Search Results for: bail

Another Successful Non-Money Bail Pre-Trial Release Program

Most people released under Yakima County’s pretrial release program did not go on to commit new crimes while awaiting trial — similar to the rate of people released on bail before the program was implemented, a recent study of the program revealed.

Across the nation, money bail is being challenged. Alternative programs exist. This article details the success of the Yakima County.

Since February 2016, Yakima County has been allowing low-risk offenders to be released from custody pending trial, with varying degrees of court-mandated supervision based on the nature of the crime and how likely they were to commit another offense or skip court dates if released. Some defendants only received reminder phone calls about court dates, while higher-risk offenders were required to check in with court staff on a weekly basis and undergo drug testing.

A telephone call seems a lot less expensive than holding these inmates in jail.

The pretrial assessments should be a piece of the broader puzzle for improving American pre-trial procedures. As argued by these statisticians:

Bail decisions have traditionally been made by judges relying on intuition and personal preference, in a hasty process that often lasts just a few minutes. In New York City, the strictest judges are more than twice as likely to demand bail as the most lenient ones.

To combat such arbitrariness, judges in some cities now receive algorithmically generated scores that rate a defendant’s risk of skipping trial or committing a violent crime if released. Judges are free to exercise discretion, but algorithms bring a measure of consistency and evenhandedness to the process.

The use of these algorithms often yields immediate and tangible benefits: Jail populations, for example, can decline without adversely affecting public safety.

In one recent experiment, agencies in Virginia were randomly selected to use an algorithm that rated both defendants’ likelihood of skipping trial and their likelihood of being arrested if released. Nearly twice as many defendants were released, and there was no increase in pretrial crime.

New Jersey similarly reformed its bail system this year, adopting algorithmic tools that contributed to a 16 percent drop in its pretrial jail population, again with no increase in crime.

See also the positive reports from New Orleans as well:

The bail bonds industry has argued that financial collateral is the only effective way to ensure defendants return to court for their trial. Starting in the spring, the Orleans Parish criminal district court decided to test this theory with a pilot program that came close to approximating what it would be like if the court eliminated bail altogether. It used a risk assessment tool to identify who was most likely to return to court without incident—and then it released them without making them pay.

The result? People released in the pilot returned to court at roughly the same rate as defendants in other commissioners’ courtrooms, according to a new report by the civilian court monitoring group Court Watch Nola. The rearrest rate was also comparable, although somewhat higher, at 4.5% rather than 2.9%. In all, 9 people out of 201 people in the program were arrested again after they were released without bail.

The findings help debunk warnings by opponents that replacing money bail will release dangerous criminals into the streets and allow fugitives to flee from justice. . .

“This means that the biggest reason we are paying so much for unnecessary incarceration is to incarcerate defendants who will likely return to court and are not a danger to public safety,” Levine said.

“Low risk” is defined in New Orleans by a risk assessment tool developed by the Vera Institute that analyzes data like prior missed court appearances, criminal history, age, and residency to predict the likelihood that a defendant will be re-arrested or fail to appear in court if released before their trial.

Over the six months of the program, jail stays dropped dramatically for these defendants. In March, before the program began, low-risk defendants were sitting in jail for an average of twelve days–plenty of time to destabilize a life. That quickly dropped to four days. By June, the average jail stay was two days.

Historically, Alabama has merely employed a money bail schedule. This bail schedule needs to be challenged at every opportunity. Rule 7 states as follows:

The following schedule is established as a general rule for circuit, district and municipal courts in setting bail for persons charged with bailable offenses. Except where release is required in the minimum schedule amount pursuant to the Rules of Criminal Procedure, courts should exercise discretion in setting bail above or below the scheduled amounts.


