Changes in Bail in Los Angeles by the New District Attorney
The New Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon Announces Elimination of Cash Bail for Any Misdemeanor Crime
Starting January 1, 2021, when somebody is arrested and then appears at their arraignment, there’s usually going to be a bail argument by the defense and the prosecution.
However, the new District Attorney recently has indicated that he will be instructing his prosecutors not to argue that a bail be set for those offenders who are not charged with a murder charge or who are not charged with a violent felony.
If they’re charged with those, the prosecutors will argue for bail, and once again, it will ultimately be up to the judge whether, in fact, the bail is set and what that bail might be.
Own Recognizance Release for Non-Violent Crimes
On the other hand, if someone is not charged with a Homicide or a violent felon, the prosecutors in the 38 courts in Los Angeles county will be arguing that the person should be released on their own recognizance according to recent statements from the new head District Attorney.
That policy will take effect January 1, 2021 in courts across Los Angeles county.
This is very important for defendants because a lot of these defendants only have enough money to either post bail or hire a lawyer.
So, a lot of them, in the past, have been using all of their money to get out, but then don’t have money to hire a lawyer to defend themselves.
So, now hopefully, this will assist defendants to be able to hire an attorney so they can defend their cases and they are able to be out with their families, working, doing other productive things.
How Will Judge’s React to New Bail Policy?
How the judges will react to this new policy is sill unclear. In other words, technically, the judge controls what the bail is going to be set at. My thinking, having done this now for 27 years, is that judges are going to get together.
The judicial council will meet and discuss the new policies that are going on and they’re going to come up with their own policies on how they’re going to deal with bail issues in Los Angeles county.
They will decide whether or not they’re going to go along with what the prosecutors appear to be moving towards. Usually, when it comes to bail in Los Angeles county, judges will listen to what the prosecutors have to say.
Sometimes they will also listen to what the defense has to say. In other words, if the defense is arguing for a lower bail and can justify it.
There are judges who will go along with that. But now if the prosecutors are seeking zero bail, certainly no defense attorney is going to argue against that, so that will put the judges in a difficult position.
They would have to, on their own, decide that bail is going to be set, regardless of what the prosecutors and defense attorneys say.
This is a bit problematic because usually the prosecutors who are tasked to represent the people of the State of California, have the information related to the case that a judge doesn’t have.
So, judges will be blindly setting bail without really taking into account what prosecutors and defense attorneys say if, in fact, they make their own policies regarding bail.
Bail Schedule in Los Angeles
There is a bail schedule. It is a bail schedule that has been set up by the judges, so I would expect the judges to be weighing in on this bail issue.
Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that you get an attorney who has experience handling criminal cases in Los Angeles and can fight for you every step of the way.
Not only on the bail issue, but on your guilty or innocence and on how your case is ultimately resolved.
Pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I stand at the ready to help you.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436.
Contact our office for a free case evaluation at (213) 374-3952.