What is the Zero Bail Law in California?
A lot has changed since the country has been shut down and has been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. In California, the courts acknowledged that individuals who are sentenced to prison or jail are at-high risk of being exposed to and then infected with the virus.
To minimize the number of people in the jail system who could get the virus and potentially die from it, a statewide rule was issued lowering the cost of California bail and even assigning no costly bail to those arrested for misdemeanor and low-level felonies. This effort is intended to keep people with lesser crimes safe from exposure by not having them sit in prison while they await their court date.
Some say that prosecutors are not complying with the bill or working around it which has led to many who were eligible for release, still waiting in jail. Those who are convicted of violent and serious felonies such as murder or assault with a deadly weapon and those charged with sexual assault crimes do not qualify for Zero Bail provisions.
Additionally, the following crimes will also not benefit from Zero Bail:
- Resisting an executive officer
- Protective or stay away order violation
- Domestic violence
- Restraining order violations for violent threats or harm against the protected party
- Driving under the influence
- Driving under the influence and causing injury
- Any offense requiring registering under Sexual Assault Type Offenses – 290(c)
- Felon in possession of a firearm
What Is The Controversy Over Zero Bail?
Those that are proponents of Zero Bail believe that the intent of the rule is to protect the population from COVID-19, even those who have been arrested. However, there are cases where prosecutors are engaging in tricky tactics to either completely ignore the rule and simply not comply or are upping the charges to higher crimes that don’t qualify for Zero Bail.
For example, those who are arrested for minor stealing are seeing several California district attorneys elevating the charges to felony looting. Felony looting excludes the individual to obtain Zero Bail. Individuals that should be eligible for Zero Bail are not being fairly represented and even charged with much higher bail than necessary.
The opposition argues that arresting defendants who know they won’t go to jail, just go back out on the streets and continue to commit more crimes. Officers are continually in a cycle of arresting individuals and then after they are released, having to arrest them multiple times because they are not detained.
This is not only discouraging for law enforcement but also puts the public at an increased risk of being victimized. It also causes those who have already been victimized to feel like they have been forgotten by the police.
Where Can You Find A Criminal Defense Lawyer In Los Angeles?
If you have been convicted of a low-level crime and need legal representation that will fight to protect your rights, the aggressive and experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at the Manshoory Law Group, APC will help you see the most favorable outcome.
The California criminal defense attorneys at the Manshoory Law Group, APC have extensive experience helping our clients lower their charges or eliminate them.