If you or a loved one has a criminal case pending and you're worried about going to jail in Los Angeles county or your loved one is already in jail and you're concerned about their health, safety and well-being in the jail, it certainly is a legitimate concern.
Since I've been doing a lot of criminal cases over the last 26 years and I seen the evolution of the jails and where we stand now, I thought it might be a good idea to give a little bit of information.
Own Recognizance Release Due to Coronavirus
Since I've been practicing for the last 26 years, I think the jails have been overcrowded. In other words, there are a lot of people in Los Angeles county. There's a lot of crime going on and a lot of people ending up in jail.
I think that's why there's a lot of reform being pushed for right now where a lot of these crimes that are causing people to go to jail that are non-violent and they're ending up in jail and blocking up our jail we can't deal with violent offenders.
There's a lot of stuff going on to try to deal with that. As we talk about it now, the jails are still overcrowded. A lot of people can't go to prison because of the Coronavirus, so they're just trapped in the LA County Jail.
That's why they had to let out nearly 4,000 inmates and that's why there's an emergency bail situation going on where there's no bail. Everybody's released on their own recognizance.
This is to try to deal with the Coronavirus and the fact that you're 15 times more likely to get the Coronavirus inside the LA County Jail because there's simply no room to social distance.
A lot of times they don't have masks. People don't cooperate. They can't give people the hand sanitizer. There's all sorts of issues going on.
Exceptions to Bail Emergency
There is a exception to that no bail emergency order if there's a serious case like a murder case, attempted murder case, a three-strikes case, any sex crime offenses. Those are examples of cases where they will still put a bail on somebody and there's some other cases, as well, like domestic violence.
So, it really just depends on the facts and circumstances of why you were arrested and what's going on in your case, and obviously, your criminal defense attorney can argue that you'd be released on your own recognizance.
I think the judges, even the prosecutors, to a degree, really don't want to put people in jail right now because of the overcrowding, but sometimes they feel they have no choice, for the safety of the public and based on the type of crime and the person's prior criminal record.
But right now, the jails are a tough place because when I'm getting these co-defendant cases where there's two, three, four, five defendants on the case.
I would say better than 70% when these guys come to court, one of the defendant's is quarantined. So, that means the whole case gets turned on its end and we're not able to do anything.
There's quarantines in the county jail every single day. One person tests positive for the Coronavirus, then they're going to figure out and trace back who that person was with and then that whole area is going to be quarantined.
Keeping You Out Of The Los Angeles County Jail
So, it's not a good time to be in the LA County Jail. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a crime, obviously, you better hire an attorney. That's your first priority because the attorney is the one who will keep the person out of the jail, if that's possible based on the type of crime they are charged with.
If there's a chance to argue that the person is innocent, file a motion on their behalf. Obviously, an attorney is going to be best suited for that.
One good thing I will say about the state of the LA County Jail system right now is that, I don't think people are serving a huge percentage of their time. So, to me, now would be the time to go in because you're likely to get out relatively quickly.
Even people who are getting state prison sentences and cannot serve them in state prison because the state prisons aren't allowing anybody to come in because of the Coronavirus, well that person is going to be in LA County Jail.
Next Step If Charged With A Crime in Los Angeles
I believe that scenario is quickly mounting up as we speak and they're going to have to start letting people, who care getting big prison sentences out early because of the overcrowding, because of the safety reasons and because they have to make room for new people who are being arrested every single day.
So, if you or a loved one is charged with a crime in Los Angeles county and you're looking for a good criminal defense attorney and you're concerned about the LA County Jail system, 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 us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.