Senate Bill 7
151st General Assembly (Present)
Adopted in Lieu of original; takes status of original
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO BAIL.
This bill updates the bail statute to be explicit that when defendants commit certain serious offenses enumerated in the bill the bail presumption is secured cash bail. Such offenses include: class A felonies, gun offenses, domestic violence offenses, rape, sexual abuse of children, and reoffending while out on bond. In order to protect public safety, sufficient bail must be set for defendants committing these types of offenses. While the intention of the bail reform movement is to move toward a system of preventative detention that is not cash based, until a constitutional amendment is enacted to allow for that, this bill seeks to ensure dangerous offenders are given the appropriate bail level. The current system is working to keep low level offenders from being held unnecessarily with pretrial detention. A presumption means that the court would still have the discretion to set low or no cash bail in cases based on the facts, but it would require justification. The bill establishes an automatic bail review hearing by Superior Court for the enumerated offenses to allow an additional review of the bail conditions. The bill requires the court to document the reasons they set bail in all cases to help all involved understand their decision and serve as a record in future proceedings like bail modification hearings.
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Takes effect upon being signed into law