For the past couple of years, increased focus has been placed on the criminal justice system and making it more fair for everyone. One of the facets of the system that has received increased scrutiny lately is the bail and bond system. Proponents of change say the current bail system is unfairly biased in favor of wealthier individuals, since they have the ability to post bail or bond without issue. Because of this, a committee of Connecticut Superior Court judges has been considering whether or not to implement new rules and criteria for posting bond, which would make it easier for low-income individuals to remain outside of jail during their criminal trials. The committee recently voted unanimously to implement new rules for posting bond.
Low-Income Defendants are Permitted to Post Only a Percentage of Bond
A new rule was recently approved by the committee of Superior Court judges that would allow defendants who are considered to be low income to post 10 percent of their bond in cash, as long as the bond amount is $20,000 or less. This amount would then be returned to the defendant at the conclusion of the case. The committee stated that this new rule would allow low-income defendants to keep their money, rather than using a bail bondsman, who typically charges a 10 percent fee.
The 10 percent cash bond would be given to the court or the police department in exchange for letting the defendant out of jail during the course of the case. The cash bond is a promise that the defendant will show up at future court proceedings; if the defendant skips out on future proceedings, the bond is forfeited, and the defendant will be responsible for paying the remaining 90 percent.
Opposition to the New Rule
In 2017, a law was passed that allowed defendants to post 10 percent of a bond that was less than $20,000 — as long as a judge allowed it. Because of the requirement for judge approval, the 10 percent cash option was used in very few cases. Under the new rule, the 10 percent cash option will be more widely available. Opponents to the new rule say the state’s bond industry will lose around half of their business because of the changes. Bondsmen not only put up the amount needed, but they also ensure the person returns to court and will go looking for the defendant if they do try to skip out on court hearings.
A Connecticut Criminal Defense Attorney Can Answer Your Questions
If you have been charged with a crime, you know how much of a financial strain it can put on you and your family. At the Woolf Law Firm, LLC, we can provide you with quality legal representation and help you understand your best options for defense against criminal charges. Let our skilled Hartford, CT criminal defense lawyer work with you to achieve a positive outcome. Call our office today at 860-290-8690 to schedule a free consultation.