Yolo courts uphold emergency bail schedule

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Special to the Express

After a week of receiving input from justice partners, civic leaders and members of the community, the judges of Yolo Superior Court voted unanimously to maintain the emergency bail schedule adopted by the Chief Justice on April 6.

Presiding Judge Samuel T. McAdam offered the following comments on the decision:

“We believe that the current bail schedule is working well here in Yolo County and as a matter of public health, we should stay the course. It is not lost on the judges that while state and federal prisons and some jails throughout California have been hotspots of COVID-19 outbreaks, we have so far avoided it here.

The Yolo legal community is safe, and because of that we have a fully operational courthouse where we can provide fair and timely justice.

Under the Chief Justice’s schedule, bail is set in all cases where an individual is charged with a serious and violent felony or charged with a delineated specific crime, such as domestic violence or driving under the influence. Zero bail, where an arrestee is booked and released, only applies to low-level felony and misdemeanor charges.

Importantly, if an arresting police officer believes that there is a public safety risk, the officer can ask a judge to set or enhance bail. This may be particularly appropriate where an arrestee has multiple pending cases or was arrested while already being supervised by the Probation Department. Making an individualized determination based on credible information is the best way to assess the risk.

The emergency bail schedule will remain in effect during the state of emergency or further order of the court.”

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