By Timothy L. Graves, Esq.
In May of 2013, Colorado Governor Hickenlooper signed a bill into law that substantially changes the way that Bail will be administered in the state. The law is aimed at reducing the amount of criminal defendants who are held in pretrial detention. To accomplish this goal the law changes the focus of Bail from securing a monetary bond condition to using the least-restrictive conditions based on the individual defendant, the risk to public safety related to releasing the defendant, the crime charged, and other factors.
Bail is defined, under the new law, as "a security, which may include a bond with or without monetary conditions." This means that a Judge can still order a monetary condition of Bond, but in certain cases is no longer required to do so. Now the judges will be able to take all the factors surrounding the defendant's circumstances into consideration. Further, for "bailable" offenses, there is now a presumption for pretrial release. That is, the Judge shall release the defendant, unless he is convinced otherwise, rather than having to be convinced to release, as was the case under the previous system.
The new law also creates a new option for defendants who are held in pretrial detention under a monetary condition. These types of defendants can now request a "seven day hearing." That is, seven days after a monetary condition it placed upon a pretrial detained defendant, if requested, the court will reconsider the monetary condition in light of circumstances they may or may not have already considered.
If you, or someone you know, has been charged with a crime and are being held in pretrial detention, contact the experienced attorneys at Feldmann Nagel to discuss your options.