Local bail bondsmen oppose bill to get rid of cash bail

Posted at 10:17 PM, Sep 11, 2018

Local bail bond companies are trying to push the pause button on a new California law, SB10, which eliminates cash bail for suspects awaiting trial.

Bail bondsmen and opponents are now trying to gather more than 365,880 signatures for a referendum.

If they get the required amount of signatures by Nov. 26th, it would delay the start date of the new law and add the referendum to the 2020 November ballot.

If they are unsuccessful, the law would go into effect October 2019.

Governor Jerry Brown passed the bill August 28th, putting an end to pretrial bail outs and instead replacing it with a risk assessment system.

Probation officers would conduct a pre-trial assessment and make a recommendation to the court based on a detained person’s flight risk, danger to the public and more.

According to the law, an individual judge would have the final say. 

Voters raised questions.

"I think there’s going to be some bias there. How is a judge, how is a probation officer going to decide what’s going to happen to this person," asked Beth Oates, a San Luis Obispo resident.

"What is the line that says this person can go free and this person can stay in jail," questioned Dan Oates, a San Luis Obispo resident.

KSBY spoke to Greg Sullivan, owner of ABC Bail Bonds, when the law passed.

Sullivan is concerned the law jeopardizes public safety, but hopes the referendum will buy time to educate people. 

"All of the people i have talked to whether the left or the right didn’t see this legislation coming," said Sullivan. "By signing the petitions, it’s going to allow us to two years to do our homework on this to see if we like it, see if we don’t like it."

Most voters wished they have more information about the petition and law to cast the best vote.