State legislative panel studies criminal court bond practices

2013-07-18T17:15:00Z 2013-07-18T18:22:26Z State legislative panel studies criminal court bond practicesDan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
July 18, 2013 5:15 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | The bond procedures that counties follow to release those accused of crimes from jail before trial were scrutinized Thursday by a panel of state lawmakers and court system leaders.

They found many counties allow defendants to pay 10 percent of their bond in cash, others require a commercial surety bond be purchased from a bail bondsman, and some offer both options.

State Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, requested the Indiana Commission on Courts review the topic because she wants money from forfeited bonds to remain with the county court system, instead of being split among the state, police pensions and local sheriffs.

However, the discussion uncovered simmering tensions between court officials and bail bondsmen, who believe the 10 percent cash option is intended to put them out of business because it matches the 10 percent premium they charge for a surety bond.

Rogers expects to sponsor legislation on the issue during the 2014 session of the General Assembly.

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