A Long Beach Criminal Lawyer Explains the Right to a Bail Reduction

California law requires Judges to set bail in all cases with the exception of murder. If the court denies an in-custody defendant a release on his or her own recognizance, the defendant may request the court to reduce the amount of bail. This request is typically made by way of a formal motion.  In setting, reducing, or denying bail, the court must consider the protection of the public, the nature and seriousness of the offense charged, the defendant’s previous criminal record, and the probability of the defendant’s appearance at the trial or hearing of the case. Public safety is the primary consideration. Pen C §1275(a). In addition, the court must consider (1) whether the defendant has caused any alleged injuries or made any threats to any victim or witness to the crime charged, (2) the defendant’s alleged use of weapons in the commission of the crime, and (3) the defendant’s alleged use or possession of controlled substances. If the defendant is charged with any number of drug possession offenses, the court must consider the alleged amounts of controlled substances involved in the commission of the offense and whether the defendant is currently released on bail for another narcotics violation.

The Long Beach court may attach conditions to the granting of a bail reduction or OR release if these conditions are reasonably related to an attempt to ensure subsequent court appearances. For example in one recent Court decision, the court found that a defendant’s signed statement stipulating that defendant will not trespass or blockade nuclear plant was not valid condition. The release of a defendant may be conditioned on his or her participation in a residential drug or alcohol rehabilitation program. The Judge in a criminal case has also been found to act contrary to the law when Requiring a defendant to submit to random searches of his or her person and possessions for narcotics in one case.

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