Denver Bail and Bond Attorney | Overcrowding in County Jails Leads to Study into Pretrial Release
After a person has been arrested for a crime in Denver, Adams, or El Paso County, a bail bond amount is set. This is the amount of money that the Court requires a person exchange for releasing the defendant and allowing them to stay in the community while the case is pending. If the defendant appears for all scheduled court appearances, then the money is returned to the party. The problem is, for some incarcerated people, they don’t have the means to bond themselves out and so they sit in the overcrowded jails. A task force has been charged with reforming pretrial release in hopes some changes will allow more people to be released on personal recognizance bonds.
Facing criminal charges?
How is Bond Decided in Douglas and Arapahoe County?
In 2013, a law was passed regarding best practices in bond setting. The first thing it did was require courts to presume that everyone is eligible for bond with the least restrictive conditions necessary. Some counties, like El Paso County, have a bond schedule where the monetary amount is set based on the charges and little else is taken into consideration. A tool that is some counties use, like Douglas and Arapahoe County is the Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool or CPAT. The CPAT is a scientific risk assessment tool that gives a defendant a predictive score helpful in determining if the they are likely to show up for court appearances.
Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool (CPAT) and Scoring in Jefferson County
When a defendant is being held and waiting to go in front of a Jefferson County judge in order to get a bond amount set, a pretrial officer will meet with the defendant and ask a set of questions in order to get a CPAT score. This score will be presented to the judge at the bond advisement to help the judge make a decision on bail amount. The items the CPAT scores are:
- Home or Cell Phone
- Residence – Own or Rent
- Substance Abuse Issues (Past or Current)
- Mental Health Issues (Past or Current)
- Age at First Arrest
- Past Jail Sentence
- Past Prison Sentence
- Active Warrants
- Other Pending Cases
- Current Supervision
- History of Revoked Bond or Supervision
While the CPAT score is taken into consideration, an experienced criminal defense attorney can argue for a lesser bond amount and point out why you would be successful on a pretrial release.
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