The court can consider alternatives to incarceration. The only exception is if someone is going to be accused of being a kingpin in a drug scheme, which is highly unlikely for most people who get caught up in a drug conspiracy. The major cases in New York that require cash bail are violent offenses and domestic cases. In domestic violence cases, the judge can consider cash bail but does not have to give a cash bail.
Bail was being abused by judges who were putting bail on people even though it was clear they had ties to the community and weren’t going to flee. The new law recognizes that judges were given too much discretion and they were abusing that discretion. That is why the law changed. Now, the majority of cases are a desk appearance ticket when people come into contact with the criminal justice system. You’ll be getting a desk appearance ticket and you’ll be required to go to court. One of the unforeseen consequences of more people getting a desk appearance ticket is that court arraignments are packed. The system isn’t set up yet for all the people coming in. If you hire an attorney, that attorney is going to get preference and get you into court earlier.
How Does This New Bail Law Impact Sex Crime Cases?
Most sex crimes are not being considered for release but not everyone falls into that category. For example, the misdemeanor crimes of sex misconduct and sex abuse fall into the category of release and desk appearance ticket. The new law has changed the landscape of the criminal justice system at the point of arraignment in a way that New York has never seen before.
How Does This New Law Impact Someone Sitting In Jail Waiting For Bail?
In December of 2019, there were applications made to the court that bail should be exonerated because the law was going to change as of January. Rather than take an adjournment from December 18 until February 1, we were requesting to be granted release of our clients with bail because the new law was going to allow everyone to get out. The courts were releasing people out onto the street and exonerating the bails.
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