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State Representative files legislation to require minimum bail of $100K for violent crimes

Jasmine Dean

ACADIA PARISH, La (KLFY) – State representative John Stefanski proposed new legislation that would set a mandatory minimum bail amount for people who commit violent crimes. He says he thinks this would set a standard for what the minimum should be depending on the criminal is accused of.

Stefanski says this update to Louisiana law would minimize crime in the state. If passed, a minimum amount of $100,000 would be set as bail if a person is charged with a violent crime and set at $500,000 if charged with a violent crime with a firearm. The state rep says, “violent crime is completely out of control and destroying communities across Louisiana.”

He says people in the state are fed up with crime, more specifically violent crime. He believes the way to get violent crime under control is the support and participation from the community.

“Stefanski says “Violent criminals have been acting as if there are no consequences, Louisiana must return to law and order, ” and this is his attempt to address when a person is charged with a violent crime by making sure they are not released without an appropriate bond.

In addition to requiring the minimum set bail, the proposed legislation requires a judge to present written documentation for setting bail less than the amount in the proposed law. Stefanski says in order for a lesser amount than the proposed amount to be set, a judge must provide evidence why.

“Now, it gives the ability for the judge to go lower than that, but he has to give and show clear and convincing evidence, why it should be lower based on some factors that we have in our law. And additionally, he has to give written reasons on why he thinks it should be lower than that amount.”

Stefanski says the feedback he’s received concerning the filed legislation has been positive as crime is an issue needing to be addressed. Stefanski’s team says if passed, the update to Louisiana law would give Louisiana the toughest codes of criminal procedures in the nation.

The proposed legislation can be viewed here.


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