Recommended Range


  • Capital felony: $50,000 to No Bail Allowed
  • Murder: $15,000 to $150,000
  • Class A felony: $10,000 to $60,000
  • Class B felony: $5,000 to $30,000
  • Class C felony: $ 2,500 to $ 15,000
  • Drug manufacturing and trafficking: $5,000 to $1,500,000
  • Class D felony: $1,000 to $10,000

Misdemeanors (not included elsewhere in the schedule):

  • Class A misdemeanor: $300 to $ 6,000
  • Class B misdemeanor: $300 to $3,000
  • Class C misdemeanor: $300 to $1,000
  • Violation: $ 300 to $ 500
Municipal Ordinance Violations: $300 to $1,000
Traffic- Related Offenses: DUI: $1,000 to $7,500


NY may eliminate money bail for low level offenses

Early this week, I reported that Alaska joined a growing number of states eliminating their money bail systems.

Now New York state may join the ranks as well as reported by the New York Times:

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo plans to ask the New York State Legislature to eliminate cash bail for many crimes and to speed up the disclosure of evidence in trials as part of a package of proposals intended make the criminal justice system fairer for indigent defendants, his aides said.

The proposals will likely be similar to what has been in place in New Jersey and Kentucky and Alaska:

The measure that Governor Cuomo is proposing would eliminate cash bail for people facing misdemeanor and nonviolent felonies. Instead defendants would be released, either on their own promise to return to court, or with some other conditions imposed by the judge. Judges could still impose bail for serious violent crimes, like felony assault or rape, but only after reviewing a defendant’s finances.

Cuomo, a Democrat, follows the lead of three Republican governors in Alaska, New Jersey, and Kentucky in eliminating cash bail and/or substnatially modifying their pretrial bail procedures. In Alaska,

With the new reforms in place, PEW estimates that the number of inmates will decrease by 13 percent and that the state will save $380 million. The state plans to reinvest $98 million of that total over six years in crime victim services, pretrial services and supervision, re-entry support, substance abuse and mental health treatment in both prison and communities, and violence prevention.

Another state moves away from money bail system

There has been another step in this nation’s path toward elimination of money bail. This time it is from the Alaska legislature.

“It’s a fundamental sea change in the way judges will be making their decisions on bail,” said Nancy Meade, general counsel of the Alaska Court System to the assembled attorneys.

When someone is charged with a crime, they will no longer have to pay cash to get out of jail before their trial. Instead, the state will judge each accused criminal under a point-based system that considers how likely they are to show up to court appearances or commit a new crime. They’ll still be monitored, but they’ll be able to go to work, and the state won’t have to pay for their jail time.

If lawmakers are serious about mass incarceration, this is a prime location is start:

Three out of five people in jail are there simply because they can’t afford to pay bail. “If you want to tackle mass incarceration, you have to go to where mass incarceration is happening,” says Cherise Fanno Burdeen, CEO of the Pretrial Justice Initiative. “This is where the most disruptive action of the state happens in people’s lives.”

UPDATE: “With the new reforms in place, PEW estimates that the number of inmates will decrease by 13 percent and that the state will save $380 million. The state plans to reinvest $98 million of that total over six years in crime victim services, pretrial services and supervision, re-entry support, substance abuse and mental health treatment in both prison and communities, and violence prevention.”

Alaska is just the most recent example of lawmakers modifying their systems away from the unsustainable status quo. As summarized in this article from Colorlines,

Even at the federal level, public officials are following advocates’ and activists’ lead. In July, Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced federal legislation that would give states U.S. Department of Justice grants to “reform or replace the bail system.” In announcing their bill, the progressive Californian and the libertarian Kentuckian pointed to states where reform is already underway. New Jersey’s legislature passed reform in 2014 and the new system went into effect in January. The state’s jail population is down 20 percent since the start of the year and down 35 percent compared to June 2015, according to a new report [PDF] from the Administrative Office of the Court. New Jersey’s reform, like other jurisdictions’, depends on judges’ use of a risk assessment tool to decide who gets out of jail pretrial.

