BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 805
                                                                  Page  1


          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING
          AB 805 (Jones-Sawyer)
          As Introduced  February 21, 2013
          Majority vote 

           PUBLIC SAFETY       7-0                                         
           
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          |Ayes:|Ammiano, Melendez,        |     |                          |
          |     |Jones-Sawyer, Mitchell,   |     |                          |
          |     |Quirk, Skinner, Waldron   |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
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           SUMMARY  :  Provides that in setting bail, a judge or magistrate  
          may consider the report prepared by investigative staff for the  
          purpose of recommending whether a defendant should be released  
          on his or her own recognizance (OR).  

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)States that in setting, reducing, or denying bail, the judge  
            or magistrate shall take into consideration the protection of  
            the public, the seriousness of the offense charged, the  
            previous criminal record of the defendant, and the probability  
            of his or her appearing at trial or hearing of the case.  The  
            public safety shall be the primary consideration.  

          2)States that in considering the seriousness of the offense  
            charged, the judge or magistrate shall include consideration  
            of the alleged injury to the victim, and alleged threats to  
            the victim or a witness to the crime charged, the alleged use  
            of a firearm or other deadly weapon in the commission of the  
            crime charged, and the alleged use or possession of controlled  
            substances by the defendant.  

          3)Specifies in considering specified offenses involving  
            controlled substances, the judge or magistrate shall consider  
            the following:

             a)   The alleged amounts of controlled substances involved in  
               the commission of the offense; and,

             b)   Whether the defendant is currently released on bail for  
               one of the specified offenses involving controlled  








                                                                  AB 805
                                                                  Page  2


               substances.

          4)Provides that before a court reduces bail below the amount  
            established by the bail schedule approved for the county for a  
            person charged with a serious felony listed in subdivision (c)  
            of Penal Code Section 1192.7, or a violent felony listed in  
            subdivision (c) of Penal Code Section 667.5, the court shall  
            make a finding of unusual circumstances and set forth those  
            facts on the record.  For purposes of this subdivision,  
            "unusual circumstances" does not include the fact that the  
            defendant has made all prior court appearances or has not  
            committed any new offenses.  

          5)Authorizes a court, with the concurrence of the board of  
            supervisors, to employ an investigative staff for the purpose  
            of recommending whether a defendant should be released on OR.   


          6)States that whenever a court has employed investigative staff  
            for the purpose of recommending whether a defendant should be  
            released on OR, an investigative report shall be prepared in  
            all cases involving a violent felony listed in subdivision (c)  
            of Penal Code Section 667.5, or a felony violation of driving  
            under the influence and causing bodily injury to another  
            person, recommending whether the defendant should be released  
            on OR.  The report shall include all of the following:

             a)   Written verification of any outstanding warrants against  
               the defendant;

             b)   Written verification of any prior incidents where the  
               defendant has failed to make a court appearance;

             c)   Written verification of the criminal record of the  
               defendant; and,

             d)   Written verification of the residence of the defendant  
               during the past year.

          7)Makes it a felony for every person who is charged with or  
            convicted of the commission of a felony, who is released from  
            custody on bail, and who in order to evade the process of the  
            court willfully fails to appear as required.  Upon a  
            conviction under this section, a person shall be punished by a  








                                                                  AB 805
                                                                  Page  3


            fine not to exceed $10,000 or by imprisonment in the county  
            jail for not more than one year, or by both the fine and  
            imprisonment.  Willful failure to appear within 14 days of the  
            date assigned for appearance may be found to have been for the  
            purpose of evading the process of the court.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown.  This bill is keyed non-fiscal by the  
          Legislative Counsel.

           COMMENTS  :  According to the author, "There is confusion as to  
          whether risk assessment reports can only be used to determine a  
          defendant's suitability for release on their own recognizance  
          (OR) in non-felony cases.  Bail and OR are both forms of  
          pretrial release and while bail is a more secure form of  
          pretrial release, all forms of pretrial release are concerned  
          with the same risk factors, e.g. the risk of the defendants  
          failing to appear in court and/or reoffending while on pretrial  
          release.  AB 805 clarifies that judges may use risk assessment  
          reports in setting, reducing or denying bail."

          Please see the policy committee analysis for a full discussion  
          of this bill.
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Stella Choe / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744 


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