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.
Citation in Lieu of Arrest
Issuing a citation is not presumptive, however a citation can be issued for misdemeanors. Citations can be issued prior to arrest by peace officers. (§12.25.180)
Pretrial Release Eligibility
State constitution provides a presumption of pretrial release. Pretrial release can be denied for capital offenses, unclassified felonies, class A and sexual felonies, felony operating a vehicle while under the influence, felony refusing to submit to a chemical test, felony crimes against a person or any domestic violence offense if the defendant has a previous similar conviction in last five years, felonies committed while on pretrial release, and when arrested for felonies committed in another state. (Const. art. 1 §11; §12.30.011(d))
Guidance for Setting Release Conditions
State statute provides a presumption of pretrial release on personal recognizance. Law requires the least restrictive conditions be imposed. (§12.30.011(a) & (b))
Pretrial Release Conditions
Law allows release on personal recognizance and an unsecured appearance bond. Common conditions of release include: commercial surety, cash deposit, supervision and additional requirements. A $250,000 cash bond is required for offenses involving the manufacture of methamphetamine when the defendant has a similar prior conviction. (§12.30.011)
Defendants charged with capital offenses, unclassified felonies, class A and sexual felonies, felony operating a vehicle while under the influence, felony refusing to submit to a chemical test, felony crimes against a person or any domestic violence offense if they have a prior similar conviction in the last five years require a hearing to deny pretrial release. When a defendant is unable to meet the pretrial release conditions, a judicial review is required after 48 in custody. (§12.30.011; §12.30.006)
Bail Bond Agent Licensure
The Director of the Division of Insurance regulates bail bond limited producers. To be licensed, applicants must meet age and residency requirements, and pass an exam. They cannot have committed an act that is cause for denial, suspension or revocation of a license. (§ 21.27.150; §21.27.020; § 21.27.060)
Bail Forfeiture Procedure
After notification of their client’s failure to appear, a bail agent has 30 days to produce the defendant or provide an adequate reason why the defendant did not appear. Courts are instructed to consider if the defendant’s failure to appear was not willful. Statute addresses standards for remission procedure. (R RCRP Rule 41)
Victims’ Rights and Protections
Victims have the right to notification of, to attend and be heard at the pretrial release hearing. Victims also have a right to notification of pretrial release and the conditions of that release. Pretrial release hearings are required for domestic violence offenses. If a bail bond is forfeited, the funds can be applied to a restitution order upon the defendant’s conviction. (§12.30.016(f); 12.30.027(d); Const. art. I, § 24; §12.30.027; §12.30.075)
Full text of statutes can be retrieved using NCSL’s State Legislatures Internet Links database or learn more about NCSL’s Criminal Justice Program.