Bill to Safeguard Victims in New Bail Reform Law

ALBANY – State Senator Susan Serino of Hyde Park, a member of the Republican minority in the upper house, Thursday announced legislation to protect victims and the public as the new state bail reforms are about to take effect in January.

Serino has teamed up with fellow GOP Senator Patrick Gallivan to announce the bill to keep victims safe from harm. “Think about how hard it is for a victim to come forward in the first place and then to find out that the abuser is not going to be detained or have bail set,” she said. “That is very scary. They are just going to get an appearance ticket and that can enrage them even more and they also say it is a possibility that they will get an order of protection; just a possibility. And that order of protection is as good as the paper it is written on.”

The bills introduced on Thursday would allow judges to consider a perpetrator’s dangerousness when determining whether a defendant should be held pre-trial. The other measure would ensure that each crime under the aggravated family offense statute – domestic violence and sex crimes – would qualify for bail and pre-trial detention.

When the new bail reform measures take effect on January 1, 2020, several of the most serious crimes will no longer qualify for bail and pre-trial detention leaving these victims particularly vulnerable, the lawmakers note.

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