Conditions of release; person arrested for felony released to pretrial services agency if indigent. (HB728)

Introduced By

Del. Dave Albo (R-Springfield) with support from co-patrons Del. Tag Greason (R-Potomac Falls), Del. Sal Iaquinto (R-Virginia Beach), Del. Brenda Pogge (R-Williamsburg), Del. Mark Sickles (D-Alexandria), and Del. Ron Villanueva (R-Virginia Beach)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Conditions of release without bond.  Provides that no person arrested for a felony who has previously been convicted of a felony, or who is presently on bond for an unrelated arrest in any jurisdiction, or who is on probation or parole, may be released to a pretrial services agency in lieu of posting a secure bond unless he is determined by a court to be indigent. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/12/2010Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/10 10103748D
01/12/2010Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/19/2010Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
01/25/2010Subcommittee recommends reporting (5-Y 2-N)
01/27/2010Reported from Courts of Justice with amendments (13-Y 9-N) (see vote tally)
01/27/2010Referred to Committee on Appropriations
02/02/2010Assigned App. sub: Public Safety
02/08/2010Impact statement from DPB (HB728)
02/10/2010Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 0-N)
02/12/2010Reported from Appropriations (17-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/14/2010Read first time
02/15/2010Read second time
02/15/2010Committee amendments agreed to
02/15/2010Engrossed by House as amended HB728E
02/15/2010Printed as engrossed 10103748D-E
02/16/2010Read third time and passed House (63-Y 36-N)
02/16/2010VOTE: --- PASSAGE (63-Y 36-N) (see vote tally)
02/17/2010Constitutional reading dispensed
02/17/2010Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
03/08/2010Left in Courts of Justice


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 2 minutes.


ann elliott writes:

1950 code of va. alreadys states that a person previously convicted of a felony is required to have a secured bond. this law has been ignored by judges and magistrates in favor of pre-trial release and personal recognance release.


This bill passage will insure fair and equitable jail release standards vs. wholesale release. Simply put..those that can can afford to post bail will be required to do so, and those that cannot after judicial financial review and are determined indigent. This bill passage will not preclude or in any way supplant or impeed a judicial officers regular/normal bail determination factors

Editor’s Pick
Lloyd Snook writes:

The only problem that this bill addresses is the concern that bail bondsmen don't get to collect enough premiums.

Where there are pretrial services offices -- which covers most, but not all populous areas of the state -- judges have been using them in an effort to keep control of offenders pre-trial without having to require those offenders to stay in jail pre-trial.

When you keep people in jail pre-trial, you have some serious problems:

1. Pre-trial jail time is paid for by the city or county; post-trial jail time on a felony is paid for by the state.

2. There is very little pre-trial work release available in this state, so most people being kept in jail are just sitting there. They are the lowest folks on the totem pole for programs, so they have nothing to do. After they have been sentenced they can get work release, they move up the list for drug abuse and anger management programs, etc.

3. Sometimes it actually happens that someone charged with a felony is actually not guilty, so time spent in jail pre-trial is an injustice. More often, they are not guilty of all that they have been charged with, and so they spend time in jail that they shouldn't have to spend.

Chuck Hawkins writes:

How much does it cost the state when tons of people spend, on average, an extra 2-3 days in jail so that they can (a) determine if they are indigent, or (b) scrape up the money to pay a bail bondsman? Has anyone determined that? Other states have been influenced by the bail bond industry and seen their local jail populations exploded. So how much is this going to cost the localities when federal judges come down in about 4-5 years and force them to build new or expanded jails?

Vernon King writes:

I have a few questions. If a person is put in jail, and they are not deemed indigent and they cannot afford to pay a bondsman, isn't that their problem? Either way, through pre trial services or just "sitting in jail", as someone put it, tax dollars are gonna be spent. Shouldn't they be spent on the people that actually NEED it, instead of the people who JUST USE the pretrial services as a way to get out of jail on my tax dollar? And yours? If any/all defendants are put on pretrial services, and he/she fails to appear for court, are the pretrial services personnel going to go out and find these defendants? I'm guessing, probably not. As for the jails overcrowding, I think that's an entire separate matter, but do not think pretrial services is any kind of solution for that problem. Supporting this bill just makes sense.

Editor’s Pick
Mary McTyre writes:

No one is trying to put pre-trial release programs out of the loop but it would be advantageous to them to work with the bailbonds people and come to a solution that would save the tax payers money. As a skip tracer i have loaned my services to judges, court clerks, jail officials, police departments, bondsmen, and fugitive recovery agents to find defendants who have failed to appear. In fourteen years of business i have NEVER been contacted by anyone from pretrial services to look for a defendant who has not appeared for their court date. Pre-trial services does not look for wayward defendants, they leave them in the community at large to continue commiting crimes and waiting for them to get caught in a traffic stop or during the commission of another crime. Does that make you feel safe in your community? You the taxpayer are paying for that continued feeling of fear. And if the Bail bondsman takes a person out of jail on a secured bond and the defendant doesnt show up for court they must find them and put them back in jail or pay the county the full amount of the bond. What do the pre trial release persons pay? NOTHING... So the county looses that revenue that would line the county coffers so the taxes may not have to go up and save the taxpayer a little more money.. The tax payer is losing all the way around; they pay for defendants to be released from jail by supporting the pre-trial relese programs, then they pay extra taxes due to lost county revenue that the pre-trial release program doesn't have to pay, plus they pay extra taxes when the program is given state, local or federal grants. Saying NO to Pre-Trial Release is the only sensible and logical choice. Why pay tax dollars when bail bondspersons provide defendant supervision and return to justice for FREE????