As of January 2020, New York judges can no longer require cash bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. A new law, called the Bail Elimination Act, ended our state’s previous system, which was found to discriminate against poorer defendants in bail determinations. As New York criminal defense attorneys, we have seen hundreds of people jailed for minor crimes because they couldn’t afford a few hundred dollars in bail money. At Gregg & Associates P.C. in Staten Island, we apply the bail reforms to the fullest extent to make sure our clients receive fair treatment if they are arrested.
Under the new law, courts are required to release people arrested for nonviolent offenses unless they pose a danger to the community or present a flight risk (i.e. that they will not come back to court for trial). Instead, they must be released on their own recognizance (ROR) or with non-monetary conditions, such as electronic monitoring. In either case, they are issued a desk appearance ticket requiring them to return to court on a specified date.
The outcome that you may receive at a pretrial hearing depends in large part on the crime you’re charged with:
Crucially, the judge cannot require purely cash bail. You must be allowed to post bail through at least two alternate methods: an unsecured bond (where you don’t have to deposit any money up-front) or a partially secured bond (where you deposit 10 percent of the bail amount). This allows you or your family to secure your release even if you can’t come up with the full cash amount.
Get a free consultation with our experienced New York defense attorneys at Gregg & Associates P.C. by calling 866-308-3353 or contact us online. We’ll help you understand your options and take action to get you out of jail as quickly as possible. Our office is in Staten Island and we represent clients in all five boroughs.