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What Is a Personal Recognizance (PR) Bond?

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If you are facing criminal charges in Colorado, spending time in jail only makes matters worse. In order to best protect your rights throughout the trial process, it is crucial to understand the ins and outs of your Colorado bond options.
Bonds act as a financial agreement between an individual and the state to secure release while awaiting trial. One such option available in the state of Colorado is a personal recognizance bond, also called a PR bond, which allows defendants to obtain release without paying anything.
This blog post will discuss the nuances of PR bonds, including the requirements for eligibility, how they differ from other bonds, and why seeking legal counsel is paramount when navigating this aspect of the criminal justice system.

What Is a Personal Recognizance (PR) Bond?

Personal recognizance bonds allow for an accused individual’s release from custody based on a commitment to appear for trial proceedings. Unlike traditional bail bonds, PR bonds do not require a financial deposit to secure release. Instead, they rely on a defendant’s personal oath to attend all court hearings rather than employing financial leverage.
Be sure to note the following in regards to PR bonds:
  1. There may be some minor costs associated with PR bonds; however, these expenses will be nominal compared to a traditional bail bond involving a third party (i.e. a bail bondsman).
  2. If you do not appear in court after being released on a PR bond, the judge can issue a bench warrant for your arrest, meaning you can be arrested anytime, anywhere. This is something you’ll want to avoid at all costs, as it can not only be embarrassing, but also damaging to the outcome of your case.

Colorado Bail Bond Laws: PR Bonds vs. Surety/Bail Bonds

The key difference between PR bonds and traditional surety or bail bonds is the financial commitment. A PR bond does not require a financial payment upfront, allowing individuals who might otherwise face financial constraints to secure their release based on their word.
Bail bonds, on the other hand, require a monetary deposit or collateral. If the defendant does not have the means to pay the bond themselves, they will need to involve a bail bondsman to pay the money upfront. Unfortunately, bail bondsmen often charge a non-refundable 10% fee in exchange for that upfront sum, which some defendants will struggle to return post-trial. In addition, note that failure to appear at trial means forfeiture of the bail money.
Given this distinction, PR bonds offer a more accessible option for those without significant financial resources.

Who Is Eligible for a PR Bond in Colorado?

Eligibility for a PR bond is contingent on several factors, including, but not limited to:
  • The nature of the charges
  • Your criminal history
  • Your ties to the community
  • Your employment status
Ultimately, the judge takes many pertinent details into account when weighing the potential risk the defendant poses to public safety and their likelihood of appearing for trial. Therefore, non-violent offenders and individuals with strong community ties are often considered eligible for PR bonds.

Flight Risk: How Does This Come into Play?

Concerns about flight risk typically play a pivotal role in the court’s decision to grant a PR bond. Factors such as the severity of the charges, past criminal history, and ties to the community are weighed to assess the likelihood of the defendant fleeing. Your legal counsel also plays a crucial role, as they will present a case that mitigates concerns about flight risk and emphasizes factors that demonstrate your commitment to facing the charges responsibly.

Leaving the State While Out on a PR Bond

While a PR bond provides a certain level of freedom pending trial, leaving the state without court approval is typically restricted. Violating travel restrictions may result in severe consequences, jeopardizing the terms of the bond and potentially leading to re-arrest.
We understand that travel may be a fundamental component of your life or line of work; however, even if this is the case, it is still necessary to receive express permission from the court before leaving the jurisdiction. Otherwise, a judge may label you a flight risk and revoke your bond.

What’s Next? How to Obtain a PR Bond

To obtain a PR bond, defendants typically need legal representation. An experienced criminal attorney can present a compelling case to the court, highlighting the defendant’s suitability for a PR bond based on various factors. This underscores the importance of seeking legal counsel promptly after being charged. A defense attorney will assess your unique circumstances, compile necessary documentation, and present a convincing argument for the court’s consideration.

Bond Lawyer Near You: Why You Should Get a Criminal Attorney to Help With Your Case

When it comes to criminal cases, PR bonds offer a promising avenue for individuals to secure their release without the financial burden of a traditional bond. A criminal defense attorney can (a) help you understand the eligibility criteria, restrictions, and nuances surrounding PR bonds and (b) present the judge with a compelling case for why you deserve one.
At MBS Law, our criminal attorneys offer free consultations to each and every client, so you can determine whether our firm is a good fit for your needs. Reach out today to get started.

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