COMMENTARY BY HOMICIDE CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER SAM SPITAL:
“A story was published online by San Diego 6 local news on November 28, 2012 in which a defendant is charged with second-degree murder in which the Judge declined to reduce the $1 million bail. It is interesting that the defense attorney referenced the killing to be in self-defense while the prosecutor argued the defendant came to the victim’s hotel room after they had been in an altercation and in order to get her to open the door under the pretense it was a hotel worker, she announced: ‘housekeeping.’ The Deputy District Attorney proceeded to describe what then took place by the defendant who stated: ‘This is what you deserve, bitch’ as she grabbed the victim by her hair and slammed her against the mirror on the wall.
Ordinarily, bail hearings focus on a reduction of the bail previously set or a release on your own recognizance (O.R), in which the payment is waived on condition the defendant promises to appear in court. Some of the key factors a criminal defense attorney should reference in their Motion for a Reduction in Bail are: 1. The absence of a past criminal record or minimal record; 2. That any previous criminal incidents were minor and/or occurred many years earlier; 3. The defendant has resided in the community for many years; 4. The defendant is employed and has a regular job; 5. He has a spouse, children &/or parents living in the community; and 6. He has always appeared in court as required for any previous crimes, in short, there have been no prior arrest warrants or ‘failures to appear’ in any past cases. Bail may be paid in cash, with a credit card, cashier’s check, or the cash equivalent in property. It is refunded when the defendant appears in court as required, except in the case of a bail bondsman with whom the details of such an agreement should be discussed.”