Understanding ICE Holds in Colorado Criminal Cases

Building Even if bail is set in a Colorado ICE U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can place a “hold” on you preventing you from leaving the jail facility in which you are incarcerated. This article addresses the basic nature of an ICE hold under these circumstances.

ICE “holds” have nothing to do with public safety. These holds are requested to keep those charged with, or convicted of, certain crimes in custody so they can be deported.

ICE Is Cold

There may be more than 50 reasons, found in Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.), to order a non-citizen out of the country. This article does not address the complex aspects of an ICE immigration matter ( but see Federal Immigration Laws ). This article focuses on the potential impacts of an ICE hold on a Colorado criminal case.

Colorado Criminal Charges As A Basis For Deportation ICE “Crime and Security Violations”

When you hear about a deportation connected to the Colorado criminal courts the reason is almost always a certain kind of criminal conviction. In the last two United States Administrations the reasons for deportation- which used to focus solely on what is referred to as serious crimes such as crimes of “moral turpitude,” or aggravated felonies, domestic or family violence convictions, or certain drug convictions. Today, grounds for deportation have been greatly expanded to include even the most minor of crimes and, in some instances an arrest alone has proven to be “enough reason”to deport.

In a nutshell, most of the time, ICE will not deport you before you have resolved your local charges… THEN they will deport you.. If you receive a jail sentence or a sentence to prison after you are released you will most likely be deported. Local authorities will not release you because ICE places a “hold” on you that detains unless you have completed your sentence.

More than 90% of all interior removals (not border arrests) are of people previously convicted of a crime.

Posting Bond With An ICE Hold The 48 Hour Rule

An “ICE Hold” is a written demand from ICE that requires Colorado authorities to hold you, as noted above, so that ICE can take you into custody after you are released from Colorado state custody.

ICE can only hold you for 48 hours after you have served your sentence or after you have posted your local bond.

That 48 hours does not include Saturdays, Sundays, and court holidays.

To Gain Your Freedom Bail And The ICE Hold A Serious And Challenging Decision

You MAY be allowed to post a bond in an ICE Hold situation in a Colorado criminal case if:

A. You post the bond in your state criminal case, and defer a plea bargain attempting to obtain a bond in the ICE case:


B. You Plea Bargain or otherwise “work out” your Colorado criminal case and complete the sentence imposed by the judge and then attempt to obtain a bond in the ICE case:

AND, in either A or B

After ICE picks you up and you are in immigration custody you seek an immigration bond in Immigration Court.

Federal Immigration Judges Set Federal Bonds

If ICE does not permit the posting of a bond or sets a high bond, an Immigration Judge may reverse that decision and release you on bond. The Immigration Judge will conduct a “bail hearing” at which the Judge decides whether you are subject to “ mandatory detention,” and if you are not the subject of a mandatory detention, he or she will set bond. (See below)

Again, most often, if you are NOT subject to mandatory detention you are then eligible to have a bond.

The standard concerns when setting a bond in all Colorado criminal cases also apply in the “non-mandatory” ICE deportation setting. The Judge will weigh:

  1. The risk that you will miss your immigration hearings:
  2. The potential danger to the community if you are released:
  3. Evidence of stability such as family ties (especially if you have family that is dependent on you or family members who are ill), employment history, and other ties to the community.
A Possibly Wrong Decision Plea Bargain Too Fast

The decision to plea bargain your local charges quickly to avoid remaining in custody because of an ICE hold can mean the loss of plea bargaining “leverage” with the Colorado District Attorney prosecuting the case. The pressure to “deal the case” will be great but there is hope.

The advice of many Colorado criminal defense lawyers is NOT to resolved the local charges but after posting bond in the Colorado criminal case try to find a way to bond out of the ICE hold.

Many times “making a deal” to get out of jail quickly can cause serious immigration consequences. You may plead your way out of jail only to find out that you are now forever barred from returning to or staying in the U.S. because of your “deal”.

Every case is different. There is no hard and fast rule. Sometimes your best option is to reach a deal before trying to bond out. Other times this is a bad idea. If you are patient, you may be able to negotiate a plea bargain that will not have drastic immigration consequences. You may also decide to reject all plea bargaining and go to trial attempting to win your case at a jury trial and have no conviction at all.

If ICE transports you to an ICE facility and you have not already pled guilty to the local criminal charges a Federal Immigration Judge may permit you to post a bond.

Posting an ICE Bond

Immigration bonds can range from a minimum of $1,500 to $20,000. If the immigration bond is too high, you have the legal right to ask an Immigration Judge to lower the bond as noted above.

State licensed bail bondspersons will almost never post an “immigration bond.” Family and friends typically pool their resources and post bonds in cash. While there are “immigration bonding companies” in Colorado most lawyers would recommend raising the bond yourself.

Immigration bonds are posted at the ICE office in Denver located at 12445 E. Caley Ave., Centennial, CO 80111.

Review: to Determine If You Are Eligible to Have a Bond Set Three Issues

The ultimate bond amount depends on those 3 fundamental areas of concern:

  1. First Are you eligible for an immigration “benefit;”(Under Federal Law 8 USCS § 1572, the term immigration benefit application means “any application or petition to confer, certify, change, adjust, or extend any status granted under the Immigration and Nationality Act.”)
  2. Second Do you have family such as a spouse and children in the U.S.?;
  3. Third Are you considered a danger to the community?

