Pretrial Release | Vermont

3/13/2013

State legislatures consider and enact laws that address all aspects of pretrial policy, including citations, release eligibility, conditions of release, commercial bail bonding, victims’ rights and diversion. These legislative policies have an important role in providing fair, efficient and safe practices carried out by law enforcement and the courts.

Below is a synopsis of this state’s pretrial release laws as of March 2013 and any relevant legislative reports or audits. Recent enactments modifying these provisions can be found in NCSL’s pretrial enactments database.

Laws

Citation in Lieu of Arrest

Issuing a citation is not presumptive, however a citation can be issued for misdemeanors committed outside the presence of an officer except assault against a family member, operating a vehicle under the influence, hate-motivated crimes, stalking, simple assault, reckless endangerment, cruelty to children, failure to comply with sex offender registration, abuse of a vulnerable adult or violation of a protection order. Citations can be issued prior to arrest by law enforcement officers. (R. Cr. P. 3)

Pretrial Release Eligibility

 State constitution provides a presumption of pretrial release. Pretrial release can be denied for offenses punishable by life or death, felonies that involve violence, 1st and 2nd degree aggravated domestic assault and aggravated stalking.  (Const. Ch. 2 Art. 40; Tit. 13 §§7553, 7553a; 1043, 1044 & 1063)

Guidance for Setting Release Conditions

State statute provides a presumption of pretrial release on personal recognizance or unsecured appearance bond. Law requires the least restrictive conditions be imposed and that a risk assessment be used to determine release conditions and services or treatment. (Tit. 13 §7554(a)&(c))

Pretrial Release Conditions

Law allows release on personal recognizance or an unsecured appearance bond. Common conditions of release include: commercial surety, cash deposit, other secured bond, supervision and additional requirements. Electronic monitoring is authorized for defendants who have been detained for at least seven days. (Tit. 13 §7554)

Pretrial Detention

When a defendant is unable to meet the pretrial release conditions, a judicial review is required after 48 hours in custody. (Tit. 13 §7554)

Bail Forfeiture Procedure

After notification of their client’s failure to appear, a bail agent has 10 days to produce the defendant or provide an adequate reason why the defendant did not appear. (Tit. 13 §7560a)

Victims’ Rights and Protections

Victims have the right to notification of, be consulted about and attend the pretrial release hearing.  They also have the right to notification of pretrial release and conditions of release. (Tit. 13 §§5305 & 5308)

Pretrial Diversion

The attorney general is authorized to establish diversion programs. (Tit. 3 §164)

Resources

Full text of statutes can be retrieved using NCSL’s State Legislatures Internet Links database or learn more about NCSL’s Criminal Justice Program.