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 or felonies authorized by law to be reduced to a misdemeanor. Citations cannot be issued for domestic disturbances when the officer has probable cause to believe that an assault has occurred between family or household members, or believes that an assault has occurred which has placed a person in fear of imminent danger. A citation can be issued by peace officers. (§ 133.055)
Pretrial Release Eligibility
State constitution provides a presumption of pretrial release. Pretrial release can be denied for murder, treason, aggravated murder, violent felonies, and any offense while on pretrial release. (Const. art. 1 § 14; § 135.240; § 14; § 43)
Guidance for Setting Release Conditions
State statute provides a presumption of pretrial release on personal recognizance. Law requires the least restrictive conditions be imposed. (§ 135.245(3))
Pretrial Release Conditions
Law allows release on personal recognizance. Common conditions of release include: cash deposit, property bond, other secured bond, supervision and additional requirements. A minimum $50,000 bond is required for offenses that carry a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment as enumerated in § 137.700. A minimum $250,000 bond is required for a violation of pretrial release conditions that do not constitute a new crime. A minimum $500,000 bond is required for offenses related to the manufacture or delivery of methamphetamine as enumerated in § 135.242(7). (§ 135.230; § 135.250; § 135.260)
Defendants charged with murder, treason, aggravated murder or violent felonies require a hearing to deny pretrial release. State law specifies time frames for when the hearing must be held and enumerates rights of the defendant. (§135.240)
Bail Bond Agent Licensure
Commercial bondsmen are prohibited. (§§ 135.255, .260, .265)
Victims’ Rights and Protections
Victims have the right to notification of, to attend and be heard at the pretrial release hearing. (Const. art. I, § 42)
Diversion programs authorized include: substance abuse, veterans/ active military, domestic relations and worthless checks programs. (§ 430.455 et. seq.; § 135.881 et. seq.)
Full text of statutes can be retrieved using NCSL’s State Legislatures Internet Links database or learn more about NCSL’s Criminal Justice Program.