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
Peace officers can issue citations at any time during the arrest process, however they cannot issue a citation for stalking, domestic abuse, violation of a protection order and violation of a domestic abuse no contact order. An officer in charge of a police station or a county sheriff must issue a citation after arrest for stalking, domestic abuse, and violation of a protection, domestic abuse or no contact order. (§ 626.862; § 629.72)
Pretrial Release Eligibility
State constitution provides a presumption of pretrial release. Pretrial release can be denied for capital offenses. (Const. art. 1 § 7)
Guidance for Setting Release Conditions
State statute provides a presumption of pretrial release on personal recognizance or unsecured appearance bond. Law requires courts to impose conditions as enumerated in Rule 6.02(1). (§ 629.715(1)(a); § 629.53 authorizes R. Cr. P. 6.02)
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. (§ 629.53 authorizes R. Cr. P., Rule 6.02; § 629.70; § 629.67; § 629.715)
Bail Bond Agent Licensure
The State Court Administrator’s Office regulates bond producers. (Prac. Rule 702)
Bail Forfeiture Procedure
After notification of their client’s failure to appear, a bail agent has 90 days to produce the defendant or provide an adequate reason why the defendant did not appear. Statute addresses standards for remission procedure. Unpaid forfeitures can result in suspension of the agent’s authority to execute new bonds. (Gen. R. Prac., Rule 702; § 629.59)
Victims’ Rights and Protections
Victims have the right to notification of and to attend the pretrial release hearing. Victims also have a right to notification of pretrial release and the conditions of release. Pretrial release hearings are required for harassment, domestic abuse, and a violation of a protection order or domestic abuse no contact order. Electronic monitoring can be ordered for domestic violence crimes enumerated in § 609.135(5a)(b) only if the local jurisdiction adopts a policy. If a bail bond is forfeited, the funds can be applied to a restitution order upon the defendant’s conviction. (§ 629.72(6) & (7); § 629.725; § 629.73; § 629.72; § 629.72; § 485.018)
Worthless checks diversion programs are authorized. Diversion is also authorized for offenses enumerated in § 401.065. (§ 401.065; § 628.69)
Full text of statutes can be retrieved using NCSL’s State Legislatures Internet Links database or learn more about NCSL’s Criminal Justice Program.