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Colorado Rights Blog

HB17-1369: Bonds Persons Fail Appear Due Immigration Issues

Criminal Justice
Bill Number: HB17-1369
Year: 2017
ACLU Position: Active Support
Sponsors: D. Pabon (D) / V. Marble (R)

Description:

The bill is known as the Bond Surety Protection Act.
The bill changes what happens with bonds posted for a defendant’s
appearance if a defendant is determined to be illegally present in the
country and doesn’t appear in court due to being removed from the
country. Instead of forfeiture of the bond, a compensated surety who
posted bond or a bail bonding agent who posted bond, or a
noncompensated surety, such as a family member or friend, who executed
a bail bond for a defendant, is exonerated from liability on the bond if the
compensated surety or the noncompensated surety provides satisfactory
evidence to the court that the defendant has been removed from the
country. The bill requires the court to exonerate the bail bond if all of the
following occur:
• The compensated or noncompensated surety files a motion
requesting exoneration of the bail bond;
• The compensated or noncompensated surety files an
affidavit along with the motion describing with
particularity how the surety came to know that the
defendant was removed from the United States, including
the date of removal, if known, and the name of the person
and contact information of the person who provided that
information, if known; and
• The district attorney does not object.
The bill repeals current law that requires notification of people or
sureties that their bond or fees will be forfeited if the defendant is
removed from the country. On and after the effective date of the bill, a
law enforcement agency holding a person charged with a criminal offense
is prohibited from notifying the defendant’s bail bonding agent or
noncompensated surety before the bond is posted that his or her bond or
fees will be forfeited if the defendant is removed from the country, and
law enforcement officers are prohibited from asking a defendant or a
person other than a bail bonding agent to execute a waiver that states that
he or she understands that the bond or fees shall be forfeited if the
defendant is removed from the country. A bail bonding agent shall not
communicate to a defendant that his or her bond fees shall be forfeited if
the defendant is removed from the country.
The bill repeals current law regarding the crediting of revenue
from forfeited bonds into the county jail assistance fund. The bill directs
the state treasurer to transfer the balance remaining in the county jail
assistance fund to the general fund and then abolishes and repeals the
county jail assistance fund.


Current Status:

Governor Signed (06/06/2017)



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