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zero-dollar bail

Bail in California is a topic that we cover on a regular basis, owing to the fact that money/cash bail is a controversial topic in the Golden State. Last month, we discussed “zero-dollar bail” after the California Judicial Council – the state’s Superior Court system policymaker – voted to do away with bail for all misdemeanors and low-level felonies. The action was directly tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fewer inmates we have housed in state jails, ostensibly those who would not be able to make bail, was believed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. You will remember from previous posts that California voted in favor of Senate Bill 10 last year; the bill did away with cash bail and gave judges the authority to decide who would be released during pretrial instead.

Many people took issue with the measure that was scheduled to take effect in October 2019. Enough petitions were signed to qualify for a referendum, which means that voters will decide the fate of SB 10 in November.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the decision to temporarily suspend cash bail to reduce jail populations may or may not have been the best course of action. Law enforcement in Los Angeles has found that “career criminals” are taking advantage of the new rule.

Repeat Offenders are Taking Advantage of “Zero Bail” Rule

The pandemic has changed the lives of everyone in the United States. One of the unforeseen byproducts of the “stay at home” order in California is a reduction in crimes across the board. However, authorities in Los Angeles report that career criminals or repeat offenders are exploiting the zero-dollar bail mandate, according to The Los Angeles Times. Case in point: in the last three weeks, one individual, Eric Medina, has been arrested four times on suspicion of grand theft auto.

On April 9, Medina was arrested for stealing a Ford van. No bail meant he was released a day later. Five days after being released, authorities caught him with a stolen Toyota truck, the article reports. Naturally, he went to jail only to be let go without bail a short time later. Police officials say he went on to steal another Toyota truck on April 20. Before the month of April came to an end, Medina was arrested in possession of a stolen 2009 Ford Focus.

The zero-dollar bail mandate went into effect on March 27 in Los Angeles County for most misdemeanors and low-level felonies. Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) Chief Michel Moore is calling for a reevaluation of the new practice for repeat offenders because the LAPD has arrested 213 individuals multiple times. A whopping 23 people being arrested three or more times.

“I think repeat offenders need to be off the streets,” said Chief Moore.

Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you care about is in trouble with the law, then please contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower to learn how we can help. Attorney Brower has decades of experience in a myriad of types of crime. He has the expertise to advocate for your family and potentially bring about a successful outcome.

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