Malliotakis: Fixes to Botched Bail Law Take Effect Today

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn, Staten Island), a leader in the fight to fix the botched bail reform law, applauded the changes that take effect today as a victory for public safety. Many of them were solutions she proposed, and the fixes include adding a large number of offenses that are reflected in legislation she drafted.

The new law adds a large number of offenses to the list of “qualifying offenses” that are

eligible for bail:

  • Class A-I felony drug offenses;
  • Sex trafficking;
  • Money laundering in support of terrorism in the 3rd and 4th degrees;
  • Promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child;
  • Promoting a sexual performance by a child;
  • Any crime that is alleged to cause the death of another person;
  • Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, strangulation in the 2nd degree, or unlawful imprisonment 1st where committed against a member of the same family or household;
  • Aggravated vehicular assault in the 1st degree;
  • Vehicular assault in the 1st degree
  • Assault in the 3rd degree or arson in the 3rd degree when charged as a hate
  • crime;
  • Aggravated assault upon a person less than eleven years old;
  • Criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds;
  • Grand larceny in the 1st degree:
  • Enterprise corruption;
  • Money laundering in the 1st degree;
  • Failure to register as a sex offender or endangering the welfare of a child where the defendant is registered as a level three sex offender; and
  • Bail jumping or escape from custody.

Bail is likewise available where the offense charged is:

  • A felony offense committed while the principal is serving a sentence of probation or while released to post release supervision;
  • A felony where the defendant qualifies for sentencing on such charge as a persistent felony offender; and
  • A felony or class A misdemeanor involving harm to an identifiable person or property, where such charge arose from conduct occurring while the defendant was released on his or her own recognizance or released under conditions for a separate felony or class A misdemeanor; provided that the prosecutor can show reasonable cause to believe the defendant committed the crime and any underlying crime.

Additionally, the legislation adds to the list of available court conditions as part of non-monetary

release:

  • Surrender of the principal’s passport;
  • The principal must refrain from associating with certain individuals who are connected with the case, including victims, witnesses, or co-defendants;
  • The principal must be referred to a pretrial service agency for placement in mandatory programming, including counseling, treatment, and intimate partner violence intervention programs;
  • The principal must be removed to a hospital authorized under Section 9.43 of the Mental Hygiene Law;
  • The principal shall make diligent efforts to maintain employment, housing, or enrollment in school or educational programming; and/or;
  • The principal must obey orders of protection or court conditions set in order to implement a safety plan made by an alleged victim of a family offense.

The changes also reflect additional court conditions that can be set as part of non-monetary release, such as: surrender of the defendant’s passport, court orders of protection and placing the defendant in a hospital providing mental health services. The changes also fix issues that district attorneys had with discovery reform, as well as better protect victims and witnesses personal information.

“It's been a long-fought battle, but we persisted and were able to achieve significant changes to the botched bail reform adopted by the governor with one-party rule in last year’s budget,” said Malliotakis. “Not only did we add a significant number of offenses to those that qualify for bail, we added provisions to stop “unlimited chances” by ensuring that a person who either commits a crime after being released on their own recognizance, is on probation or is on post release supervision will have to face a judge in court who will be able to set bail. I'm happy to have worked with the District Attorneys’ Association, police unions, my colleagues and the public to demand common-sense changes to protect public safety.

While this is a great step forward and will improve public safety, what happened last night in the New York City Council will not. Defunding our police is misguided and will only further increase the crime rates we are seeing. Murders, burglaries, shootings, and car thefts have gone up tremendously and this is not the time to be defunding our police. So, while we celebrate our success in rolling back what was a very dangerous bail law, we are left with little to celebrate as the city takes a major step backwards. We must continue to protect citizens and their families.”