Courts adjusting to new bail reform law

It's been a little more than a week since the state's bail reform took effect, and courts are working on getting adjusted to the new law.

News 12 Staff

Jan 11, 2020, 12:29 AM

Updated 1,601 days ago

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It's been a little more than a week since the state's bail reform took effect, and courts are working on getting adjusted to the new law.
It turns out there's been a bit of a learning curve. "The one drawback is that everything is moving a lot slower," said defense attorney Adam Uris.
Many say that because of the law, arraignments have been drawn out. It cuts down on cash bail for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies.
Some experts say they don't even know everything that's covered under the new bail reform.
"The bigger confusion has come from the attorneys where there's been a lot of talk - you know, we sit around saying, 'Wait, is this offense qualified, does that offense qualify?'" said Uris.
If an offense doesn't qualify under the new law, defendants are released. This underscores a major critique of the law -- in select cases, opponents say dangerous suspects can walk free.
"The biggest flaw in the bail reform is that judges don't have discretion," said Uris.
Uris says the law is designed to ensure defendants return to court, with no exception made for the threat a person poses to the public. His advice is not exactly to go back to the drawing board.
"I do not think that they can put the genie back in the bottle. They need to work within the framework with what they have now created," said Uris.


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