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Bail Is Back to Normal, But Everything Else Is Not

Remember our blog post a couple of weeks ago about California’s emergency bail order making the default bail amount $0 for most misdemeanors and low-level felonies?

Well, standard bail amounts are officially back to normal. The Judicial Council of California—the group in charge of making statewide rules for our court system—rescinded its emergency bail order in mid-June as California began to gradually reopen for business.

Now, counties still get some wiggle room to determine whether to impose a pre-COVID bail amount or continue to presumptively set it at $0, as the Judicial Council recommends. But in San Diego, local prosecutors often argued for high bail amounts even while the emergency bail order was still in place, so there isn’t all that much of a difference now.

However, while the Judicial Council deemed the emergency over for purposes of reinstating standard bail amounts and potentially raising the local jail populations again, it did not do so for the sake of “speedy trial” rights. Instead, it issued another 30-day extension for criminal trials, meaning accused individuals are spending more time behind bars before trial if they are unable to afford their bail.

San Diego is now one of the many counties seeing spikes of new COVID-19 cases, and it recently mandated the reclosure of bars and restaurants under certain circumstances. It will be interesting to see if the Judicial Council will need to issue another blanket $0 bail order statewide in response, or whether it will leave it up to the individual counties to set their own procedures for handling the coronavirus’ next surge.

If you or a loved one needs guidance about their bail or other issues related to their criminal case, call (619) 295-3555 to have a member of our team help you start the process of regaining control of your future.

The contents of this article and blog are meant for informational and marketing purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Viewing and/or use of the blog does not form an attorney-client relationship. No statements in this post are a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of a particular result in your case.

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