Home>Articles>Zero Bail Bill, Rejected by Voters, Awaiting Final Vote in Legislature

State Senator Robert M. Hertzberg. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Zero Bail Bill, Rejected by Voters, Awaiting Final Vote in Legislature

Zero bail ‘is a get-out-of-jail-free’ card with no real risk assessment and no consequences

By Katy Grimes, August 31, 2022 7:12 am

Zero bail was rejected by California voters in 2020, but introduced as legislation in January 2021 by Sen. Bob Hertzberg as Senate Bill 262, and is ironically named the “Safe and Resilient Communities Act.”

Hertzberg denies that SB 262 is “zero bail,” and now many in the media are reporting the same.

However, many District Attorneys and Assistant District Attorneys have gone on the record with media to explain how anti-criminal justice this concept is. Yolo County Assistant District Attorney Melissa Aeillo explained, “It’s a get out of jail free card,” Aeillo said. “There’s no real risk assessment done and there’s no consequences because they’re not even brought back to court for four to five months.” She noted that zero bail poses a risk to public safety.

Bail Bonds Sign in Sacramento. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

So what does Hertzberg’s bill do?

We asked bail agents about bail, and how SB 262 would impact their bail businesses.

“SB 262 will set bail at ZERO for nonviolent misdemeanors and felonies. That’s ZERO BAIL,” a bail agent explained.

“Does he have any idea how Surety Bail works? We take a RISK for the FULL amount of every bond we write, and the time we wait for the jails to clear a Defendant for bail,” the bail agent said.

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11 thoughts on “Zero Bail Bill, Rejected by Voters, Awaiting Final Vote in Legislature

  1. Oh, THAT’s interesting —— SEIU benefits from passage of SB 262! No WONDER Hertzberg is so hopped up for it. At least that is one of the reasons.
    The bail system is ingenious, it works, it is efficient, and serves innocent, law-abiding citizens. Through the incentive of NOT losing the amount of the bond, bail agents and companies are incentivized to hold suspects accountable, checking on them and delivering them to court, where the suspects would likely not otherwise appear. Californians had the wisdom to vote to retain it in 2020. And Sen Bob Hertzberg wants to throw this ingenious, efficient system that helps to keep us safe in the garbage. Meanwhile he lies about it and mischaracterizes it. Unfortunately he appears to be a conscienceless person who does not care how many dangerous criminals are on the streets because of his bill or how many victims of their violent crimes there are as a result. What a guy.
    Very grateful to Katy Grimes for covering this important bill.
    Contact your assembly member to VOTE NO on this before the final vote, if you are so inclined:
    https://www.assembly.ca.gov/assemblymembers

    1. Hello Showandtell, can you point me to where the AMMENDED version of the bill will release dangerous criminals on to our streets as you described? All of the “zero bail” provisions that were included in the original bill have been removed. The only provisions left are the ones that require the bail companies to return premium, minus 10%, to clients who’s charges were never filed. Everyone will still be able to bail out except now those who should never have been arrested in the first place will be refunded their money, how is this a bad thing? I think it is safe to say you are likely a bail agent yourself that fears your easy money earned on the backs of those wrongfully arrested is set to dry up.

      p.s. Ms. Grimes for you to title this article “zero bail bill…” is also disingenuous since you know very well, again assuming you’ve read the bill, those provisions have been removed.

      1. If you read the article, it is bail agents who say this is still “zero bail,” and that Sen. Hertzberg is parsing words.

        1. Yes I did indeed read your article that is why my comment was about the TITLE of your article: “ZERO BAIL BILL, REJECTED BY VOTERS, AWAITING FINAL VOTE BY LEGISLATURE”. This is by far different from the bill rejected by voters in 2020 which truly did call for certain offences to be released on zero bail. In fact this bill has been gutted so much it barely resembles its first version presented in 2021. I’m sure you already know all of this. So why compare the two bills at all, let alone include it in your title/headline?

      2. No, I’m not a bail agent, “caliblue,” have never been one, nor am I acquainted with anyone in the bail bonds business. I’m just a retired senior citizen trying to see if anything can be done about California becoming more and more of a hell hole every day and maybe prevent another vulnerable woman in her 60s from being randomly raped and murdered in her own home alongside her two dogs who were also killed, and her house burned down, by a transient who was released on zero bail who should never have been on the loose in that residential Sacramento neighborhood in the first place.
        And you? What exactly is your stake in keeping California safe for criminals and unsafe for everyone else?

