;
  • The probable sentencing, considering the description and the offense as charged;
  • The past criminal history, if any, of the defendant in custody and any previous failures to show in court;
  • Any proof showing the possibility of breaches of the law if the defendant in custody gets released absent specific conditions of release;
  • Anything which shows that the person is expected to harass or intimidate possible witnesses; and
  • Any other facts which would indicate that the defendant in custody has solid ties to the community and is not predisposed to leave the jurisdiction. This is based on C.R.S. 16-4-103(5).

Next Post Previous Post

Search The Site

Speak With the Experts

Feel free to browse our bail bonds resources here or use the search above to see if we've written about the topic yet.

For the fastest response, please give us a call at (303) 623-0399 and a member of our team will be able to quickly and accurately provide an answer to any Colorado bail bond-related question you may have.

Recent Articles

Friday, April 19, 2024 Mike Tayler
Anytime you bail out a friend or loved one you’re taking a chance. If the accused heads for the hills after being released and is never heard from again you are going to lose and lose big. If you paid cash instead of using a bondsman that cash will be forfeited. If you posted a property bond the court may foreclose on your house and sell it to get the bail amount, and if you enlisted the help of a bail bonds agent they are going to come knockin...
Saturday, November 19, 2022
When a person has been arrested there’s a lot going through their mind and it can sometimes be difficult to take a step back, take a breath and make sound decisions. One mistake a lot of people who have been arrested in Denver County, Golden, and elsewhere in Colorado make is deciding to act as their own bail bond agent by paying their own bail. Certainly, if they have the means it’s entirely legal for them to do so, but just because you can...
Friday, April 19, 2024
Although those in favor of eliminating the centuries-old bail bonds system suffered a much deserved setback last year in the Colorado state senate, that hasn’t stopped them from trying to saddle taxpayers with their backward, short-sighted ideas. In fact, as you read this lobbyists are working the corridors of power in Denver trying to get legislators behind new efforts to eliminate cash bail. In its stead they propose using a deeply flawed com...

Syndicate via Atom & RSS

Connect With Us

Facebook
Google
Twitter

Contact Info

Tayler Made Bail Bonding is available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

(303) 623-0399
email@taylermadebailbonding.com
3595 South Teller Street
Suite 300A
Lakewood, CO 80235
@TaylerMadeBail