If you are arrested for a crime, you will usually be given the option of posting bail in order to be set free before you go to trial for the offense. Because the bail is so expensive, most people are forced to go to turn to a bail bonds company to post bail. But all that may soon change for non-violent offenders thanks to a new lawsuit. Peter M. Liss is here to explain what’s happening with the lawsuit and how it could affect you in the future.
The Lawsuit to End Bail
The organization Equal Justice Under Law filed the lawsuit in San Francisco earlier this year, proposing an end to money-based bail for non-violent offenders. The lawsuit argues that basing bail on currency creates an unequal playing field for the rich and poor. In other words, a rich person can pay out of pocket and get out of jail while the poor either have to seek out a bail bond or stay in jail. If bail is too expensive, an attorney can argue for reduced bail, though this will leave the defendant in jail until the bail reduction is approved. This also means the rich person will get his or her money back if found innocent, while a poor person will always lose the money they pay to the bail bondsman.
Is This Safe?
While some people worry about the dangers of letting suspected criminals free without a financial deposit to secure their court appearances, the lawsuit points out that there are other methods to ensure a person will appear in court such as home detention and electronic monitoring. Not to mention, as non-violent offenders, these people present a minimal risk to the public. For those unsure about whether a crime qualifies as a violent or non-violent offense, a lawyer can help clear things up.
If you have any questions about bail, this lawsuit or any other aspect of our legal system, please call (760) 643-4050 to discuss your matter with Peter Liss.
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