Compton, $50,000 Bail Lowered to $0, Manslaughter
However, he was traveling so fast, he could not slam on the brakes to stop in time. Instead, he knew he had to simply go through the intersection. He was in a Hobson’s choice – slam on his brakes and possibly lose control and crash, or proceed through the intersection and possibly crash as well.Overview: Client, age 20, charged in Compton Superior Court with manslaughter after a car accident that killed an elderly woman. Bail was set at $50,000. Client was recently married and did a safe driving course prior to coming to court on a bench warrant. Bail reduced to zero on Greg’s motion to reduce bail.
As he entered the intersection on a red light, a car from his left entered the intersection on a green light. The impact was unavoidable and severe. Our client slammed into the small car, spinning it into three other cars waiting for the red light on the other side of the intersection. Our client also spun around, impacting one of the other three cars as well.
The first car our client hit had two people in it. It was a Toyota Celica. The front right seat passenger, a 73 year old woman, died instantly. Indeed, she absorbed the majority of the impact. The driver of the car miraculously escaped with only minor injuries.
Our client sustained significant internal injuries and remained in the hospital for four days. Once he was released, he returned home.
More than a year later, he received a letter from the Compton District Attorney’s Office notifying him that a bench warrant had been issued for his arrest. The letter advised the client that he ought to report to the Compton Superior Court to address the warrant.
Greg and the client, now 21, then did appear and the judge did recall the bench warrant. Greg then requested that our client be allowed to be released without bail, on his own recognizance (OR). The judge was a bit skeptical, as we expected, but Greg explained that our client never did sign a promise to appear in court, as he was hospitalized immediately after the crash.
Greg also explained that the client only received the letter about the bench warrant three days ago and came to court immediately. He further explained that our client had no prior history and had been driving for the last year without any further incidents. These two factors, no prior history and a year of safe driving post-accident, when added to our client’s sense of urgency (and respect for the court) in coming to court immediately, persuaded the judge to grant our client’s own recognizance release.
This ruling saved our client approximately $4,000 in funds that he otherwise would have had to spend to post the $50,000 bond. He and his wife, also 21, were very happy.
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