Los Angeles County has unveiled its upcoming overhaul of bail guidelines, set to commence on October 1, 2023 which will encompass all law enforcement agencies within the county. These new bail schedules will be applicable to individuals apprehended for misdemeanors and non-violent felony offenses. This should mark a significant shift away from the money-based bail systems.
Under the updated protocols, law enforcement will now have three primary options for handling the release of arrested individuals in LA:
Cite and Release: Person arrested is released at the location of the arrest.
Book and Release: Person arrested is booked in jail and then released on their own recognizance.
Magistrate Review: Select cases referred to an on-call magistrate.
The Superior Court of LA County endorsed these new bail schedules in July, effectively supplanting monetary bail requirements for non-violent felonies and misdemeanors. This revision encompasses a wide range of offenses, including theft, vehicle code violations, property crimes like vandalism, and selected serious crimes classified as non-violent.
Authorities anticipate that the majority of arrests will fall under the cite and release or book and release categories. However, cases involving crimes with heightened public risk, such as offenses related to firearms, sexual battery, crimes against children/elders, and contact with minors with intent to commit sexual offenses, will be subjected to magistrate review.
It's crucial to note that capital offenses like murder with special circumstances and limited felonies are not eligible for zero bail release, remaining subject to existing bail regulations. This restructured system aims to strike a balance between public safety and reducing the financial burden on individuals awaiting trial.
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