Guy Spends Five Months In Prison Unaware He Could Have Been Out In A Week For Just Pocket Change

by 2 years ago

Aitabdel Salem, 41, spent five month in Rikers Island prison in New York when he could have been out of there is just a week had he just paid his bail.

What was his bail you ask? Oh, it was $2. That’s right, two bucks.

Problem is, no one told him that. Nope, not even his lawyer.

Salem had been sent to prison and held on $25,000 bail for attacking an NYPD cop, but when prosecutors failed to get an indictment after a week he was ordered to be freed. One problem, he still owed bail for two smaller charges of tampering and mischief – which added up to a whopping two dollars.

Reports the Daily News

Judges sometimes set a dollar bail on a defendant’s subsequent charges if they believe the person’s existing bail is sufficient or if the defendant is ineligible for release for another reason, like an immigration hold.

Salem was left with just the dollar bail holding him in — but the fluke was not revealed to the Algerian native until several months later, his lawyers say.

Salem blames his previous attorney — veteran Legal Aid Society defender Stephen Pokart — for failing to inform him about the change in his bail status.

Unfortunately after finally being released Salem is now back in prison with a $30,000 bail after missing a court date. Naturally, his lawyers say that Salem didn’t receive the summons which is why he missed it.

Perhaps someone needs to to a Netflix exposé on this guy as well.

[Daily News]


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