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Santa Clara: $20,000 is Not Enough


CASE 1: Although the prosecutor requested $200,000 bail, a magistrate judge previously granted SORP and $105,000 Bail. The judge followed suit setting bail at $105,000 and the defense stated on the record she will contact classification regarding her client being misclassified as maximum security.

CASE 2: Although this defendant's charges were non-violent, non-serious and a drug offense, and with the defendant's family support present, the judge firmly stated, "Based on evidence presented in court, the court find's clear and convincing evidence that least restrictive conditions of release are inadequate for the defendant to come back to court". The Judge refused Pretrial's recommendation of releasing the defendant on Supervised OR (SORP). Bail was set at $78,000.

CASE 3: Although the defense argued for her client's role as a father, being employed and that being incarcerated may cause family seperation with the risk of his children being taken away by CPS, the judge set bail as scheduled stating, "If $45,000 bail wasn't enough to attend court for defendant's FTA, I don't see how $20,000 is?" The defense had requested bail to be reduced to $20,000 and said the defendant committed to living locally in San Jose and has a residence in San Jose that will make it possible to commit to attending court. Bail reduction was denied. Bail was set at the $55,000 scheduled.

CASE 4: The prosecutor was being petty, bringing up FTA's from over 4 years ago and a strike from over 9 years ago. The defendant successfully completed her probation and attended all court dates since her last arrest in 2014. Pretrial Services report recommended giving the defendant SORP. This defendant is substance abuse dependent and is going through her recovery. She is not a flight risk nor a risk to public safety yet, the Judge found least restrictive conditions were inadequate and continued to setting bail at $73,000. The Judge ignored this woman's commitment to recovery. The defense filed a bail motion.

CASE 5: Although a family member went out of her way to be present in court and wrote a character letter, the judge was was still not inclined to release due to a number of FTA's. The Judge set the bail at $28,000.

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