The state of New York recently updated its laws regarding bail. As this new law takes effect beginning on January 1, 2020, it is important to be aware of moving forward. To learn more about the law, continue reading below and reach out to an experienced Long Island criminal defense attorney for any questions.
What is Bail?
When a person is arrested for committing a crime, they can be released on their own recognizance or they may have to pay bail. Simply put, bail is a determined amount of money that must be given to the court in exchange for the arrested individual’s release. This allows them to walk free with the promise that they will return to court when you are required to. If the individual comes back to court, their bail money will be given back to them.
However, there are many cases in which a person does not have the money to pay the entire sum of the bail. When this happens, they may have to submit a bail bond. A bail bond is an agreement with an insurance company to pay the entire amount of the bail in the event that they do not attend their court proceedings. If they do return to court, the bond will be returned to the insurance company and they will keep a percentage for posting the bond.
New York’s New Bail Law
Under the new law for bail reform, monetary bail will be eliminated for individuals that are charged with misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. The reasoning for this move by Governor Cuomo is to prevent systemic abuse to individuals who are unable to afford to pay bail. The Governor spoke on the matter by saying, “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.”
Moving forward, those who are charged with either a misdemeanor or a nonviolent felony will receive an appearance ticket and will usually be let free until their trial. The plan under this new law is to have an approximate 40% reduction in the state’s overall pretrial jail population. Speaking further on the matter, Cuomo stated, “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.”
Contact our Firm
Criminal matters can change the course of your life forever. This is why you need an experienced attorney who will aggressively combat your charges to help mitigate their long-term effects. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for a criminal defense matter on Long Island or throughout New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to assist you.