I am afraid that Alabama will not see money bail reform from the legislative branch, though. I expect it will be forced to modify its practices through the judicial branch: through federal and state litigation. I have previously written about such efforts: here, here. Colorlines details how this works; its definitely more expensive option:

Thomas Harvey, who directs the non-profit law firm ArchCity Defenders, is challenging the interrelated system of bail and traffic fines and fees that put people behind bars—what he calls the criminalization of poverty and race—through a series of lawsuits in St. Louis County, Missouri. Just fewer than 1 million people live in the county’s 90 towns, 81 of which have their own police forces and part-time courts. Harvey and his colleagues have sued 30 of those towns, including Ferguson, using class action suits to challenge their use of bail and their operation of what Harvey calls debtors’ prisons. “At least in the St. Louis region, it’s poor folks and communities of color that are being held on cash bail,” Harvey says. “Courts are quicker to impose these onerous consequences on them.” (This is true nationwide as well. Black Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be arrested and almost four times more likely [PDF] to be jailed than White Americans.

Harvey’s group has reached settlements with the cities of Jennings, Velda City and St. Ann. Last year, Jennings agreed to pay $4.7 million in compensation to people detained for court debts and also signed on to a set of reforms including ending cash bail in favor of releasing those accused of nonviolent offenses on their own recognizance. Under the new system, the court employs a five-step process before issuing a warrant for someone’s arrest for failure to appear in court, Harvey says.

These wins and others like them in recent years have occurred in small municipalities throughout the Midwest and South, where there’s often a lack of training and professionalism on the part of court officials, says Harvey. Attorneys involved in these cases and specializing in bail reform litigation, such as those at Civil Rights Corps and Equal Justice Under Law, are now taking on big cities, including Houston and Chicago.

Alaska has adopted a bail “point-system” similar to what has been adopted in New Jersey and Kentucky.

Here’s how it works.

Each suspect gets two grades. One details how likely they are to show up in court. The second estimates how likely they are to commit another crime if they’re released.

The first grade, called the “Failure to Appear Scale” runs 0-8 points. Anything from 0-4 points is considered low risk. Anything 7-8 points is high risk. A suspect gets points based on how frequently they’ve failed to appear in court in the past few years, whether or not they’re booked on a property crime or motor vehicle crime, and how old they were when they were first arrested.

The second grade is called the “New Criminal Arrest Scale” and it runs 0-10 points. Any score 0-5 points is low risk, and a 10-point score is a high risk. Points are awarded for how many times the person has been arrested or convicted in the past few years, how many times they’ve been on probation, how many times they were jailed, and how old they were when they were first arrested.

This system is not perfect, but certainly is an improvement and has resulted in a major decrease in jail populations.

But why did Alaska switch?

Alaska’s existing system of pretrial release is based on money bail. If someone cannot afford the bail amount set by a judge, he or she stays in jail until trial. A study conducted in 2015 by the Pew Charitable Trust and the Alaska Judicial Council found that led to inequal outcomes. Defendants from poorer areas of the state were more likely to plead guilty to crimes and more likely to stay in jail until trial. There was also a racial disparity, possibly linked to the well-known racial economic gap in Alaska and the United States. White, Hispanic and Asian defendants were much more likely to be released before trial than black or Native defendants

Further studies concluded that keeping nonviolent offenders in jail before trial boosted prison costs and reduced the chance that a person — even if found innocent at trial — could return to normal life. In many cases, they had lost their jobs and homes, and returning to crime was the easiest path to subsistence.




Alabama law enforcement are already empowered to release without arrest. How many do it?

We have seen money bail end via legislative acts and via judicial intervention.

Now we have evidence of a third option: executive action.

Defendants in most low-level cases in Manhattan will be released without bail—a historic change that could reform a system that regularly imprisons poor people for long stretches simply they can’t afford to pay.

The move by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to stop asking judges to hold prisoners on bail is part of a national push towards ending imprisonment of misdemeanor suspects simply because they can’t afford bail.

“When non-violent New Yorkers are jailed as a function of their inability to pay, we perpetuate inequality and mass incarceration,” Vance said in a statement on Tuesday. “Beginning today, we will be guided by the presumption that bail is not appropriate for misdemeanor cases.”

