State legislatures consider and enact laws that address all aspects of pretrial policy, including citations, release eligibility, conditions of release, commercial bail bonding, victims’ rights and diversion. These legislative policies have an important role in providing fair, efficient and safe practices carried out by law enforcement and the courts.
Below is a synopsis of this state’s pretrial release laws as of March 2013 and any relevant legislative reports or audits. Recent enactments modifying these provisions can be found in NCSL’s pretrial enactments database.
Citation in Lieu of Arrest
Issuing a citation is not presumptive, however a citation can be issued for any offense except class A, B, C and D felonies, 3rd degree rape; 3rd degree criminal sex act; 2nd degree escape; 1st degree absconding from a temporary release or a community treatment facility, and 2nd degree bail jumping or violation of a protection order. Citations can be issued after arrest by police officers or an authorized public servant. Issuing a citation is presumptive for possession of marijuana. Citations can be made after arrest by police officers. (Cr. P. Law § 150.20; § 140.10; § 150.75)
Pretrial Release Eligibility
State statute provides a presumption of pretrial release. (C. Pr. Law § 510.10)
Pretrial Release Conditions
Law allows release on personal recognizance or an unsecured appearance bond. Common conditions of release include: commercial surety, cash deposit, property bond, other secured bond and additional requirements. (C. Pr. Law § 50.10, § 500.10, § 530.12 & § 530.13)
Bail Bond Agent Licensure
The Superintendant of Insurance regulates professional bondsmen. To be licensed, applicants must pass an exam and a criminal background check. Any conviction can cause their license to be denied or revoked, as well as an offense involving moral turpitude. (McKinney's Insurance Law § 6802)
Bail Bond Agent Business Practices
The premium rate a bail agent can charge is $10 for bonds below $200, and no more than 10 percent for bonds below $3,000. For bonds above $3,000, a bail agent can charge no more than 10 percent for the first $3,000, 8 percent of additional amounts below $10,000, and 6 percent on excess amounts. (McKinney's Insurance Law § 6804)
Bail Forfeiture Procedure
After notification of their client’s failure to appear, a bail agent has days to produce the defendant or provide an adequate reason why the defendant did not appear. Statute addresses standards for remission procedure. (CPL § 540.10; CPL § 540.30 45)
Recovery agents have similar licensing requirements as bail agents. They are also required to wear identifying clothing. (Gen. Bus. Law § 70 & 71; Gen. Bus. Law § 84)
Victims’ Rights and Protections
Victims have the right to be consulted about and to notification of pretrial release. Pretrial release hearings are required for class A felonies and any offense if the defendant has two prior felony convictions. (Exec. Law § 641, § 646, § 642 & § 647; Cr. P. Law § 530.20)
Diversion programs authorized include: substance abuse and mental health programs. (CPL § 216.05)
Full text of statutes can be retrieved using NCSL’s State Legislatures Internet Links database or learn more about NCSL’s Criminal Justice Program.