Get Out of Jail Free for $2

man spends almost five months in prison $2 bail

Aitabdel Salem spent five months in jail, waiting for someone to come up with the money to post bond. Little did he know that he could have walked for less than the cost of a large cup of coffee.

Salem was jailed in April 2014 on charges of attacking a police officer who arrested him for shoplifting. His bond was originally set at $25,000 on the assault charge and $1 for each of two accompanying minor charges. Salem was unable to come up with the $25,002, so he sat in his New York City jail cell, awaiting trial.

When prosecutors were unable to get an indictment for the assault charge, it went away, together with the $25,000 bail requirement. That left just the remaining two charges — and $2 bail — keeping Mr. Salem in custody.

So there he sat — for nearly five months. Salem claims his attorney failed to tell him about the change in his bail requirements. When he finally posted bail — in April 2015 — he was ordered to return to court the next month for a hearing. He failed to show up as scheduled and was arrested and put in custody — this time on $30,000 bail.


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