Your Bond is changing…
Connecticut’s judges have made a rule change regarding bail bonds.
As of January 2020:
- All bonds set at $20,000 or less will be automatically eligible to be posted at a 10% cash alternative.
- This requires no additional fee.
- This does not require a bail bondsman.
- This 10% option is available to bonds set by the court as well as at the police station.
- This 10% will be returned to the defendant upon conclusion of their case provided they attend all court hearings.
- Bonds set above $20,000 will still require a court order to be paid in this manner.
These changes were put in place to help indigent defendants, yet it does the exact opposite; only those with money are helped by this change. This rule is incredibly biased against those that are struggling financially; those that need a payment plan must still use a bondsman and do not get their money back. This is an amazing injustice to the poorest of the defendants and will certainly affect those in urban areas significantly. This begs the question, why aren’t civil liberties groups up in arms?
If the courts truly wanted to help these defendants, they would not put a bond on them at all; better yet, why not make the arrests non-custodial, or issue a summons?
Can the court sieze the 10% (and if so, how and for what reason)? Will you owe the remaining 90% if a forfeiture occurs? If the answers to these questions are no, we are again left with the question of “Why do these defendants have a bond at all?”
The proponents of bail reform would have you believe that bondsmen are part of the problem, since we make money from the posting of the bond. This is true, but the same argument could be made for private attorneys as well. Bondsmen do not make the laws, arrest those that break them, or determine the bond amount if there is one.
And so, I ask the proponents of bail reform: Why is it okay to arrest and prosecute one segment of the population and not the other? Why arrest people at all if we are not going to prosecute them? Doing so wastes valuable resources and creats risks for the defendant court, police department, and victim. Why put a bond on a defendant at all if you truly want to help them fiscally?
Even if you can find a satisfactory answer to all of the questions above, you have to wonder how it is the courts can make such a dramatic change without our legislative branch. And what of your 8th amendment rights? Do you really think our forefathers intended the government– your accuser– to be your surety as well?