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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 13 : Crimes and Criminal Procedure

Chapter 229 : BAIL AND RECOGNIZANCES

(Cite as: 13 V.S.A. § 7554)
  • § 7554. Release prior to trial

    (a) Release; conditions of release. Any person charged with an offense, other than a person held without bail under section 7553 or 7553a of this title, shall at his or her appearance before a judicial officer be ordered released pending trial in accordance with this section.

    (1) The defendant shall be ordered released on personal recognizance or upon the execution of an unsecured appearance bond in an amount specified by the judicial officer unless the judicial officer determines that such a release will not reasonably mitigate the risk of flight from prosecution as required. In determining whether the defendant presents a risk of flight from prosecution, the judicial officer shall consider, in addition to any other factors, the seriousness of the offense charged and the number of offenses with which the person is charged. If the officer determines that the defendant presents a risk of flight from prosecution, the officer shall, either in lieu of or in addition to the methods of release in this section, impose the least restrictive of the following conditions or the least restrictive combination of the following conditions that will reasonably mitigate the risk of flight of the defendant as required:

    (A) Place the defendant in the custody of a designated person or organization agreeing to supervise him or her if the defendant is charged with an offense that is not a nonviolent misdemeanor or nonviolent felony as defined in 28 V.S.A. § 301.

    (B) Place restrictions on the travel or association of the defendant during the period of release.

    (C) Require the defendant to participate in an alcohol or drug treatment program. The judicial officer shall take into consideration the defendant's ability to comply with an order of treatment and the availability of treatment resources.

    (D) Upon consideration of the defendant's financial means, require the execution of a secured appearance bond in a specified amount and the deposit with the clerk of the court, in cash or other security as directed, of a sum not to exceed 10 percent of the amount of the bond, such deposit to be returned upon the appearance of the defendant as required.

    (E) Upon consideration of the defendant's financial means, require the execution of a surety bond with sufficient solvent sureties, or the deposit of cash in lieu thereof.

    (F) Impose any other condition found reasonably necessary to mitigate the risk of flight as required, including a condition requiring that the defendant return to custody after specified hours.

    (G) Place the defendant in a program of community-based electronic monitoring in accordance with section 7554d of this title.

    (2) If the judicial officer determines that conditions of release imposed to mitigate the risk of flight will not reasonably protect the public, the judicial officer may impose in addition the least restrictive of the following conditions or the least restrictive combination of the following conditions that will reasonably ensure protection of the public:

    (A) Place the defendant in the custody of a designated person or organization agreeing to supervise him or her if the defendant is charged with an offense that is not a nonviolent misdemeanor or nonviolent felony as defined in 28 V.S.A. § 301.

    (B) Place restrictions on the travel, association, or place of abode of the defendant during the period of release.

    (C) Require the defendant to participate in an alcohol or drug treatment program. The judicial officer shall take into consideration the defendant's ability to comply with an order of treatment and the availability of treatment resources.

    (D) Impose any other condition found reasonably necessary to protect the public, except that a physically restrictive condition may only be imposed in extraordinary circumstances.

    (E) Suspend the officer's duties in whole or in part if the defendant is a State, county, or municipal officer charged with violating section 2537 of this title and the court finds that it is necessary to protect the public.

    (F) Place the defendant in a program of community-based electronic monitoring in accordance with section 7554d of this title.

    (3) A judicial officer may order that a defendant not harass or contact or cause to be harassed or contacted a victim or potential witness. This order shall take effect immediately, regardless of whether the defendant is incarcerated or released.

    (b) Judicial considerations in imposing conditions of release. In determining which conditions of release to impose:

    (1) In subdivision (a)(1) of this section, the judicial officer, on the basis of available information, shall take into account the nature and circumstances of the offense charged; the weight of the evidence against the accused; the accused's employment; financial resources, including the accused's ability to post bail; the accused's character and mental condition; the accused's length of residence in the community; and the accused's record of appearance at court proceedings or of flight to avoid prosecution or failure to appear at court proceedings.

