Starting August 9, 2017 some people charged with domestic violence offenses or stalking will not be eligible for bail/bond under a new Colorado law. As noted in the title of this post, the law only applies to some specific domestic violence and stalking cases.
Colorado House Bill 17-1150 modifies CRS 16-4-201.5, which pertains to a person’s right to post a bail after a conviction enters. In other words, a person’s right to be free on bond, after entering a plea or after a finding of guilt at trial, while awaiting sentencing or appeal. The new law carves out exceptions to a person’s right to be free on bond.
The first exception applies to a person who has entered a plea of guilty or who has been found guilty at trial of a Class 5 Felony act of domestic violence in violation of CRS 18-6-801(7). This particular Colorado statute relates to a person who has 3 or more prior domestic violence offenses (a/k/a “habitual domestic violence offender”) arising out of separate criminal episodes that were independently brought and tried. In other words, 3 separate cases. The 3 prior convictions must be set forth in the Felony information or indictment in the current case. The “3 priors” threshold includes state, federal, and municipal court cases. Felony, misdemeanor, and municipal court convictions all qualify as a “prior convictions”.
The second exception to bail under the new Colorado law applies to a 2nd or subsequent offense for stalking within 7 years of a prior conviction for stalking.
The third exception to bail applies to a stalking case when a protection order (temporary or permanent), bond condition, injunction, probation condition/requirement, parole condition/requirement or other court order was in place at the time of the offense that protected a victim.
These 3 new exceptions to bail in Colorado were added to a list of other offenses that similarly don’t qualify for bail awaiting sentencing or appeal such as murder, a crime of violence in violation of CRS 18-1.3.406, certain sexual assault offenses, a felony offense wherein a firearm was used, and other offenses enumerated under CRS 16-4-201.5.
This new law regarding exceptions to bail in Colorado for certain offenses starts on August 9, 2017.