Most people are aware of the constitutional right to bail but are often a bit fuzzy on the specifics. The concept of bail is nearly a thousand years old and has changed little over the centuries. Its primary purpose is to ensure that a person accused of a crime - who is after all presumed innocent - is not forced to sit in jail while awaiting trial as if she were guilty. It also provides an incentive for the accused to show up in court at the appointed time to face the charges against her. These aspects of the bail bonds system are straightforward and easy to understand. Where things start to get a little murky is following a conviction.
Most people are under the impression that once their trial has reached a conclusion and a verdict has been rendered that the issue of bail no longer applies. If they made all their court dates their money (or their indemnitor’s money) will be returned and that is that. But is it? Once a person has been convicted of a crime many will file an immediate appeal of the conviction and/or the sentence. Do they have to remain behind bars while awaiting the outcome of their appeal? Or is it possible for them to obtain bail and remain free as their case enters these later, post-trial phases?
As we noted at the start one of the primary purposes of bail is to reinforce the presumption of innocence. Should the person ultimately be convicted of the crime however, the presumption of innocence no longer applies. Therefore the convicted individual loses any constitutional right to bail. From that point on the question of whether they are allowed to talk to a bondsman, post what is called an “appeal bond” and go free while awaiting further adjudication of their case is left to the discretion of the court.
While a person who has been convicted of a crime may steadfastly maintain their innocence and file an appeal the court is officially indifferent. As far as the legal system is concerned they’re guilty and have lost the right to bail. It’s now up to the judge to determine if the person warrants being released on an appeal bond. But judges are hamstrung to a certain extent because the law stipulates that a person convicted of certain crimes may not be offered bail under any circumstance. In Jefferson County, Arapahoe County and Denver County that includes convictions for:
In other cases a judge has a bit more leeway in determining whether to set an appeal bond for a convicted criminal. In those cases they will weigh considerations such as:
If the convicted person is not automatically disqualified from posting an appeal bond the judge may see fit to schedule an appeal bond hearing. During this hearing the judge will look carefully at a number of different factors in trying to determine if the individual should be granted bail. Some of the many factors the judge will weigh include:
As you can see the person who has been convicted of a crime has a much higher mountain to climb in order to obtain an appeal bond than does a person who is simply awaiting trial but has not yet been convicted. And that is as it should be. After all, the accused had their day in court and lost. Still, while there is no constitutional right to an appeal bond they are often granted if the person passes the above litmus test.
Just because you have been convicted of a crime doesn’t mean you are out of options or that you have to molder behind bars while awaiting appeal. If you or a loved one has been found guilty but have appealed the case and subsequently been granted an appeal bond by the trial judge it is time to talk to the professionals at Tayler Made Bail Bonds. We’ve helped untold numbers of persons obtain their freedom during the lengthy appeals process and we can help you or your loved one as well.