COURT WATCH: High Initial Bail Lowered Very Slightly for Accused Unable to Afford It

LOS ANGELES- CA, MARCH 2: Los Angeles Superior Court Stanley Mosk Courthouse March 2, 2004 in Los Angeles Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

By Xinhui Lin

LOS ANGELES, CA – In a recent preliminary hearing at the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the accused, with numerous charges, faced unusually high bail despite his financial difficulties and familial struggles.

Judge Keith L. Schwartz eventually agreed to lower the bail, but only a little, and highlighted the danger the accused imposed on the public, warning that “the issue here shows a pattern. He is a thief committing criminal conduct” three days straight.

On Feb. 26, the accused allegedly walked out of a jewelry store with a stolen gold necklace. The following day, he allegedly stole $10,000 worth of jewelry from another jewelry store in a mall. And Feb. 28, the accused allegedly stole fragrances from Macy’s.

When the police attempted to apprehend the suspect, the court was told a dramatic chase ensued, involving running red lights, driving on the wrong side of the road, and ultimately fleeing on foot before being apprehended.

Of the five charges, two were classified as felonies—resisting police officers and recklessly driving away from the police in a manner that endangered the public.

During the preliminary hearing, the deputy public defender said the accused has no criminal record, adding the accused is an “upright LA city employee” working as an administrative clerk, currently undergoing a divorce and residing with his mother.

Most importantly, the DPD said “he can’t afford the bail…at $75,000.”

Despite the defense’s attempt to highlight the accused’s financial constraints, Judge Schwartz expressed concern about a pattern of criminal behavior over the three days, acknowledging initial bail at $75,000 was on the higher side but emphasized the danger posed to the public during the police chase.

Judge Schwartz noted that “when police saw the car and chased him down, he kept driving on the other side of the road, and he even got out of the car and ran on the freeway. His action imposes danger to the public. One who is employed by the public would not do something like this.”

Judge Schwartz agreed to reduce the bail to $50,000.

About The Author

Xinhui Lin is a first-year student at the University of California, Los Angeles, pursuing a double major in Public Affairs and Sociology on a Pre-law track. Her unwavering commitment to addressing social injustices is deeply rooted in her cultural background and her personal experiences while growing up in Shanghai, China. Xinhui keenly observed the pervasive gender and racial inequalities, the subtle yet significant discrimination against minority groups, and the everyday micro-aggressions that disenfranchised individuals face. After exploring the philosophical question regarding the intricate relationship between power, morality, and justice, Xinhui kindled her interest in the intricacies of the criminal justice system – a cornerstone of society meant to epitomize principles of justice and fairness. Her commitment to understanding and improving this system is evident in her aspirations to potentially pursue a career as an attorney, with a strong desire to advocate for disadvantaged individuals.

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