Why Are Grand Junction Criminals Back on the Street Hours After Arrest?
Living here in Grand Junction it's clear that we have crime just like everywhere else in the world. We have petty crimes like theft all the way up to criminals facing murder charges. But why is it that we find a criminal who is arrested for a serious crime is back on the streets within hours of being arrested?
I'm a bit of a crime nerd, so I reached out to Public Information Officer Megan Terlecky for some answers.
I was quickly informed that what I was asking really didn't have a lot to do with law enforcement at all. But instead, it was the court system, but because Megan is awesome she gave me a bunch of information anyway.
When Legal Troubles Begin it Happens One of Two Ways
Legal trouble begins in one of two ways. The first is a police officer seeing a crime being committed and you're immediately placed under arrest. If there is an investigation started then law enforcement will collect information before deciding if someone will be charged with a crime. After that, it's up to the judge to sign the warrant and issue a bond amount. Very rarely is there ever a no-bond hold placed on a criminal.
You Could Have A Warrant And Never Step Foot in Jail
If you're notified of your warrant and bond amount, it is possible to pay the bond amount without ever being taken into police custody. You would still be responsible for showing up to all court dates moving forward, but you wouldn't be in jail.
Obviously, as the court process continues all decisions are between the prosecuting attorney, the judge, and the defendant. Law enforcement only becomes involved again when needed in the courtroom or if the defendant will be serving time as part of their punishment.
This process makes sense, I just never understood how someone could commit a crime and be back on the streets in just hours. But thanks to Megan, now we all know.