No Bail for Misdemeanors and Infractions in LA County
Beginning on May 24, Los Angeles County will no longer require bail for certain criminal offenses. Last week, LA Judge Lawrence P. Riff signed an order prohibiting the city and county from enforcing the 2022 bail schedule for infractions and misdemeanors. In other words, those who have been arrested for minor criminal offenses no longer have to pay heavy bail amounts in order to be released from jail until trial. During the COVID pandemic, due to overcrowded jails, the county also temporarily lifted the bail requirement for minor offenses. Now, Judge Riff is reinstating that zero-dollar COVID emergency bail schedule.
Riff’s ruling came after he denied without prejudice an ex parte application filed by a crime victims advocacy group seeking to intervene to keep the existing bail schedule in place. His decision rested on the fact that the bail schedules were not achieving the governmental interests of reducing arrestees and failures to appear. The county of LA offered little evidence to the contrary. Many experts have also testified that pre-arraignment incarceration leads to more crime and is not conducive to public safety. In fact, crime rates decreased when zero-dollar bail was implemented during COVID.
The bail schedules are especially adverse to poor defendants who cannot afford bail and thus have to stay in jail until they can be brought before a judge for a hearing. Attorneys from several firms and legal nonprofits sued to end the incarceration of people unable to post bail before they are arraigned, filing a class action on behalf of six LA residents who were arrested and remained in jail because they were unable to afford bail. Although several of the plaintiffs were later released on their own recognizance, one case saw an increase in the bail amount.
Judge Riff has ordered the county of LA to come up with a plan for the pre-arraignment release of arrestees that addresses public safety and appearances at future proceedings. But as of now, those accused of misdemeanors and infractions can await trial from the comfort of their own home.
Contact Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or your loved one has been arrested for a misdemeanor or infraction, contact Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible to see how we can help get you released on your own recognizance. At Wallin & Klarich, we stay up to date with the most recent legal developments so that we can better assist you. With 40+ years of experience, our attorneys have helped thousands of clients successfully reduce or dismiss their sentences, and we have the skills and resources to help you avoid hefty fines and jail time.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Torrance, West Covina, Los Angeles, and San Diego, you are sure to find an available and convenient attorney near you.
Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.