Frustratingly, in Alabama, arrest is not required on any case. Rule 4 of the Alabama Rules of Civil Procedure declares:

(1) A person arrested without a warrant: (i) May be cited by a law enforcement officer to appear either at a specified time and place or at such time and place as he or she shall be subsequently notified of and may be released; or (ii) May be released by a law enforcement officer upon execution of an appearance bond or a secured appearance bond in an amount set according to the schedule contained in Rule 7.2, and directed to appear either at a specified time and place or at such time and place as he or she shall be subsequently notified of;

I would wonder how many sheriff and police departments have educated their officers of this option. The law is already in place in Alabama; however, I am unaware of any jurisdiction in Alabama which presumptively actuates this provision. in 19 years of practice, I cannot recall more than 10 tens times that a misdemeanant wasn’t arrest and just issued a citation.

On a related note, Atlanta is being pressured “embrace a national wave of bail reform that has already taken hold in places like Chicago, Houston, New Jersey and, most recently, Alaska.”

The police arrested Randall McCrary, a mentally ill man, at a gas station on Oct. 22. They found him covered in his own waste and screaming at customers.

What happened next to Mr. McCrary, advocates say, was a depressingly common reality for poor people charged with minor crimes in Atlanta. The municipal court set his bail at $500, the predetermined amount for a disorderly conduct charge. Mr. McCrary, 45, is indigent and could not pay.

So he waited, in jail, for more than two and a half months, at great cost to both local taxpayers and Mr. McCrary himself. While he was detained, the federal government discontinued his disability checks, said Sarah Geraghty, a lawyer for the Southern Center for Human Rights, who filed a petition Monday demanding his release.

Ms. Geraghty said Mr. McCrary’s case exemplified the injustices inherent in Atlanta’s misdemeanor bail system, which resulted in hundreds of poor people being locked up each year, sometimes for long stretches, because they had been assigned bail amounts they could not pay. In 2016, at least 890 people were transferred from the city to the county jail after failing to make bail, the center found. They were held, many of them on minor charges like littering or driving without a license, for a total of 9,000 hours, costing taxpayers roughly $700,000.

The petition for Mr. McCrary generated some publicity, and on Tuesday, he was released after an anonymous donor posted his bail.


Time to Challenge Alabama’s Bond Schedule in Every Court in Every Case

Exorbitant bail is the default in many courts in America, even though judges aren’t actually required to set it.

In Alabama, it certainly is.

It is reported that one court in Louisiana had minimum bail floors:

Cantrell has acknowledged that he refuses to set bail lower than $2,500, no matter the facts of a case. “We don’t go any lower than $2,500 in this court,” he told one defense attorney in 2016. When attorneys object to this practice, Cantrell sometimes threatens to hold them in contempt of court—for which they could serve jail time themselves.

A great article in the Atlantic highlights a legal development in New York, though:

Public defenders in Brooklyn are in the process of launching a new initiative intended to disrupt this pattern. When a judge sets bail that a defendant can’t afford, the Brooklyn Defenders Service will systematically challenge the judge’s order. If that fails, they’ll appeal it. The goal of the project is to begin to repair New York City’s long-criticized bail system by persuading and incentivizing judges to focus on bail’s essential purpose: It’s collateral meant to guarantee a criminal defendant’s return to court, not punishment for a person accused of a crime.

It is time that Alabama lawyers, not merely seek a bond reduction, but to challenge the constitutionality of money bail altogether.

Here are the basics of the Brooklyn Defenders’ approach: An associate with the law firm Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, which is partnering with the organization, will work pro bono with one of the public defenders to document each client’s finances, background, and community ties. They will then present their findings to a judge and either argue that bail is unnecessary or propose a form of bail the client can realistically meet. Where bail remains outside of the defendant’s financial reach, they will challenge the ruling in an appeals court.

Alabama lawyers must be willing to disrupt the status quo.

Public defenders concede that defense attorneys share some of the blame: From the outset, overworked criminal-defense lawyers lacked the time and resources to dig into their clients’ backgrounds and challenge the many bail determinations that departed from the law.

