California Cash Bail Reform Bill Sits on Governor’s Desk

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California Cash Bail Reform Bill Sits on Governor’s Desk

Senate Bill 10 (SB-10), the pretrial detention reform bill that could end cash bail in California, has passed the California Assembly and State Senate.  The bill now awaits a signature by Governor Jerry Brown, who has indicated he will sign it.  SB-10 would eliminate cash bail and replace it with a risk assessment to determine whether or not each defendant should remain in jail to await trial.

SB-10 could have a significant affect on the criminal justice system.  Under the current cash bail rules, many defendants who are not considered a risk to public safety are stuck in jail simply because they cannot afford bail.  Supporters of SB-10 have argued that this creates a two-tiered justice system, with wealthy defendants who can afford cash bail being treated better than defendants who cannot afford bond.  Opponents, however, contend that judges will have too much power to keep defendants in jail.

Risk assessments would consists of questionnaires to determine whether or not a defendant should be released pending trial.  Each assessment would examine each defendant’s criminal history and social history to predict whether he or she will fail to appear in court or pose a risk to public safety, subject to judicial intervention.  Should SB-10 be signed into law, the risk assessment mechanism is expected to be refined over the next few years as data become available.

The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth is diligent in ensuring that our defense clients are treated fairly by the justice system.  We fight to keep our clients out of jail while awaiting trial.  If you or a loved one is seeking an experienced criminal defense attorney, call us today at 888-517-9888.  We offer 100% free consultations with no obligation.

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