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California Bail Reform Under Review

Nov 01, 2017 by Mike McKneely in Criminal Defense

If you’re arrested in California, you will possibly be offered release until your trial date on the condition that you post bail. This is meant to assure the state that you will not vanish as your case moves forward since you’ll have something that you can lose. It also gives you an option to be out of prison during the weeks or months leading up to your trial date. However, bail in California has become more and more expensive, meaning it will sometimes only be available to the wealthy. Bail reform is currently under serious review by state officials with the intent to make bail policy fair for people of all incomes, while also not jeopardizing public safety.

If you have been arrested for a crime, an experienced California criminal defense attorney can help you seek fair and reasonable bail terms while also preparing to fight for your rights through the court process. Contact Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer to speak with a skilled attorney about your arrest and criminal charges. Call today at (559) 443-7442.

The Need For Bail Reform In California

While you may be arrested for a crime, the law states that you remain innocent of that crime until you are proven guilty. A judge may require you to post bail in order to retain your freedom before your case concludes, but unfortunately California bail tends to be among the most expensive in the country with the median cost being over $50,000. Although you can borrow money at a high interest rate to pay your bail, it is possible that you will be unable to find a lender who will help you pay.

The extremely high cost of bail in California has left thousands of people in jail even before they have been convicted, and many will be there for an extended period of time before they are released due to being proven innocent or having their case thrown out. If you are held for an extended period before your release without a criminal conviction, your life will have been put on hold. This can put your job in jeopardy, cause you to lose your residence, or greatly affect your education.

Moving Forward With Bail Reform

The Supreme Court, state legislature, and Governor Jerry Brown have begun review of California’s bail process, and hope to start reforms in early or mid-2018. There is a widely understood need to make a bail system that is accessible to those of all income and asset levels, while also maintaining a high standard of public safety. If bail is made too low, there is a fear that some offenders will be released and not follow through with their required court appearances.

In order to achieve bail reform that is reasonable and fair for all parties, California’s Pretrial Detention Reform Workgroup has established certain principles that are desired in bail reform policy. These guiding principles are:

  • Public safety is a fundamental concern for bail reform
  • Pretrial custody should not occur simply because a defendant cannot afford bail
  • Defendants should be released as soon as possible after an assessment of their release and risk of failure to appear in court is completed
  • Mitigating the impacts of pretrial bias should be considered
  • Non-financial release alternatives should be considered
  • Consistent and feasible pretrial release practices should be firmly established

Officials want reform established across all of California, but this will not be easy since the state is so diverse in terms of economic well-being and resources.

Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You Understand Bail In California

Posting bail allows you to be free from custody while you and your attorney prepare your defense against serious criminal charges. However, if bail is unaffordable you may be unjustly incarcerated and kept from your employment and family. Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer understands how bail, and bail reform, work in California. We will help make sure that you receive fair bail terms while we fight to clear your name.

To speak with an experienced California criminal defense attorney, contact attorney Mike McKneely today. Call Michael McKneely, Criminal Defense Lawyer at (559) 443-7442, or contact us online for a free and confidential case consultation.

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