Bond in an immigration court context works much the way it does in Colorado criminal cases. Bond is posted and if all court and other dates are met the money is released back to the person who posted it.

Mandatory Detention Means No Bond

If you are subject to “mandatory detention” you are NOT eligible for bond. Mandatory detention means you must remain in immigration custody until your deportation case is completed.

Grounds for Mandatory “No- Bond” Detention

Mandatory detention essentially almost always results from criminal activity.

The kinds of criminal acts that compel circumstances of no-bond “mandatory detention” are as follows (non-exhaustive list):

  1. Crimes involving moral turpitude, (unless the maximum sentence possible is one year or less and the actual sentence you received is less than six months OR if you were under 18 when you committed the crime, it was more than five years ago.)
  2. Multiple criminal convictions where the combined sentences are five years or more of imprisonment.
  3. A controlled substance offense (any drug offense, including if the immigration authorities have reason to believe that you are a drug trafficker).
  4. A prostitution-related offense.
  5. A terrorist activity
  6. Human trafficking, and
  7. Theft, fraud and other financial crimes such as money laundering.
Fighting Deportation Means Going To Immigration Court

While not the subject of this article you need to know you have the right to fight ICE in immigration court. There may be options that an immigration lawyer.

Fighting deportation mean applying for all possible benefits such as seeking a “waiver” (legal forgiveness) or applying for some form of immigration relief. BUT, as opposed to a criminal case, you do not have the right to an appointed lawyer at no cost. You will have to find and pay for your own private lawyer that will help you to analyze the law in your case, to gather relevant evidence, and to present that case in immigration court.

There are orgainizations who will provide free legal advice in this are ..- Here is a list LINK

The Real Damage Of An ICE Hold In Practical, Very Real, Terms

The damage that an ICE hold can do to your case in addition to extending your time “inside” is disheartening.

If you post bond in your criminal case ICE may then pick you up and whisk you away to an ICE facility while your criminal case proceeds. The ICE facility may then not transport you back to the state criminal court and you may miss your court dates. This “FTA” or failure to appear circumstance can result in an arrest warrant, a contempt citation and have other impacts on your criminal case.

  • An ICE hold sometimes persuades the Judge in the criminal case to set a higher bail than otherwise would have been set absent the ICE hold influence.
  • Some jails reject the posting of bail if there is an ICE hold.
  • ICE holds can impact attempts at rehabilitation causing you to have limited access to inmate treatment programs that are available to others in the jail.
  • ICE holds may prohibit you from entering into programs such as work or education release or other alternatives to incarceration programs if you are convicted.
The Importance Of The 48 Hour Deadline For The ICE “Pick-Up”

When you are otherwise eligible to be released from jail on your criminal case, ICE has 48 hours (less weekends and holidays) to pick you up. When that “hold” expires, you have the right to be released and demand that the jail let you go.

If you are not released within that time frame, your Colorado criminal defense lawyer should contact the jail and demand your release. If that fails, he or she, should file an emergency motion with the Court to Order your immediate release.

If you do not have a lawyer send a “kite” to the jail administrators and demand your immediate release. If that fails you can file a grievance with the jail and speak to a civil litigation lawyer about filing a civil suit.

Summary and Conclusion Colorado Criminal Law Understanding ICE Holds In Colorado Criminal Cases.

In Colorado, ICE contracts with a number of county jail facilities to act as ICE detention centers. If you are held in these facilities, you may not be transported to the main detention center in Aurora, Colorado known as the Denver Contract Detention Facility or the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Facility, until after your criminal case is resolved.

In every case, if ICE follows the 48 hour rule after you are released from state custody, you will be transported and held in custody while your immigration status is being determined at the Detention Facility 3130 North Oakland Street Aurora, Colorado.

Criminal defense lawyers work closely with immigration lawyers to protect your rights in both your criminal case and your immigrtion matters. But it is critical that you understand they are very different proceedings. Both are complex and highly specialized.

Finally Here are the instructions on posting bond from an ICE facility found at the bottom of ICE’s Criminal Justice Center (CJC) Location in Colorado Springs, Colorado:

To Post a Departure or Delivery Bond

These bonds are posted when a person has been placed into removal proceedings while in the United States. The person supplying the bond money must show proof of identity (valid Government-issued photo identification, passport, military ID, LPR card, driver’s license, etc.). This person (the obligor) is responsible for ensuring that the alien presents himself before an officer or agent of this agency whenever a request is made.

For bond information, please call 720-873-2899 or 719-586-3005 and ask to speak to the Deportation Officer handling the case. You must have the last name of the detainee and alien registration number before calling.

Bonds for aliens detained by ICE may be posted at ERO Bond Acceptance facilities nationwide, Monday through Friday (except public holidays) between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., local time.

Bond Acceptance Facilities Listing ?

Acceptable bond forms of payment are money order, certified check or cashier’s check. On all bonds over $10,000, the only accepted methods of payment are cashiers or certified checks. These must be made payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” or “Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

Good Luck.

Colorado Criminal Law Understanding ICE Holds In Colorado Criminal Cases

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