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California might reform its bail system

Those who are taken to jail in California may be able to bail themselves out with cash payments. However, critics of the practice say it keeps poorer residents in jail longer while wealthier people are more likely to obtain their freedom. The chief justice of the California Supreme Court thinks that assessing whether or not someone is a danger to society should replace cash bail when determining a defendant's potential release.

The chief justice said that she supported the idea that the current system may be negatively impacting victim and public safety. A report from several judges also pointed out that the current system may make racial bias and socioeconomic issues worse instead of better. Any measure to change the bail system is likely to face backlash from those within the industry. Changes to the current system will also need approval from the state legislature.

Among the concerns mentioned by the American Bail Coalition include the possibility that those freed while awaiting trial may commit additional crimes. The bill may also require upfront expenditures for more judges and other infrastructure to assess a defendant's danger to the community if released. One state senator plans to bring the measure up in 2018, and he believes the support of the judges may increase the odds that it passes.

People who are charged with a crime may face significant penalties if a conviction is obtained. These penalties may have an impact on their personal and professional life, which may make it advisable to have the representation of a criminal defense attorney when attempting to combat the allegations.

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