Bail Reform in New York

New York has recently updated its laws concerning bail. To learn more about the new law, you must read on and reach out to an experienced Rockland County criminal defense attorney. Here are some of the questions you may have about bail in New York:

How does bail work?

If you have been charged with a crime and are not released on your own recognizance, you will generally have to pay bail. Rather simply, bail is an amount of money that must be deposited with the court. If you provide the amount specified by the court, you will be allowed to walk free. The reason courts demand bail is to essentially ensure that you return to court. If you return, the court will return your bail money. In certain cases, however, if you do not have enough cash to pay the entire bail, you may have to submit a bail bond. This is an agreement with an insurance company to pay the entire bail if you do not attend your court proceedings. If you return to court, the court will return the bond to the insurance company, and the insurance company will keep a percentage for posting the bond.

What are New York’s new laws concerning bail?

In the upcoming bail reform, monetary bail for individuals charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies will be eliminated. The governer’s website cites preventing systemic abuse from a system that, some say, disproportionally affects minorities and low-income individuals who cannot afford to pay bail. Therefore, those who are charged with a misdemeanor or a nonviolent felony will receive an appearance ticket, and, in most cases, will be let free until his or her trial date. This will result in an approximate 40% reduction in the state’s overall pretrial jail population.

Of the change, Governor Cuomo said, “Our antiquated criminal justice system has created a two-tiered process where freedom from jail depends purely on economic status, and as we work to right the scales of justice, these actions will crack down on predatory practices and protect New Yorkers from unscrupulous activity.” He went on to say, “The Empire State has always served as a beacon of equality and social justice, and by combatting injustice in the bail bond industry, New York is once again showing the nation the way forward.” The change in the law will take place in January 2020.

Contact our experienced Rockland County firm

Kevin T. Conway has over 30 years of experience as a Spring Valley criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need a Rockland County criminal lawyer, contact our Spring Valley office for a free consultation.