The concept of bail bonds is relatively straightforward, but there are some nuances you might not expect. For example, something that might shock you is that people living in America who are not American citizens can post bail, BUT… there’s bad news for them, whether they’re documented or not (and it doesn’t even matter what country they’re from).

Generally, let’s say bond is $5,000, and you need to get out of custody. You can either pay $5,000 cash to the courts, and they’ll hold it in safekeeping until you show up to all your appearances, or you can get a bail bondsman involved. And what happens with the help of a bondsman is that they allow you to only post 10% of that amount, and the bondsman will take care of the rest as long as there is something that shows that you’ve got collateral for the rest of the amount. But with non-US Citizens, almost all bondsmen will require either 100% of the bond amount or 10% PLUS a United States citizen homeowner lien.

What’s unfortunate about that is a lot of judges don’t know about the 10% problem with non-citizens, so they will give a citizen a $2,000 cash/surety/property bond, and then they’ll give a non-US Citizen a $2,000 cash/surety/property bond…but the difference is the US citizen only needs $200 while the non-citizen needs $2,000.

For example, I had a client who is a non-citizen who is out on a $50,000 bond, and he needed to either find a US citizen homeowner to put a lien against their house, or he’s going to have to pay the entire bond (all $50,000!), which he can’t afford, so he’ll have to stay in custody while we fight his case.

So, unfortunately, not being a US Citizen can make your ability to post bond extremely expensive. Fortunately, I have recently found a bondsman who will allow non-citizens to post only the 10% if the right qualifications are met. This is a game-changer and has already led to several clients being able to post bond where they would have otherwise remained incarcerated. So if you are not an American citizen and you are looking for a criminal defense attorney in Colorado, I do have options that may help you post bond regardless of your citizenship. Contact my office to learn more.

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Frequently Asked QuestionsFAQ: Can Non-Citizens in America Post Bail?