Burbank police have posted a letter on their website from the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs’ Association that details the new Bail Schedule that all police departments in L. A. County (including Burbank) must follow starting in October.
In a decisive move toward bail reform, the Superior Court of Los Angeles County authorized a groundbreaking modification to the bail schedules pertaining to suspects apprehended for non-violent felonies and misdemeanor crimes on July 18, 2023. The adjusted bail schedule is set to be implemented across LA County starting October 1, 2023, mandating law enforcement agencies to adopt one of the three delineated pathways for the release of arrestees: Cite and Release (CR), Book and Release (BR), or Magistrate Review (MR). This substantial modification expressly excludes capital offenses such as murder with special circumstances and certain limited felonies, which are not entitled to pre-arraignment, zero bail release.
Substituting the extant monetary bail requirements, the freshly endorsed Release Protocols promote the pre-trial liberation of most individuals implicated in non-violent felonies and misdemeanors either directly at the arrest site (CR) or following a jail booking coupled with the issuance of a future court date citation (BR). Moreover, cases discerned as a heightened threat to societal safety will compel an on-call magistrate’s evaluation to prescribe suitable release provisions and stipulations (MR) based on the crime and a corresponding risk assessment report.
Envisaged conditions adjudged by a magistrate could encompass directives against committing further crimes, text reminders urging court appearance adherence, and scheduled court personnel meetings. The MR category envisions all encased offenses as zero bail crimes, accentuating a constructive, non-financial methodology to address the probability of an arrestee’s court appearance.
Translating into a substantial policy shift, law enforcement is directed to principally adopt the CR or BR mechanism for almost all theft misdemeanors, automobile code infringements, and property crimes, including petty theft and vandalism. Noteworthy criminal activities invoking the MR procedure encompass offenses involving firearms, sexual battery, and crimes against vulnerable groups such as children and the elderly.
To further illustrate this pivotal adjustment, under the revised protocols, an individual arrested for False Imprisonment would now be eligible for a BR, a significant change from the former bail stipulation of $50,000. Similarly, automobile theft arrests would warrant a BR provision, down from the previous $35,000 bail imposition.
The alteration fundamentally revolutionizes the operating modalities for every law enforcement entity within Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles County Police Chiefs’ Association (LACPCA) has pledged unwavering dedication to preserving community safety and well-being amidst the transformed landscape.
The impending enactment marks a seminal moment in the ongoing discourse on bail reform, endeavoring to institute a more equitable system focused on risk assessment rather than financial capabilities. Advocates are optimistic that these revisions will foster greater justice, reducing undue hardships for individuals caught in the criminal justice system while sustaining community safety standards. With October 1 fast approaching, all eyes are on Los Angeles County as it charts a fresh course in pre-trial release protocols, potentially setting a precedent for others to follow.