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The Bail Reform Act may lead to less pretrial detention

After an arrest, many people wait to learn whether the court will allow for their releases on bail or bond. In numerous cases, parties may not have the ability to meet cash bail amounts, and as a result, they spend a considerable time in pretrial detention. Commonly, individuals who pose no threat to the community or who are innocent of the alleged crime will still spend time behind bars.

Fortunately, for you as an Illinois resident, you may not have to contend with this type of situation. The governor signed the Bail Reform Act into law last year, and it took effect at the beginning of this year. Now, in the event that you face arrest, you may have a lessor likelihood of remaining in pretrial detention if you cannot meet bail.

Bail Reform Act

The new law addresses considerations for bail amounts and whether accused parties could face release on their own recognizance, which means that the individuals agree to appear in court when told, but do not have to pay bail in order to obtain release. The desired effect of this new law relates to lowering the populations of county jails.

Because judges hold the authority for setting bail, the law requires that judges take the accused party's circumstances into account when determining whether the individual should be released and under what stipulations that release may occur, such as whether bail may prove necessary. However, the goal of the law is to have more individuals released without first having to post a cash bail.

Stipulations for release

Of course, the courts still do not want threatening criminals on the street, and as a result, only individuals who do not pose a threat to the community and who are unlikely to leave town or miss their court dates will have consideration for release in lieu of bail. These individuals will also have not committed violent crimes.

If a person faces allegations of domestic battery, sex crimes or other violent crimes, he or she will not receive consideration for release without bail.

Legal representation

The law also requires that an accused party have an attorney present at the first court appearance. If you find yourself charged with a crime, it may work in your best interests to speak with an attorney about your options. Having a legal advocate on your side could help you better understand this new law, how it could apply to your situation and other aspects of your case.

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