COURT WATCH: Judge Denies Bail Reduction Despite Defense Concerns about Financial Stability


By Cynthia Hoang-Duong

MODESTO, CA – During a bail review hearing last Friday in Stanislaus County Superior Court, Judge Frank Dougherty denied the defense’s request to reduce the accused’s bail despite his precarious financial condition.

Currently, the accused is on probation for possessing ammunition while he was on felony probation for an earlier conviction.

Reviewing his past criminal history, the judge cited other past convictions in 2008, 2015 and 2021, for attempted auto-taking, resisting arrest and vandalism and violating his probation, respectively.

Deputy Public Defender Carsyn Henry requested that the judge lower the accused’s bail to a nominal amount or release him on his “own recognizance.”

The DPD informed the court the accused has a residence with his family in Patterson, California, and currently financially supports two children on a $17-an-hour wage as a field worker.

Regarding previous convictions mentioned by Judge Dougherty, the DPD maintained, “While I understand he does have criminal history, it’s not particularly extensive.”

With a Spanish-language interpreter present, the judge then asked the accused about the information provided by the DPD. When asked how long he has lived at his residence, the accused responded that he has lived there for three months.

Continuing this line of questioning, Judge Dougherty asked him how much he makes per month as a laborer. As translated by the language interpreter, the accused explained he earns $800 per week but has been attending doctor’s appointments for his foot condition.

Despite this information, the deputy district attorney objected to the bail reduction, reminding the court that it was “only” set at $10,000.

Further, the DDA argued the accused was on felony probation and had been prohibited from committing a new violation. Yet, she alleged that he broke into a vacant rental and damaged the windows. In the house, he possessed power tools, appearing to reside there for a period of time.

When confronted by law enforcement, he claimed he considered purchasing the house. Yet, the owner did not permit him to enter. The police also reported that he appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.

Considering his $800-a-week-salary, Judge Dougherty concluded the $10,000 bail and $500 fee to a bonding agency is within the means of the accused to post bail, noting, “It appears in this case that he has the ability to pay a bondsman $500 if he’s making $800 a week.”

Because of this and the accused’s formal probation, the judge said he decided to maintain the bail amount to ensure that he returns to court.


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