The Possible Implications Of California’s Prospective Bail Ban

Over the years, Californian suspects of petty to minor crimes have enjoyed temporary freedom with the help of bail bond companies and any available bondsman. Anyone who has committed a crime only needs to wait for the judge to provide a bail amount depending on the crime’s severity and they could contact a bail bond company for a quick ticket to temporary freedom by paying 10% of the judge-appointed bail.

The impending ban on money-based bonds is troubling the Californian bail bond industry. You should be aware of the pros and cons of the Californian government’s possible decision to eliminate the bail bond industry.

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Pro: The Impoverished Can Afford Bail (By Not Paying Anything)

California Senate Floor

A pro for Californian suspects is that the impoverished do not need to sit in jail for so long. Senate proposals to the Californian government regarding the Californian bail system involve the development of a “pretrial services agency” that has the responsibility to keep track of alleged suspects.

Aside from the proposed agency, the proposal also includes the implementation of a similar system the US states Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida and other countries that outlaw private bail bond systems and bounty hunters use as an alternative.

However, instead of paying a 10% refundable down payment to public bonding agencies as with Illinois, California’s lawmakers propose the use of “unsecured appearance bonds” that suspects would pay if they abscond their court hearing.

Pro: Risk-Based Accused Assessment

The pretrial services agency mentioned in the proposal would be present in every Californian county. The Senate reform intends the agency to create separate “plans” separately for both moderate and high-risk defendants.

Agency assessments could reveal whether the suspect is a threat to his or her community upon release or he or she is at risk of trying to escape California.

The new system, according to its proposers, downplays the role of money in exchange for freedom in the form of bail bonds and instead expands on suspect releases based on recognizance or citation.

Con: Suspects Might Be Forced To Confess To Unverified Allegations For Freedom

Prison bars

However, the private bail bond system guaranteed suspects had an option — if their financial capabilities can handle it — for their freedom if they believe they are innocent. No one can deny that organized crime suspects and repeat offenders use their financial influence to “buy their freedom” through bail bonds.

However, those accused with clear consciences and know they are completely innocent may be forced to confess to crimes they did not commit with the absence of bond companies. Despite pretrial assessments, a 48-hour imprisonment is enough to break anyone who knows they are innocent to plead guilty to some charges, which is a disservice of Californian law.

Con: Public Services Will Take Over

The US public services perform better than other countries, but it remains as fact public services and taxpayer-funded facilities would take over.

The disadvantages include a possible higher Californian tax rate to establish and develop the pretrial services agency. Observers estimate that California could spend $100 a day per suspect under the proposed system.

Another is that the sluggish public system that higher defendant populations and applications could overwhelm might prove ineffective for the task.