The End of Cash Bail in California

About a year from now, a law just passed will effectively eliminate cash bail. What that means for most misdemeanors is that, absent a history of failures to appear, you’ll be released OR within twelve hours of your arrest.

That’s a huge difference from our current system where, if you don’t have enough money to pay a bail bondsman, you could be stuck in jail indefinitely.

In felonies, the same essential rules apply, although the release date may be slightly longer. In general, the probation department will do an evaluation of your flight risk and the likelihood of any further criminal conduct, and a judge will determine when or if to release you pending the resolution of your case.

The implications of this are massive. But, at least for now, it seems like a great idea, especially if you happen to be a defendant.