The California bail bond industry has secured enough signatures for a 2020 ballot measure addressing the recent passage of cash bail reform. Cash bail reform was passed last year and was scheduled to take effect in October. With the ballot qualification, the California Money Bail Reform Act will not be implemented this year. The current cash bail system has been criticized as discriminatory.
Under current rules, defendants who have been arrested and await their court date can be released from prison if they can pay bail. If they cannot afford bail, defendants are offered two choices: remain in jail until their court date or seek assistance from a bail bond company. A bail bond company will pay the bail amount and charge a fee, usually 10 percent of the bail amount. This adds an extra financial burden on defendants and can lead to jail overcrowding.
The California Money Bail Reform Act would instead use a risk assessment tool to determine which defendants are a public safety or flight risk, eliminating the need to pay bail or secure the services of a bail bond company. The bail bond companies claim that using a risk assessment tool could lead to the release of dangerous criminals, but experts believe that people accused of violent crimes would not be released from jail. If the law was put in place, bail bond companies would effectively be unnecessary.
Voters will decide the fate of the California Money Bail Reform Act in 2020.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, the Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help ensure that you receive fair treatment from the justice system. Call us today at 888-517-9888 for a free criminal defense consultation.