The California cash bail system has been almost completely reformed as of the passing of Senate Bill 10. As quoted by ex-Governor Jerry Brown:
“California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly,” – Jerry Brown of California
This bill represents a huge change in the current California cash bail system and will be put into effect in October of 2019.
What Does Senate Bill 10 Change About the California Bail System?
Senate Bill 10 states:
“This bill would, as of October 1, 2019, repeal existing laws regarding bail and require that any remaining references to bail refer to the procedures specified in the bill.” – Senate Bill No. 10, Chapter 244.
What this means is that Senate Bill 10 will completely change the existing California cash bail system. The bill plans to change the system drastically by all but removing cash bail (and consequently bail bonds) from the legal system altogether. It will do so by introducing a new risk-assessment system in which the judge appointed to the case will determine (based on several factors) whether or not the defendant is able to be released under their own recognizance. Things that judges will have to consider when setting bail for these defendants will include:
- The severity and type of crime that was commited
- Previous felonies or violent offenses committed by the defendant
- The likelihood that a defendant will meet all appointed court dates (usually determined through past performances and other factors)
- For a full list of the requirements this bill will provide, please read the bill itself HERE.
What Will Happen to Bail Bonds Companies After Bail Reform Takes Affect?
Unfortunately, this bail reform bill will all but destroy the bail bonds industry as a whole. Because cash bail will no longer be an option for defendants, bail bonds companies will not be able to turn a profit from helping these individuals get out of jail to await trial in the comfort of their own homes. In addition to ruining the bail bonds industry, this bill may end up hurting the well-being and release chances for minorities and for the working class; which flies directly in the face of what this bill is trying to do. While bail reform may be good for California, this bill is not the way to do it.
Is This Bail Reform Bill Good for California?
People seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of this reform bill in California. However, with the ways in which this bill was written it may have the exact opposite of the desired effect. This bill could, in theory, do serious harm to the already discrimination-laden industry.
Since this bill gives direct power to the judge assigned to a case, the biases of said judge will have no check or balance. This gives judges the legal authority to discriminate against varying classes of criminals. Here at Bad Boys Bail Bonds, we would like to see the bail bonds system operate without discrimination and prejudice. So, this bill is, in our opinion, not the way to go about reforming the bail system in California.