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hagman.JPGA bill establishing a statewide guide for bail amounts passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee on Tuesday with a bipartisan 6-0 vote.

Assembly Bill 1118 was introduced by Assemblyman Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, who owns Apex Bail Bonds. The firm has three offices in Southern California.

Hagman said the bill is needed to address inequities in bail amounts set for the same crimes. He said bail on a felony charge of grand theft could range from $5,000 in Placer County to $50,000 in San Bernardino County.

"This disparity creates unequal protection under the law," Hagman said.

Hagman's bill would give counties the option of adopting the advisory statewide bail schedule. The bail bonds industry would benefit from counties with high bail adopting a schedule that is affordable to people seeking bonds.

AB 1118 would require the Judicial Council to prepare, adopt and annually revise a statewide bail schedule by 2015 for all bailable felony, misdemeanor and infraction offenses, except for vehicular code infractions.

The California District Attorneys Association opposes the bill, saying that prosecutors agree with current law, which lets superior court judges in each county set their own bail schedule.

PHOTO CREDIT: Curt Hagman, R-Chino Hills, after a joint session in the Assembly chambers in Sacramento, Calif. on Monday, March 11, 2013. Hector Amezcua / The Sacramento Bee



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