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Colorado PR Bond Explained: Released Without Cash in 2024

A PR bond in Colorado stands for a Personal Recognizance bond. It is a type of bond that allows a defendant to be released from jail without having to pay bail. Instead, the defendant signs a document promising to appear in court for all scheduled hearings and to comply with any other conditions set by the court. PR bonds are typically granted to individuals who are considered low flight risks and pose minimal danger to the community.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt

What is a Bail Bond?

According to Investopedia, a bail bond is a legal agreement in which a defendant promises to appear for trial or pay a specified sum of money determined by the court [1]. This bond is co-signed by a bail bondsman, who charges a fee to the defendant in exchange for guaranteeing the payment.

Judges generally have wide latitude in setting bail amounts, and typical amounts vary by jurisdiction. A defendant charged with a nonviolent misdemeanor could see bail set at $500. Felony crime charges have correspondingly high bail, with $20,000 or more not uncommon – Investopedia.

When a person is charged with a crime, they typically have a bail hearing before a judge. The judge has discretion in determining the bail amount, which can be denied entirely or set at a high level if the defendant is charged with a violent crime or is considered a flight risk.

What is a PR Bond?

A personal recognizance bond, also known as a personal or signature bond, allows you to be released from jail without having to pay any money. Unlike a bail bond, which requires you to pay a specific bail amount, a personal recognizance bond only requires you to promise to appear in court on your scheduled date. This means you do not need to involve a bail bondsman as a third party.

While PR bonds may have some expenses, it is much cheaper than a typical bail bond. That bond reduction can help protect you financially during this time.

However, if you fail to appear in court as promised, the judge can issue a bench warrant for your arrest. This warrant can be executed anywhere and at any time, which can be both stressful and embarrassing. Because of this, it is advisable to consult with your lawyer before making any decisions regarding bonds and how to best handle your case.

How PR Bonds Work in Colorado

According to SCLG, in some cases, judges may immediately grant personal recognizance (PR) bonds [2]. However, in other instances, the defendant’s attorney may need to request it and present arguments to the judge to justify why it would be appropriate. The defense attorney can even arrange a special bail hearing in Colorado to advocate for a reduced bail amount or a PR bond.

If a judge agrees to let a defendant free on PR bond, there is always one key condition: That the defendant show up at all future mandatory court appearances. If the defendant fails to appear in court when required, the judge can issue a warrant and hold the defendant in custody pending the outcome of the criminal case – SCLG stated.

In certain situations, the judge may grant a PR bond with additional “non-monetary conditions.” These conditions could include requirements such as:

  • Avoiding contact with specific individuals (such as the alleged victim in the case)
  • Refraining from entering certain locations
  • Surrendering any firearms
  • Remaining in the state

PR bonds are commonly used for minor traffic violations or other low-level offenses.

Pretrial Release and Misconduct in Federal District Courts, Fiscal Years 2011–2018

Over the span of fiscal years 2011–18:

  • Thirty-two percent of defendants whose cases were resolved in federal district courts were granted pretrial release.
  • Of these, 22% were released at their initial court appearance, while 10% were released at a subsequent hearing, such as a detention or bond hearing.
  • Seventy-six percent of released defendants were granted release without financial conditions, which could include release on personal recognizance or on an unsecured bond.
  • Among the defendants released pretrial, 79% had conditions imposed on their release. These conditions could include travel restrictions, requirements for substance abuse treatment, limitations on possession of weapons, and obligations related to employment.

Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) [3].

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