Litigation has proved successful too:

Recently, lawsuits challenging money bail have spread across the country. Many of the cases have been spearheaded by Alec Karakatsanis, who worked as a public defender for four and a half years before focusing on fighting back against what he calls mass “human caging.” He brought his first money-bail case, against Clanton, Alabama, in early 2015. The organizations that Karakatsanis works with have filed at least a dozen suits challenging bail, with 10 already settled in their favor. While Karakatsanis argues that the impact has been limited, there have been victories. After he filed a class-action lawsuit against Cook County, Illinois, the county’s chief judge issued an order that eliminated the practice of setting bail amounts so high that people end up in jail.

It is all too easy to forget the consequences of being jailed:

Our willingness to lock up legally innocent people has huge—and often dire—consequences for those who are arrested. Jail keeps them from their work and family responsibilities, which in turn leads to missing rent and car payments. Those who end up detained, after all, have median incomes that put them in the poorest one-third of the country. Missing even a few days of work can be catastrophic. “The negative impact of jail starts to accrue after the first 24 hours, and it’s really bad by the third day,” says Cherise Fanno Burdeen, CEO of the Pretrial Justice Institute.

And the pernicious effects of being jailed don’t stop there. Those who are detained before trial are far more likely to plead guilty—a desperate attempt to regain their freedom, even if temporarily—and end up being sentenced to serve time. Wilkeitha Washington, known by her friends as Keedy, has a gregarious demeanor that doesn’t fade when she recounts her time in the Orleans Parish jail. But the pain she’s experienced is still evident. After she was arrested for cocaine possession, her bail was set at $5,500—more than she could pay, so Washington sat in jail for weeks. But “jail” is hardly the right word to describe the facilities. The inmates were housed in outdoor tents with scarcely any protection from the elements. “Mosquito bites, rats, roaches…. Anything could bite us,” she recalls. “A dog don’t like to be in a cage, so just picture a human being in a cage.” When Washington had to decide whether to plead innocent and take her case to trial or plead guilty and get out of jail then and there, she chose the latter. “I know if I really try to fight this, I could probably win,” she says. But by giving up, she was guaranteed to go home and return to her four children. Washington got out of jail, but she later went back behind bars to serve out her sentence.

At a minimum, if charged with a crime,  you need to be prepared to evidence connections to community, employment prospects, history of appearances at prior hearings.  If a violent crime is alleged, present a plan to assure you will not contact the victim.

Star NFL player sued by NC man who says the player seduced his wife

According to the Charlotte Observer,

Fletcher Cox, a two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle with the Philadelphia Eagles, is being sued for alienation of affection by Joshua Jeffords in Mecklenburg County Civil Court.

This lawsuit has been brought in North Carolina. “An action for alienation of affection permitted recovery for ‘loss of consortium, humiliation, shame, mental anguish, loss of sexual relations, and the disgrace the tortious acts of the defendant have brought.’” Andrews v. Gee, 599 F. Supp. 251, 253 (D.S.C. 1984)

I am not sure the policy reasons for such but this kind of suit is unavailable in Alabama. An Alabama statute, Section 6-5-331, reads:

There shall be no civil claims for alienation of affections, criminal conversation, or seduction of any female person of the age of 19 years or over.

“Since the abolition in Alabama of the heart-balm torts, this Court has refused to recognize ‘any claim for damages against a third party, no matter how denominated, that is based on allegations of interference with the marriage relationship.’” D.D., 600 So. 2d at 223

Laws like that in North Carolina seem to be good policy which protect the family and marriage; it certainly puts a financial penalty for potential adulterers. Perhaps its something the Alabama Legislature should reconsider. Seemingly, only Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah still have such a cause of auction.

