Misdemeanor Bail Guidelines

(Effective January 9, 2018)

As with our misdemeanor plea guidelines, these are guidelines; they are not chiseled in stone. There may be circumstances in which it is appropriate to deviate from them, and you should speak to a supervisor when such circumstances arise. On the whole, however, they are designed to promote equitable treatment and consistency, and should be applied in most scenarios.

  • The presumption for misdemeanors and violations will be that no bail is to be requested.
  • If diversion is appropriate (e.g., newSTART, Youth Part, Young Adult Part, Community Service, etc.), the People should not ask for bail.
  • Unless the People are seeking a jail sentence of 30 days or more as an appropriate disposition of a misdemeanor case, the People should not ask for bail (see exceptions below).
  • The Office should recommend supervised release in appropriate cases.
  • The Office takes immigration, housing, employment and other collateral consequences into account when appropriate and fashions appropriate dispositions (e.g., offer of Marijuana Violation, PL 221.05 + $75 fine or Disorderly Conduct Violation, PL 240.20 + 1 day community service).

Exceptions Where Bail May Be Appropriate

  • Cases involving a victim (1) (e.g., domestic violence, sex crimes, child abuse, assault cases, subway grinders, etc.).
  • Cases where the defendant injures a police officer, firefighter, EMT or other such public servant, or violently resists arrest.
  • Cases where the defendant has a prior violent felony conviction in the past 10 years, or a prior serious, non-violent felony conviction (e.g., A-I or A-II offenses, Sex Trafficking, Robbery in the Third Degree, Conspiracy to commit a violent felony) in the past 10 years.
  • Cases where the defendant has a prior (felony or misdemeanor) sex crime conviction.
  • Cases where the defendant has a pending felony case, or multiple pending misdemeanor
  • Cases where the defendant is on parole, probation, or supervised release.
  • Cases where the defendant is a priority offender (e.g., cases involving a CSU arrest alert
    or pre-made bail application).
  • Cases where the defendant has an extensive criminal history, or a history of failing to
    appear in court where supervised release is not appropriate.

  1. Shoplifting cases should not be considered as “victim” cases. That being said, bail may be appropriate for individuals with extensive shoplifting histories, or for whom we are seeking 30 or more days jail.