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February 5, 2013

Judge Of New York Court Of Appeals Calls For Bail Reform

By Michael H. Joseph

Our White Plains criminal defense lawyers see the unfairness in the current bail system on a daily basis. Based upon nothing more than an allegation, a person can be arrested and held on bail. This disproportionately affects poor and underprivileged defendants who are accused of committing crimes. Often, family members just of the accused who are living paycheck to paycheck simply cannot afford to post even small amounts of bail. The result is that all too often people are held in jail for alleged crimes that ordinarily would not result in jail, not because they are guilty, nor was there even a hearing which analyzed the merits of the case, rather, they are held in jail because they cannot afford to get out.

Judge Lippman has proposed amendments that would overhaul New York’s bail statute. The new proposal creates a presumption that an individual charged with a non-violent offense. such driving while intoxicated, prostitution, drugs and financial crimes will be released while awaiting trial with the least restrictive requirements unless the District Attorney demonstrates they the defendant is risk to public safety or of flight. Likewise, the Court will be required not just to focus on whether the accused is a flight risk, but also on whether the accused is likely to commit more crimes or is a risk to public safety.

Our Westchester criminal defense attorneys regularly handle criminal cases and make bail and bond applications in the Criminal Courts of White Plains, Yonkers, New Rochelle, Greenburgh, Mount Vernon, Elmsford, Armonk, Port Chester, Mamaroneck, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Ardsley, Mount Pleasant, Irvington, Mt Kisco, Valhalla, Mount Pleasant, Bronxville, Hartsdale and Scarsdale. Our criminal defense attorneys also regularly appear in the New York City criminal courts in Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx.

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