However, in some jurisdictions, alternative theories have been allowed. For instance, in Scamardo v. Dunaway, 650 So. 2d 417 (La. Ct. App. 1995), the Louisiana Court of Civil Appeals allowed an intentional infliction of emotional distress:

In comparing the two theories of recovery, we find that they are distinguishable. Neither the policies nor legal principles giving rise to the claims for framing the rights are the same. Although both have the emotional distress of plaintiff as a primary element of damages, and thus, may appear to overlap, the infliction of emotional distress is a separate, recognizable tort. The law does not limit the action to non-marital situations. However, the mere seduction and loss of one’s spouse due to the seduction or affair cannot be the basis for the action. There must be proof that defendant violated some legal duty to plaintiff, so that plaintiff is in fact the victim and not just the jilted party. Further, the burden of outrageous conduct is a heavy one. Otherwise, the cause of action is for alienation of affections, which is not legally recognized in this state.

D.D. seems to preclude this argument. (However, perhaps the existence of the separate duty towards the Plaintiff could make a difference to the Alabama courts.) See also, Gasper v. Lighthouse, Inc., 533 A.2d 1358 (1987); Accord Payne v. Osborne, No. 1997-CA-001818-MR (Ky. App. 06/04/1999).

“Setting a very high bond is still a release decision.”

Many community non-profits are stepping-up to fill an area of injustice within the criminal justice system: money bail. This article highlights one such effort.

In setting bail at all, the judge has made a determination that the accused individual is not too dangerous to be released to the community, said Max Suchan, co-founder of the Chicago Community Bond Fund, which provides bail money for people who don’t have it and are being held in the county jail on felony charges. “Our position is [that] even a $2 million bond is a release decision by that judge,” Suchan said. “Setting a very high bond is still a release decision.”

It’s a decision that’s made quickly. In Cook County, Illinois, bond hearings that determine whether someone gets locked up or walks free take an average of 37 seconds, and while one person might walk free on their own recognizance, another person charged with the same offense might face $10,000 in bail.

This is such an important and often missed point. What correlation does an arbitrary bond schedule (as exists in Alabama) have with community safety? None really. The judge has determined they are safe to return to the public? Does a $2,000,000 bond protect the community more than $500.00 bond? The amount of the bond does not deter post-release behavior at all, either.

(On a side note: the average bail for someone charged in the US is $10,000 per felony charge, yet the typical incarcerated person would need to spend eight months’ income to pay their $10,000 bail.)

If you are not free to leave, you are under arrest and entitled to bond out

As I mentioned in the previous post about the legal fiction of “domestic violence holds,” I have had many clients arrested on what law enforcement called an “investigative hold.” This practice is downright unlawful. In such cases, there is no arrest warrant yet. Rule of Criminal Procedure Rule 4.3(a) says on a warrantless arrest:

If a probable cause determination is not made by a judge or magistrate without undue delay, and in no event later that forty-eight (48) hours after arrest, then, unless the offense for which the person was arrested is not a bailable offense, the person shall be released upon execution of an appearance bond
After arrest, a person’s right to bond immediately springs into play. The arrested person must be presented to a judge or magistrate “without undue delay” to determine probable cause for the arrest and establish their constitutional right to bond. Alabama Constitution § 16
That all persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses, when the proof is evident or the presumption great; and that excessive bail shall not in any case be required.
Some law enforcement agencies attempt to side-step these rules and claim the person is not “under arrest.” A person is either free to leave, and if not, they are legally under arrest. “In order to decide if a suspect is ‘in custody,’ the court, looking at the totality of the circumstances, must find that a reasonable person in the accused’s position would believe that he or she is not free to leave.” State v. Jude, 686 So. 2d 528, 533 (Ala. Crim. App. 1996)


Alabama Domestic Violence “Cooling Off” Holds are a Legal Fiction

Section 15-13-190, Code of Alabama makes special rules for persons arrested for crimes of domestic violence.

A person arrested for an offense involving domestic violence…may not be admitted to bail until after an appearance before a judge or magistrate within 12 hours of the arrest.

