COVID-19 affects every system globally, and that includes each country’s legal system. Everyone has no choice but to adapt to the new normal because of this pandemic. For instance, prisons and jails need to alleviate the number of incarcerated persons since these places are at high risk of possible coronavirus outbreak. With inmates living, eating, and bathing in shared spaces, it is not surprising that there are more than 50,000 affected cases among inmates in the US alone as of July 9, 2020.
Typically, an offender would be arrested and need to spend some time in jail until the pretrial release. Defendants can post their 24 7 bail bonds Denver using one of these:
- Surety bond. Instead of settling the full bail amount, the defendant will only need to pay 10% to 15% of it as a premium charge for the Denver bail bonds servicegiven by the bail bond agency. It is easier to settle than paying the full amount if you want to get out of jail as soon as possible.
- Property Bond. It uses properties and assets to use as collateral for the set bail amount. Several kinds of properties can be used, but real estate is the most common one.
- Immigration Bond. This kind of bond is similar to the surety bond wherein you need to pay a percentage amount to the 24 7 bail bonds Denver agent. However, this bond is usually offered to non-citizens of the United States.
Today, police officers issue summons instead of making an arrest or using citation release, which means the posting of bail is no longer needed. It is now possible because of the bill passed by the legislation – The Colorado House Bill 1225.
Colorado House Bill 1225
It allows a person charged with a class 3 misdemeanor, petty, or unclassified offenses to be released on recognizance bond unless a specific condition exists. With the current situation of the nation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, passing the bill last year in Colorado made it easier for the State to adjust its protocols in holding inmates.
In practice, offenders charged with non-violent or low-level offenses cannot be held on a bond that addresses the growing number of inmates in the country. At the same time, it can be a solution to the risk of coronavirus spread not only among inmates but also with guards and jail officers inside the detention facility.
What are considered low-level crimes in Colorado?
With the change of protocols for low-level crimes in Colorado, one must become familiar with what offenses are considered non-violent or low-level crimes.
- Public Indecency. It generally refers to any action involving nudity or sexual activity in view of the public to shock, offend, or arouse.
- Theft of low-value items. This type of offense can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Colorado law recognizes theft of low-value items without using force as a misdemeanor offense. Thus, the defendant can be released without bail.
- Illegal Gambling. It is a criminal offense based on Colorado law. Although gambling outside legal venues is considered a petty crime or misdemeanor, it can be escalated to a felony charge.
- Pollution Violations. The State of Colorado imposes a strict implementation in violating the anti-pollution Although offenders won’t have jail time during this crisis, a fine of up to $25,000 per daystill needs to be settled.
- Disorderly Conduct. Offensive utterances in public or unreasonable noise near private residences can be a cause of petty offense with a fine of up to $1,000.
Depopulating Jail Facilities in Denver
It is known that coronavirus spreads in crowded places. And to curb the spread of COVID-19 in jails and prisons, authorities in cities like Denver implement regulations that will depopulate the facilities. Some of these are:
Prosecutors are encouraged to ask for the non-monetary bond
There is still a possibility to get a pretrial release without spending cash for bail – and that is through a non-monetary bond. Prosecutors recommend offenders charged with non-violent crimes to be released through the non-monetary bond. It is to lessen the number of new inmates in prisons or jails and decrease the chance to appear in court. There are other types of pretrial release that the defendant can use aside from cash bail.
- Citation Release. At the scene of the arrest, the police officer can release the offender through citation in which the individual will be issued a written notice and allowed to go home without going to jail. However, this bond is strictly for low-level crime offenders with no prior criminal record.
- Personal Recognizance. After the arraignment, the judge determines whether the defendant can be released through personal recognizance or not. If so, the offender can go home without paying bail but needs to sign a written document, promising that he will attend the required court hearings.
Conducting telephonic status conference for bond hearings
Holding a telephone conference call for a bond hearing instead of an in-person appearance is much needed in times like this. It is for those defendants who are charged for a more severe crime but can be released only through a monetary bond. Along with the whole judicial system, pretrial hearings are now conducted virtually.
Establishing plans for the safe pretrial supervision and release of defendants
Due to the weight of the current situation, prosecutors work with defense attorneys and Denver bail bonds agencies to develop plans and programs for safe pretrial release and supervision from detention. This action is to protect the inmates and the officers from contracting COVID-19 that could worsen the situation. As a result, the Judicial System is releasing more inmates to depopulate the prisons and jails. Some of the criteria that they are looking into are:
- Defendants who are vulnerable and susceptible to contracting COVID-19, such as the elderly and with compromised health issues
- Offenders who are in custody but poses no threat to the public
- Have remaining of less than 45 days in their sentence, or
- Are incarcerated because they can’t afford to pay the bail amount
For all your bail bond needs in Denver, CO, contact Red’s Anytime Bail Bonds! Call us at 303-623-2245.