Legislature Creates Program Allowing All Defendants to Challenge Arrest

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SACRAMENTO, Calif., – On August 30th, by a vote of 56-10, the California State Assembly gave final passage to AB 2013 by Assembly member Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr., a bill that extends probable cause determination hearings to out-of-custody defendants.

Under existing law, a defendant can only challenge the probable cause of his/her arrest if that person is currently in custody. If an individual is arrested and released, they cannot challenge the probable cause of their arrest until trial, wasting scare court, public defender and district attorney resources on a meaningless trial.

AB 2013 creates a pilot program that would allow out-of-custody defendants to challenge the grounds for their arrest before trial.  The pilot program will be implemented in three counties to be selected by the California Public Defenders Association, the California District Attorneys Association, and the Judicial Council.

Passed last year as AB 696, AB 2013 responds to Governor Brown's veto message asking for "small, carefully crafted pilot" to asses the impacts of this proposal.

"The hardship of trial and of being involved in the criminal justice system is a burden on any individual, but especially those against which the charges are baseless," said Assembly Member Jones-Sawyer.

"This legislation will ensure that those who are needlessly involved in the justice system are able to challenge their arrest before scarce resources are used and before the impacts of involvement in the criminal justice system have an adverse impact on their lives."

The legislation was sponsored by the California Public Defenders Association and the Conference of California Bar Associations.