The new bail bill drastically reduces the use of monetary bail and, according to a statement made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, under the new statute, approximately 90 percent of people who are arrested will be subject to mandatory release. Under the new law, unless a person is charged with a “qualifying offense” (see below), a court has no authority to set monetary bail, and must release the person on his or her own recognizance (ROR) (CPL 510.10(1)).

If a defendant is not charged with a qualifying offense but, in the opinion of the judge, poses a flight risk, the court still cannot set monetary bail but can select the least restrictive non-monetary alternative conditions to ROR that will reasonably assure the defendant’s return to court. (CPL 500.10(3-a)). These conditions include supervision by a pretrial services agency, reasonable restrictions on association or travel or, as a last resort, electronic monitoring.

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