There has been a great deal of new legislation and recent changes to existing laws, some of which caught many of us by surprise. The following is an overview of laws that are of direct concern for our courts. Check back regularly for updates regarding legislation. Please also check your email for updates from OCA as well.


Immediate changes involve:

  1. Bail Reform Law
  2. Decriminalize Marijuana
  3. Licenses
  4. Order to Counsel
  5. Penal Law
  6. Public Officer’s Law 72-B
  7. Summary Proceedings

Bail Reform Law, effective January 1, 2020, Defendants facing misdemeanor and certain non-violent felonies can be released without imposing any bail. Police agencies will be required to only issue appearance tickets in the vast majority of offenses. Additionally, Judges will only be allowed to set monetary bail on defendants charged with specified offenses.


Also part of the Bail Reform bill sets forth that Courts must notify defendants of any court appearances and the Court may utilize other methods of communication such as email and text. That does not affect a court requires that a defendant enter a plea in person or by mail or a written request for an adjournment.

Look for additional training on this issue as 2020 approaches.