Vermont Bail Law:

Below are the most current bail laws we have for this state. Send updates to your state's bail laws to us using our contact form. This is not legal advice as laws change all the time. Please check with the department of insurance for the most recent updates.

1. Applicable Statutes

A. VERMONT STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE THIRTEEN. Crimes and Criminal Procedure PART 5. JUDGMENT AND PROCEEDINGS AFTER JUDGMENT CHAPTER 229.Bail and Recognizances.

2. Licensing Requirements for Agents

Vermont does not appear to having any licensing requirements for bail agents at this time, nor is there any legislation pending on this subject.

3. Notice of Forfeiture

Vermont’s statutes deal with bail forfeiture in a very limited way only. With the exception of defenses to forfeiture, very few provisions exist which regulate bail forfeiture at this time.

A. VERMONT STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE THIRTEEN. Crimes and Criminal Procedure PART 2. CRIMINAL PROCEDURE GENERALLY CHAPTER 159. Extradition and Fresh Pursuit SUBCHAPTER 2. Uniform Criminal Extradition Act § 4958 Forfeiture of bail.

  • If the prisoner is admitted to bail, and fails to appear and surrender himself according to the condition of his bond, the court, by proper order, shall declare the bond forfeited and order his immediate arrest without warrant if he be within this state. Recovery may be had thereon in the name of the state as in the case of other bonds or undertakings given by the accused in criminal proceedings within this state.

4. Allotted Time between Forfeiture Declaration and Payment Due Date

A. VERMONT STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE THIRTEEN. Crimes and Criminal Procedure PART 5. JUDGMENT AND PROCEEDINGS AFTER JUDGMENT CHAPTER 229. § 7571 Motion to chancer forfeited bonds.

  • When a recognizance in a criminal prosecution pending in supreme, superior or district court, is forfeited for a breach of the condition thereof, the sureties may file a motion to chancer at the term of the court at which such recognizance is forfeited, if in supreme or superior court, or within thirty days of such forfeiture, if in a district court. Unless cause is shown for delay, the court shall hear forthwith the parties upon the motion to chancer and render judgment thereon without costs. The sureties may pay to the clerk of such court or judge of such district court, as the case may be, the sum fixed by the judgment, and the same shall be accounted for as though an action had been brought on such recognizance and recovery of judgment had thereon.

5. Forfeiture Defenses
A. VERMONT STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE THIRTEEN. Crimes and Criminal Procedure PART 5. JUDGMENT AND PROCEEDINGS AFTER JUDGMENT CHAPTER 229.Bail and Recognizances § 7570 Power of court to Chancer

In actions brought to recover the penalty or forfeiture annexed to a recognizance taken in a criminal cause, the court may reduce the penalty of such bond and render judgment thereon as the circumstances of the case require.

B. § 7571 Motion to chancer forfeited bonds.

  • When a recognizance in a criminal prosecution pending in supreme, superior or district court, is forfeited for a breach of the condition thereof, the sureties may file a motion to chancer at the term of the court at which such recognizance is forfeited, if in supreme or superior court, or within thirty days of such forfeiture, if in a district court. Unless cause is shown for delay, the court shall hear forthwith the parties upon the motion to chancer and render judgment thereon without costs. The sureties may pay to the clerk of such court or judge of such district court, as the case may be, the sum fixed by the judgment, and the same shall be accounted for as though an action had been brought on such recognizance and recovery of judgment had thereon.

C. § 7562 Relief of bail– Warrant to arrest and commit
If the bail for a person accused of a crime wishes to surrender the principal in discharge of his recognizance, he may apply in writing to the authority who took the recognizance for a warrant to apprehend the principal and commit him to jail in the county where the offense is charged to have been committed. The authority shall thereupon issue such warrant, directed to any sheriff or constable in the state, and on commitment of the principal to jail upon such warrant, the bail shall be discharged.

D. § 7572 Surrender of principal considered in chancering
If a person bound to appear before a superior or district court on a complaint, information or indictment, does not appear, but forfeits his recognizance, such court shall order a warrant to be issued from time to time to take the body of the person for trial, and the surety of the person may take and deliver him to the officer having such warrant or to the court that issued it. On motion to chancer, the court shall consider the same in favor of the surety.

6. Remission

The Vermont statutes do not currently contain any provisions dealing specifically with “remission” of bail forfeiture.

7.  Bail Agent’s Arrest Authority

A. VERMONT STATUTES ANNOTATED TITLE TWELVE. Court Procedure PART 7. PROVISIONAL REMEDIES; SECURITY CHAPTER 125. Arrest, Bail, and Recognizances SUBCHAPTER 1. Bail and Recognizances  § 3478 — Use of warrant. 

  • When he has occasion to arrest the principal, a surety may use such warrant to surrender him in court in discharge of his bail on the original process or upon scire facias or to secure him until a term of the court in which he may be surrendered for that purpose.

B. § 3484 — Surety may have warrant

  • A surety in a recognizance taken by a justice of the supreme court, a judge of a district or superior court, or a clerk of the supreme or superior court, may make written application to the authority taking the recognizance for a warrant to apprehend the principal and commit him to jail. The authority taking the recognizance shall thereupon issue such warrant, directed to any sheriff or constable in the state. When the principal is committed to jail on such warrant, the bail shall be discharged.

8. Other Noteworthy Provisions

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    9. Noteworthy State Appellate Decisions

    1. State v. Jones
    167 Vt. 615, 709 A.2d 507

    Vt.

    Mar 11, 1998

    • The District Court, Unit No. 2, Chittenden Circuit, ordered forfeiture of bail, and bail surety appealed. The Supreme Court held that bail bond secured defendant’s availability for no longer than the 30 days provided in statute, and since defendant made all appearances in court requested of him during these 30 days, no condition of bail was broken so as to warrant forfeiture of bail.  Reversed.

    2. State v. Fernald
    168 Vt. 620, 723 A.2d 1145

    Vt.

    Oct 23, 1998

    • Bail bondsman sought bail warrant and discharge as surety for criminal defendant upon his surrender of the defendant to the court. The District Court, Rutland Circuit, denied request. Bondsman appealed. The Supreme Court held that appeal was rendered moot when requested relief was granted.  Appeal dismissed.

    3. Denis Bail Bonds, Inc. v. State

    159 Vt. 481, 622 A.2d 495

    Vt.

    Jan 08, 1993

    • Bail bonding company brought action against state, alleging that it suffered losses as result of state’s failure to notify it that complaints had been filed against one of its agents. The Superior Court, Windsor County, Richard W. Norton, J., granted state’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, and appeal was taken. The Supreme Court, Dooley, J., held that state did not have duty to notify bail bonding company that complaints had been filed against agent.  Affirmed.

    4. State v. Cardinal
    (1986)

    147 Vt. 461, 520 A.2d 984

    • Trial court erred in ordering forfeiture of cash bail on the basis of the breach of a condition prohibiting certain types of future criminal conduct, where state did not allege that defendant had failed to appear before court as required by original bail order.

    10. Bounty Hunter Provisions

    • At this time, there appear to be no specific regulations for “Bounty Hunters” in the Vermont statutes.