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Illinois Leads the Nation in Eliminating Cash Bail

 Posted on August 25, 2023 in Criminal Defense

Cook County, IL criminal defense lawyerCash bail is a common challenge that criminal defendants all over the nation struggle to manage. Thankfully, for the first time in U.S. history, a state is eliminating cash bail thanks to thoughtful legislation and confirmation from the state’s supreme court that this arrangement is, indeed, legal. As of next month, Illinois will become the first state in the Union to take this meaningful step forward. Although this monumental decision will not eliminate a defendant’s need to seek guidance from a criminal defense attorney, it will hopefully make the experience of being accused of criminal wrongdoing more manageable for the average person who has misstepped or who has been caught up in a misunderstanding.

What Does the New Law Say?

The new law that abolishes cash bail in the Land of Lincoln is known as the Illinois Pretrial Fairness Act, which was passed via the Public Act 101-0652, known as the SAFE-T Act (Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today). This policy shift means that judges can no longer order those who have been charged with misdemeanors or felonies to pay money before they will be eligible for pretrial release. Instead, those who have been charged with lesser crimes will be released prior to their day in court and those who have been charged with serious, violent crimes will continue to be detained.

Why Is This Shift So Important? 

All too often, criminal defendants who do not earn much money are forced to spend time behind bars simply because they cannot pay for their pretrial release. This extended detention of non-violent defendants can impact their lives – and the lives of their families – profoundly, even though it does little to bolster public safety. Some studies indicate that cash bail systems make society less safe, not more. By leading the way in eliminating cash bail, Illinois will hopefully make the criminal justice system fairer and less burdensome for those who have not yet been convicted of breaking the law.

Speak with a Skilled Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer for More Information

If you or a loved one has been charged with criminal wrongdoing, connect with a Cook County, IL criminal defense lawyer at Law Offices of James F. DiQuattro today to learn more about your rights and options under the law. Our firm offers a free case evaluation to anyone in need. You can book yours today by calling 312-627-9482 or by connecting with the firm online. We look forward to working with you.

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