        1. Again “showandtell”, this bill is NOT a ZERO BAIL BILL. Why do you continue to refer to this bill as the cause of Ms. Tibbitts senseless murder. This bill will only force bail agencies to refund money to the people who were not supposed to be arrested in the first place. Nobody here is proposing releasing those arrested with zero bail, that bill was already struck down in 2020. This bill should be called a consumer protection bill, because that is what it does, protect consumers from paying for an arrest that should have never occurred, since the DA has failed to bring charges against them.

          1. Caliblue, you make some good points for sure! It is clear you have read up on this issue and have a good understanding on most of the points.. however when #Caliblue, says “This bill should be called a consumer protection bill, because that is what it does, protect consumers from paying for an arrest that should have never occurred.” Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full. We can not let that one slide. We are probably going to mainly be referring To Domestic Violence cases here that my not get filed (bc those are the most common ones not to be filed). Breaking down how these DVs unfold…… 911 call from inside the house because argument has gotten so intense. So police requested to get over there. Police arrive and speak to both people…. Occupants tell their stories, and they are honest because people want to tell their side.
            Marks on body are shown to police. Other person admits it, always, well 99%…. Even if no marks some one was pushed or grabbed. It was bad enough to call 911 anyways…..They have to separate them because well, OJ case…So, now you have valid arrest and statements and marks on body…2 months later wife or and husband do not want to pursue or assist DA in case after maybe not wanting to destroy their future career. So now you have valid arrest, bail agent that provided a service and DA now has no cooperating victim. Go after the state for your money not company that provided a service and probably had $2,500 in expenses (fixed costs no matter what was paid till that point) on that $50,000 case that now has to give back $4,500.
            Or whatever the 90% that was paid up till that point and losing serious money on bond.
            Little harsh on the bail agencies constantly getting demands all year to return unknown amounts of money to angry people that will want it back right away. How would the cab driver feel after driving you to job a interview and passenger tells you, “ I ain’t paying sucko, my interview was cancelled, so I did not need this ride you just provided.” Boom son. You have done some home work here and seem very rational in your arguments, so I think this will resonate with you. No one is just randomly wrapped up, police talk to you get evidence (99% admit everything) and almost always have strong enough case to arrest…. So You need to get bailed out and then pay. Top Gun Maverick was kinda goofy….

  2. Taking a softer stance on criminal activity in the State of California is not working, look no further than around you! Look at all the individuals living on our streets and waterways and polluting the water and producing trash everywhere. Smash and grab everywhere you look. Businesses being forced to shut down, because the police are being restricted from enforcing the laws, because or legislators are decriminalizing actual criminal offenses. We have seen that violence has no limitations. Unfortunately some of the tragedies that have occurred could have been prevented.
    Do no let our public servants that we vote in to office make laws that put our children and our life’s in jeopardy because lawless propositions.

  3. Caliblue broadside: , “This bill should be called a consumer protection bill, because that is what it does, protect consumers from paying for an arrest that should have never occurred, since the DA has failed to bring charges against them.”. We see all kinds of arrests and overwhelming majority that are no files are Domestic Violence…. Where occupants themselves call 911 to summon police. They then show police the bruises and each side says exactly what happened bc people love to talk….based on that evidence the police make the arrest…. If partner a month later chooses not to help DA make their case or follow through bc they don’t want to ruin others future, that does not make it a bad arrest. And you are paying that Bail fee for service provided. Sameseyes for The ones that are not filed within 60 days bc of covid backlogs in many counties(Hello Riverside!)… and you are paying that bail fee. No give backs Brotini. Dui with injuries are filed months later often because tests need to be done….please see above on the bail fees. You provide a service then #NoGiveBacks. Refunding it back to the cases with dropped or no filing in 60 days is just to take one last shot at the Bail Peeps by this guy as he goes out the door to bring some pain. And remember he was gtg to let everyone out that did not kill anyone or rape anyone in 2018 bill (and already likely were not getting out)… So we talking about all your victim crimes like, car theft, breaking into home, stealing retail, stealing grandmas jewelry from old age home , fraud of any kind, stealing your cell phone from the table or in your car, so kinda like most every other crime right out the door.. Then in 2020 he told jails they could themselves decide who they wanted to stay or go (ACLU was not loving this, and you can guess why?) imagine being in jail and being at jails mercy just hoping for the best…all Just to get rid of bail and be the one to do it. No money give backs for a service provided. Nopesys! We gots expenses too, and a lot more than 10%, it ain’t all profit guys. “I bet you are bail bondsman”… Uh, Yeps..

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