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Prompt Pretrial Liberty And Fairness

Concerning defendants' rights related to pretrial bond.
2019 Regular Session
Courts & Judicial
Bill Summary

Pretrial release - post bond within 2 hours - nominal processing fees - release 4 hours after posting bond - release even if costs or fees need to be paid - plan for bond hearing within 48 hours - application of bond toward fees, costs, fines, restitution, or surcharges. The act creates rights for defendants related to release on bond as follows:

  • Unless extraordinary circumstances exist, a defendant must be allowed to post bond within 2 hours after the sheriff receives the bond information from the court;
  • Unless extraordinary circumstances exist, a defendant cannot be charged more than a $10 bond processing fee and not charged any additional transaction fees including kiosk fees; except that a standard credit card processing fee may be charged when a credit card is used;
  • Unless extraordinary circumstances exist, the custodian of a jail has to release a defendant within 4 hours after the defendant has posted bond and is physically present in the jail; except that, if the defendant needs to be fitted for an electronic monitoring device, then the 4-hour period does not apply; and
  • If a defendant has been granted bond and can meet the terms of the bond, the court shall release the defendant even if the defendant is unable to pay a fee or cost.

The act requires the chief judge of each judicial district to develop a plan for setting bond for all in-custody defendants within 48 hours of arrest. In developing the plan, county commissioners, sheriffs, and district attorneys shall provide the chief judge cost estimates of feasibility as well as any potential savings from the proposal, including jail bed costs and savings. No later than November 1, 2019, the state court administrator's office shall report to the judiciary committees of the house of representatives and the senate the plans for all 22 judicial districts, not including the Denver county court. The report must include an estimate of resources necessary to implement a 48-hour requirement.

Under current law, a defendant's bond deposit can be applied to court costs, fees, fines, restitution, or surcharges owed by the defendant. The act allows application of the bond if the defendant posted the bond and agrees in writing to allow it to be used for such purposes. The act prohibits that application if the bond was posted by a third party.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details