Powers Law, P.C.

What Is The New Law As It Relates To Bail In New York?

The New York State legislature passed a law last year that said for most charges in New York, a judge will not be giving bail to the person who is accused. In a lot of cases, including misdemeanors and violations, you will get a desk appearance ticket requiring you to appear in court on a future date. The only exceptions to those tickets are domestic violence and driving while intoxicated cases. If they fingerprint you, you will have a record in the system and you’ll be given a notice to appear in court. Most people who get arrested think that they have to stay in jail overnight or that it is not significant and that is not true.

One of the other things I have seen from people who have been arrested and given a desk appearance ticket is that the police are asking for very detailed information in order to contact them. I have asked all my clients not to give their cell phone number to the government, the police, or the court officers. I don’t want my client’s information in a court file where other police departments, government agents, or unknown court personnel will have access to it. A phone number is sometimes the first step in getting access to more personal information. My biggest fear is that a client will give over their cell phone number and then the police department can further investigate those numbers and potentially never have to tell the client how they came about the investigation.

My recommendation is that people just give their mailing address and retain my office. We do not give out any information of our clients’ to any court personnel. We ask the court to contact the attorney. That is why we are retained.

What Are Some Pros And Cons Of This New Bail Law In New York?

There is an ease to the bail process now because you’re not spending the night in jail. In New York State, the law used to be that the judge would give a bail in cash or a bond alternative and a lot of times, the bond alternative was very cumbersome. You would have to put up ten percent of a much greater amount of a cash bail and it became prohibitive for people to do that. They had to make a choice between hiring an attorney with their limited funds or, posting some type of cash bail or bond.

Now, there are alternatives to the cash bail and alternatives to the bond. Some of those include community supervision, or electronic monitoring. When you have an electronic monitoring band on your leg in a felony case, those count as days toward any plea bargain that might include jail time. You get credit for jail days for having that device on your leg. It is important for people to understand that these new laws were signed last April. Competent and savvy defense attorneys knew that this law was coming and took note of what the alternatives to incarceration were. We know what to do and what to ask for.

Be sure, when you’re looking for an attorney, that he or she understands the new bail laws and how that affects your future plea-bargaining status. I can’t stress enough that there are a lot of attorneys who are practicing law as a hobby and don’t take the time to understand what the new laws are. It is important for people to understand that when you get a ticket, you have to go to court. It is very important that your attorney knows what happened, when it happened, and when your court date is.

In the case of a desk appearance ticket, it is even more important that you understand that on the day you go to court, rights are activated and those rights can be waived just by staying silent. You want an attorney to review the material you get at court, which gives the details of what happened. A competent attorney is going to have to look at that and begin to make arguments to the court.

For more information on New Bail Laws In The State Of New York, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (631) 667-7100 today.

John T. Powers, Esq.

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