    (2) In subdivision (a)(2) of this section, the judicial officer, on the basis of available information, shall take into account the nature and circumstances of the offense charged; the weight of the evidence against the accused; and the accused's family ties, employment, character and mental condition, length of residence in the community, record of convictions, and record of appearance at court proceedings or of flight to avoid prosecution or failure to appear at court proceedings. Recent history of actual violence or threats of violence may be considered by the judicial officer as bearing on the character and mental condition of the accused.

    (c) Order. A judicial officer authorizing the release of a person under this section shall issue an appropriate order containing a statement of the conditions imposed, if any; shall inform such person of the penalties applicable to violations of the conditions of release; and shall advise him or her that a warrant for his or her arrest will be issued immediately upon any such violation.

    (d) Review of conditions.

    (1) A person for whom conditions of release are imposed and who is detained as a result of his or her inability to meet the conditions of release or who is ordered released on a condition that he or she return to custody after specified hours, or the State, following a material change in circumstances, shall, within 48 hours following application, be entitled to have the conditions reviewed by a judge in the court having original jurisdiction over the offense charged. A party applying for review shall be given the opportunity for a hearing. Unless the conditions of release are amended as requested, the judge shall set forth in writing or orally on the record a reasonable basis for continuing the conditions imposed. In the event that a judge in the court having original jurisdiction over the offense charged is not available, any Superior judge may review such conditions.

    (2) A person for whom conditions of release are imposed shall, within five working days following application, be entitled to have the conditions reviewed by a judge in the court having original jurisdiction over the offense charged. A person applying for review shall be given the opportunity for a hearing. Unless the conditions of release are amended as requested, the judge shall set forth in writing or orally on the record a reasonable basis for continuing the conditions imposed. In the event that a judge in the court having original jurisdiction over the offense charged is not available, any Superior judge may review such conditions.

    (e) Amendment of order. A judicial officer ordering the release of a person on any condition specified in this section may at any time amend the order to impose additional or different conditions of release, provided that the provisions of subsection (d) of this section shall apply.

    (f) Definition. The term "judicial officer" as used in this section and section 7556 of this title shall mean a clerk of a Superior Court or a Superior Court judge.

    (g) Admissibility of evidence. Information stated in, or offered in connection with, any order entered pursuant to this section need not conform to the rules pertaining to the admissibility of evidence in a court of law.

    (h) Forfeiture. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to prevent the disposition of any case or class of cases by forfeiture of collateral security if such disposition is authorized by the court.

    (i) Forms. The Court Administrator shall establish forms for appearance bonds, secured appearance bonds, surety bonds, and for use in the posting of bail. Each form shall include the following information:

    (1) The bond or bail may be forfeited in the event that the defendant or witness fails to appear at any required court proceeding.

    (2) The surety or person posting bond or bail has the right to be released from the obligations under the bond or bail agreement upon written application to the judicial officer and detention of the defendant or witness.

    (3) The bond will continue through sentencing in the event that bail is continued after final adjudication.

    (j) Juveniles. Any juvenile between 14 and 16 years of age who is charged with a listed crime as defined in subdivision 5301(7) of this title shall appear before a judicial officer and be ordered released pending trial in accordance with this section within 24 hours following the juvenile's arrest. (Added 1967, No. 337 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; amended 1969, No. 125, § 12; 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974; 1987, No. 102, § 2; 1989, No. 293 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1993, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 4; 2001, No. 124 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. June 5, 2002; 2003, No. 73 (Adj. Sess.), § 6, eff. March 1, 2004; 2005, No. 63, § 10; 2005, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 10; 2007, No. 108 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2007, No. 169 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2009, No. 154 (Adj. Sess.), § 118; 2015, No. 43, § 2; 2015, No. 125 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2015, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 18; 2017, No. 164 (Adj. Sess.), § 3.)