HB19-1226, Mandatory Pretrial,
We have been watching a House Bill develop in the 2019 Colorado Legislature, HB19-1226. Primary sponsors, Democrat Rep. Leslie Herod and the only Republican sponsor, Mesa County Rep. Matt Soper. 24 other State House Democrats are co-sponsoring the bill. The only Senate sponsor of the Bill is Democrat Pete Lee.
We have covered the current use of Artificial Intelligence in the courts before, although it was mainly contained to foreign countries. It is currently being use by a few Counties in Colorado through the guise of pretrial services implementing the Colorado Pretrial Risk Assessment Tool (CPAT). This Bill will mandate a Pretrial system be used in all counties in Colorado at a significant cost to each of them and tax paying citizens in general. The CPAT has not been thoroughly tested regarding gender and racial bias and it’s use is opposed by over 110 Civil Rights organizations.
Most of the people reading this are not aware of what pretrial is or have very little contact with the criminal justice system in general. A large percentage of inmates that find themselves arrested and placed into custody are people that have made an out of character mistake, some are not. They deserve the time honored presumption of Innocence our State and Nation has afforded us all since it’s Founding. Pretrial (Government Bail), in a nut shell is exactly as it sounds. Conditions are set on a defendant as a condition for release from jail. Before they are found guilty, sentenced for a crime, or arrive at a plea bargain deal with the Prosecution and worst of all, before they are found to be innocent of a charge(s) at any point during the process.
Pretrial conditions can range from mandatory GPS and SCRAM units assessing an income based cost of $5.00 to over $25.00 a day. Other conditions such as mandatory drug testing, behavioral classes and defendant check in appointments to name a few, all have additional costs to the defendant. This is all done before the defendant has even had a second hearing on the case. In most cases a defendant in custody at a local jail must wait for a meeting with Pretrial staff before being released, this will result in a significant delay in the release of a person from custody. When you couple this with other types of “Government Bail” like “Cash Only Bonds“, “Personal Recognizance (PR) bonds” and the confusion of Municipal and County Courts issuing “Split Bonds” where the court will accept a percentage (usually 10%) of the full bond amount to be paid directly to the court in violation of 16-4-104 C.R.S.Annotation: People v. District Court, 196 Colo. 116, 581 P.2d 300 (1978). you end up with a very complicated system of Justice in Colorado that can delay the defendants release by hours at best, and even days at the worst.
Since Pretrial was implemented in 2013 by the Colorado Legislature, most incarceration times have increased significantly within Counties using a Pretrial system. Denver County Jail has gone from a standard release time of a defendant of 6 to 8 hours by a Licensed Bondsman before the 2013 Bail Reform to the current system forcing Inmates to wait as many as 3 days to receive a PR bond with Pretrial release. In fact, it is currently common for a person to wait as much as 12 to 18 hours to have their finger prints returned to the jail after being booked. The inmate can not be bonded until the prints are returned. If the individual misses the next available Court docket during this time frame they have to wait for the next day to receive a Personal Recognizance (PR) bond from the court. In 2019, Denver Courts have dramatically increased the use of PR bonds with pretrial release, at the cost of severely increasing the time an individual spends in custody.
Professional Licensed Bondsman,
Constitutional Bail has been in existence well before the founding of the United States over 243 years ago. This system of Bail uses a Licensed Bondsman in Colorado and is usually reliant on Friends or Family members with good “Standing in Community” to secure the release of the person in custody. In most cases this is accomplished with some basic information and a signature from the person willing to guarantee the appearance of the defendant to all court dates mandated by the court. The paperwork involved can take as little as 30 minutes. The Bondsman travels to the jail where the defendant is in custody to post the bond, aside from travel time this process can take up to two hours but is usually less than an hour. The jail staff processes the bond and releases the defendant according to their schedule and the additional time constraints of the established Pretrial system being use if any.
Constitutional Bail is represented by private, Licensed Bail Bond Companies and are not affiliated with Government. They are owned and operated by citizens like any other businesses in Colorado. They often provide checks and balances concerning the relationship between the People and the Courts. We are not Attorneys and do not provide legal advise but we do help fellow citizens navigate the increasingly complicated legal process through experience and information. Most Licensed Bail Agents provide a service to the people of Colorado so they can maintain the presumption of Innocence, providing time out of Jail to possibly seek legal representation, maintain employment or continue to run a business. Colorado Licensed Bail Bondsman are heavily regulated and licensed by the State with significant penalties of possible job loss if a defendant on bond fails to appear in court. We do all of this and more at no additional cost to the tax payers.
Help us Save the Presumption of Innocence for ALL Coloradans, Click the “VOTE NO” let your voice be heard.