What is Bond Supervision?
The acronym "B.S." essentially sums up the supervision program which the majority of those charged with offenses in Johnson County District Court are finding themselves on right now. In it's simplest form, Bond Supervision is akin to probation prior to any finding of guilt. It is generally put in place at the time the Defendant is charged and bond is set by the sitting judge, or it is imposed at the time of the first appearance (either in custody or out) along with other conditions of bond (ie, no alcohol, no drugs, no firearms, etc.).
Defendants placed on bond supervision are required to contact their bond supervision officer (Johnson County Court Services) immediately (generally within 48 hours of release from custody). Extremely limited information on this program can be found through the adult supervision link of Johnson County Court Services: http://courts.jocogov.org/cs_asup_bs.aspx
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What To Do Once Placed on Bond Supervision
Once placed on bond supervision, the defendant will have to attend an initial bond supervision orientation (Monday/Wednesday/Sunday) and will subsequently have to attend regular meetings with their assigned officer as long as the condition is in place. Drug/alcohol screens are an integral component of bond supervision as nearly every case carries conditions that prohibit the use of either while on bond. A positive UA (urinalysis) at the initial meeting isn't likely to trigger a revocation of bond due to the likelihood that the consumption of the illegal substance or alcohol likely took place prior to the time the conditions were put in place.
Beyond that, any subsequent UA's will be expected to be clean or show a substantial reduction in levels (generally for marijuana). Whether the defendant is placed on "color code" (a requirement to call a number daily to determine if your assigned color has been called to "drop" a UA that day) depends on the nature of the case, prior history, and the results of the initial "baseline" drug screen. Even those not placed on color can still be required to submit to a random UA at the discretion of the bond supervision officer.
Bond Supervision Decision & Modificaiton
The decision to impose bond supervision or the duration of bond supervision are issues that your attorney should be prepared to address immediately at the first appearance and throughout the duration of the case until you are removed from bond supervision or the case has been resolved or dismissed. Whether you are on bond supervision is not up to the Assistant District Attorney handling your case, it's up to the Judge handling the case (either at the first appearance or the regularly assigned division Judge). Bond modifications (requesting release) can generally be taken up at any court appearance unless it's a particularly crowded docket. If necessary, a written motion can be filed and scheduled specifically on the issue of bond modification in an effort to get supervision removed.
Compliance with Bond Supervision
If you cannot avoid or get off of bond supervision, you need to make every effort to fully comply with the conditions set forth by the bond supervision officer. Bond supervision reports are routinely emailed to the criminal judges and their administrative assistants in advance of the defendant's court appearance. If there is a negative report indicating that the defendant has missed meetings, missed or failed UA's, or been subsequently arrested, the assigned judge is likely to revoke any existing bond requiring the defendant to be placed back in custody until such time as he/she can post another (generally much higher) bond. Defendants with issues on bond supervision need to make certain that their attorney is aware of those issues BEFORE going in to the next hearing so that the attorney can make every effort to resolve the issue with the District Attorney's Office in advance of the hearing or at least be prepared to offer a plausible excuse for the non-compliant activity. It is also possible that the violation(s) is considered so significant that the District Attorney's Office actually filed a Motion to Revoke Bond Supervision which can be considered by the Judge ex parte (without you or your attorney present), resulting in a warrant for the defendant's arrest.
Bond Supervision Works to Ensure Compliance to Other Conditions
Defendants should keep in mind that bond supervision is simply one condition of bond which creates a level of supervision to ensure compliance with the remaining conditions. If your offense involved alcohol, the Court may also order SCRAM while on or off bond supervision. This is a monitoring device attached to the ankle of the defendant which will pick up and report any alcohol intake while subject to the device. House arrest may be imposed as well (either a working house arrest or pure home confinement) but is rarely, if ever, used in conjunction with bond supervision as it's simply a higher level of monitoring.
There is no set period of time for bond supervision. Once the condition is put in place, it can last the full duration of the pendency of the case until the case is resolved by diversion, trial, plea or dismissal. Once the case is fully resolved, bond supervision (as well as other conditions of bond) automatically drops as there is no longer a bond to secure the defendant's appearance.
Currently, bond supervision costs the defendant $60/month or $15/week. All bond supervision fees are expected to be paid as they are incurred. Any unpaid balance is referenced in the reports which are sent to the assigned District Court Judge. While not cheap, this cost is still preferable to the $77/week for SCRAM ($11/day).
- If you're not on bond supervision, keep it that way;
- If you are on bond supervision, implore your attorney to assist you in getting off;
- If you can't get off, maintain full compliance with all conditions of bond supervision until the case can be resolved.
BOND SUPERVISION CONTACT: (913) 715-7535
Johnson County Court Services (588 East Santa Fe St., Olathe, KS 66061)