There’s a lot of interesting stuff going on right now. Illinois became the first state in the U.S. to end cash bail, and Ohio and Colorado are jockeying to see which is the next state to push through bail reform. Obviously, any such moves could seriously impact the bail bonding industry which has existed as long as cash bail itself. 2021 is shaping up to be a challenging year. Covid-19 still isn’t behind us, and bail reform is heating up.
Colorado Nearing End of Cash Bail?
As far as Sen. Pete Lee, D-Colorado Springs, is concerned, the issue of reforming the criminal justice system nationwide boils down to two things: a defendant who affords bail can get out, and a poor defendant who can’t afford bail sits in a jail cell. If you’re a bondsman in Jefferson County, Arapahoe County, Denver County, or elsewhere in the state, pay close attention. Lee’s Senate Bill 21-062 – which only has the support of Democrats, by the way – could earn Colorado status as the fourth state in America which severely limits or outright eliminates the use of cash bail.
Lee deftly wove strings of racism and economic inequality into the fabric of his argument, using Denver resident Michael Marshall as his poster child of why the system needs to be changed. SB-21 has passed a key Colorado Senate Committee. But not everyone is lining up with support.
The Colorado Springs Gazette wrote a nifty editorial, “Don’t increase crime by ending cash bail,” by noting that greater “than 90% of Americans lead their lives without getting locked up for a moment.” It’s worth reading if you work in this industry. The paper’s editorial board ended with this nugget: “Crime hurts innocent people. The jail cell — and the cost of getting out — mitigate harm. Though badly flawed, it is the world’s best system. In the interest of justice and peace, don’t reduce the cost of causing harm.”
How To Post Bail Bond Faster
Okay, so the Colorado Springs Gazette pointed out that that vast majority of Americans – 90 percent – never spend a second in jail. The bail bonds system’s flawed and can be improved but starting with a clean slate may not be the best way to go.
In the event that someone you love is in jail, you want to get that person out as fast as possible. Here are some tips to use that should be helpful, no matter which correctional facility you’re dealing with.
- Call a bail bonding professional first. Any of us with training and experience will be able to get you good and precise information for free, but also can offer options on how to make the process work smoothly. It’s important to understand, however, that what works at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility may not be the right way to go at the Denver County Jail.
- Be aware of unexpected shutdowns which could happen at any correctional facility. Due to unforeseen issues involving inmates, facility personnel, or broader Covid-19 health and safety procedures, the facility where your loved one has been taken could be temporarily closed to visitors. It’s possible the Denver Corrections Department simply isn’t doing bonds at a particular time. Give us a call and we’ll find out on your behalf.
- Thanks to Covid-19, all correctional facilities in Colorado have staff waiting in or near the lobby area where a visitor must agree to a temperature check before going inside. Don’t even argue or make off-hand remarks about civil liberties or other issues you believe should make you exempt from getting a non-contact temperature check. In some cases, a bondsman may be able to enter the facility on your behalf.
- Handle all the necessary paperwork in advance, as some bondsman offer this service online.
Is There a Warrant for Your Arrest?
You’d be surprised how many people don’t realize there’s a warrant out for their arrest. Sometimes it’s for a seemingly trivial matter, like dozens of unpaid parking tickets, but it’s a very real threat with a steep price attached if you ignore the law. So how do you find out if there’s a warrant for your arrest?
- Visit your local courthouse. You can do a free search for arrest warrants in your local court records office or in any courthouse in any area. Some authorities publish their databases online which makes things a lot easier for you but you may have to go and visit others. In general, they only keep their own records. Unless the crime is of a serious nature, you will be able to find out if you have been issued with any warrants but not be arrested on the spot.
- If you think there’s a warrant for your arrest in Jefferson County, check with the sheriff’s office. Our advice is to never ignore an arrest warrant in your name. The fines and other penalties could be severe. Keep in mind, however, that once you call the sheriff’s office, you’re on the grid – the call will be recorded, and the number you called from will be traceable.
- There may be several no- or low-cost warrant information services you could utilize. The best way to start is perusing law enforcement websites or see if your local court has an online system. There are also public record websites that may have the information you’re looking for.
- The final option, which we really don’t recommend, is a paid warrant check service. Instead, call an experienced and licensed bondsman, because we know the system better.