Compare that with the standard rules for bailbonds after arrest. See AL ST RCRP Rule 4.3

A person arrested without a warrant: (i) May be cited by a law enforcement officer to appear either at a specified time and place or at such time and place as he or she shall be subsequently notified of and may be released; or (ii) May be released by a law enforcement officer upon execution of an appearance bond or a secured appearance bond in an amount set according to the schedule contained in Rule 7.2, and directed to appear either at a specified time and place or at such time and place as he or she shall be subsequently notified of; or (iii) Shall be afforded an opportunity to make bail in accordance with Rules 4.3(b)(3) and 4.4.

An urban myth has developed that persons arrested on domestic violence charges cannot be bonded until after 12 hours of arrest. Section 15-13-190 does not say that; it merely eliminates the options for bond found in Rule 4.3(i) and 4.3(ii). Section 15-13-190 modifies the timeliness of presentation to a magistrate to 12 hours after arrest. Under Rule 4.3(a), a person arrested without a warrant must be presented to a magistrate or judge “without undue delay” and not to exceed 48 hours.  Alternatively, under Rule 4.3(b) a person arrested with a warrant or on complaint must be presented to a magistrate or judge “without undue delay” but not to exceed 72 hours.”

Accordingly, if arrested, don’t let them give you the “we-cant-release-you-for-twelve-hours” run around.

The violation of the speedy presentment requirement may be grounds to exclude evidence obtained after the violation (e.g. confessions, consents, admissions.

(However, I have actually obtained decent civil monetary settlements for clients who were detained for “investigation holds” but were not presented to a magistrate or judge “without undue delay.” Local law enforcement held them and would not let them go which means they were legally under arrest. Even if there is no formal arrest, a person is considered seized for Fourth Amendment purposes when, under the circumstances, a reasonable person would not believe himself free to leave. See Michigan v. Chesternut, 486 U.S. 567, 573, 108 S.Ct. 1975, 100 L.Ed.2d 565 (1988) Once arrested, the rights to bond and presentation to a magistrate arise. Deprivation of those rights is a unlawful imprisonment and civil rights violation.)


Man Wrongly Accused Of Rape by Police, Wants Apology

According to this article,

A man whose wedding was postponed because New York City police wrongly arrested him for rape says the ordeal has left him out of work and in legal debt up to his ears.

Cops were under pressure to collar the suspect or suspects behind a series of high-profile gropings and sex attacks that started in March in the area.

They thought Giraldo, a livery cab driver, was the perp terrorizing the neighborhood. He was spotted inside a Dunkin’ Donuts at 2:45 a.m. on June 4 — the same time that the rape victim was in the store, according to The Post.

The woman, 29, left the store after an alleged suggestive remark from Giraldo. Then, in her nearby apartment vestibule a man grabbed her by the neck, stripped off her clothing and raped her, NY1 says. Witnesses described seeing a car outside that police thought belonged to Giraldo.

Giraldo turned himself in when police released a surveillance photo of him, saying that he was the main suspect, TV station WPIX says.

He thought it would be a formality, because he had an alibi that he drove a passenger to John F. Kennedy Airport at the same time the attack occurred, The Daily News says.

But police interrogated him for hours, demanding that he confess. After standing in a series of lineups, cops said he would be arrested, The News reports.

Giraldo’s last hope for a speedy resolution were tests that could prove that his DNA didn’t match the samples recovered from the crime scene. Cops said it would take 72 hours to get the results.

But on June 8, the day Giraldo, a Colombian immigrant, was supposed to get married, he was arraigned in front of a judge on suspicion of rape.

Because he couldn’t afford the $100,000 bail, he was locked up on Rikers Island, the city’s jail. A judge released him without bail later, but he was transferred to an immigration detention center in New Jersey because he came to the United States on a tourist visa in 1999 and overstayed, The Brooklyn Ink says.

While Giraldo spent a month behind bars, the sexual deviant struck again, The Daily News reports.

When he was released from detention, he and his fiancee married in a civil ceremony.

On top of the criminal case against him, Giraldo had to worry about being deported.

The crucial evidence that would have cleared his name — the DNA test results — took months to complete. It was on Nov. 15 that prosecutors revealed they didn’t have a match from the genetic material and charges against Giraldo were dropped