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The Dark Underside Of the Humphrey’s Bail Case

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | May 22, 2024

Many people are excited about Humphrey's case because they think they can get out on bail or at least get their bail reduced.

In some circumstances, judges can use Humphrey's case to lower somebody's bail or release them on their recognizance. But don't be fooled. The judges are lawyers.

Most of them are aligned with the prosecution's end of things, and they can figure out ways to either make bail the same as they would before this case or even increase it.

I have many clients asking me to file Humphrey's motion and argue to the Judge because they've heard about it, especially clients who are in custody and are trying to figure out how to get out.

What is a Humphrey Hearing?

I will give you the best explanation I can here, having argued these motions and read the case and giving you a nutshell indication of what's going on there.

In March 2021, the California Supreme Court gave its opinion In re Kenneth Humphrey, which was a primary political issue over using cash bail.

The court did recognize that California's main interest in detaining defendants who might be a flight risk or danger to society was the traditional use of cash bail.

However, realistically, defendants are usually detained before their criminal trial not based on their potential flight risk of safety to the community but rather their financial inability to afford to post bail. Simply put, they can't afford it.

Thus, the court decided defendants can't be incarcerated because they don't have the financial means to post bail for release. In addition, there has to be strong evidence showing a defendant's detention is necessary to protect public safety.

No-Bail Case

The dark side of Humphrey's case is that judges can make it a no-bail case if they determine that the person is an extreme danger to the community.

Humphrey’s Bail Case

Of course, most judges are lawyers, so they can mount arguments on behalf of the judiciary and public safety to block people from getting out of custody.

So, don't be fooled by Humphrey's case to think that getting a no-bail or a lower bail is easy. You'll still need a great criminal defense attorney and suitable facts to be released on your recognizance. Even the possibility of getting a lower bail is difficult unless you have the correct facts and circumstances.

Your attorney will want to make arguments that you are not a flight risk, you're not a danger to the community, you have good community ties, you have a home, you have a business, you have no criminal record, no prior failures to appear, and maybe even appeared in court on your own without having to be ordered in by the judge.

If you or a loved one has a criminal matter in Los Angeles, you're looking for the best attorney, somebody to fight bail, pick up the phone now. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I've been doing this now for over 30 years. I can help you or your loved one get the best result.

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About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.