The Old Sacramento Bridge

Sample Letter of Reference for Reduction of Bail

Reduction of Bail Reference Letter SampleThe following reference letter sample for reduction of bail is provided as a guide only. It is important that a reference letter that you submit to the court be written by you and accurately portray your thoughts concerning the defendant.

Your letter should be detailed yet concise and provide a clear explanation of why the bail in the defendant's case should be reduced, or eliminated altogether. You should state that the defendant is not a danger to others or him/herself and is not a flight risk. Also include a statement such as the following: "I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct."

The sample letter below concerns this scenario: A young woman (21 years old) has been arrested in Sacramento for drug use and assault. The woman was attending a party and took some pills offered to her by someone she did not know. At some point in the evening, she left the house and began arguing with someone in a neighboring house. She became more and more agitated, picked up a large stick and began swinging it at the neighbor. When the police arrived, the woman made threatening movements at the police and did not respond to commands from the police to put down the stick and sit on the ground. The police used tasers to subdue her. She was then arrested and taken to a local hospital for evaluation and treatment. After a few hours, when the effects of the narcotics had worn off, she was taken to the Sacramento County jail. The woman (a college senior) had no criminal record before this incident. Bail was set at $100,000 because of her erratic behavior and the threats she made to the neighbor and the police.

September __, 20__

Judge Albert _______
Sacramento County Superior Court
720 9th Street
Sacramento, CA  95814

Dear Judge _______:

I am writing on behalf of Samantha _____, who is currently in custody in Sacramento County Jail. I have complete confidence that Samantha is in no way a danger to herself or others and is not a flight risk. I can assure you that this incident is completely out of character for Samantha and in no way reflects the kind, good humored, and honest person whom I have known for the past seven years. I urge you to consider reducing - or eliminating - bail in her case.

Let me first briefly tell you about my background and how I know Samantha. I am the mother of one of Samantha's good friends, Haley. I am married and have two other younger children. I work as an account manager with a large office supply company.

My daughter Haley became friends with Samantha at ____ High School when they were sophomores. Samantha came over to our house frequently during those high school years, and even babysat our younger children when Haley was not available to watch them. I have always viewed Samantha as responsible and mature beyond her years. She has continued to stay in touch with our family and visits with us when she comes home for holidays and during the summer.

The Samantha I know has always been thoughtful, polite, considerate, and energetic. During high school, she was a regular participant in community service activities and was a member of student council, and I know she has continued to volunteer her time while in college. She has always been a diligent student and maintains a wide circle of friends. She has talked about pursuing a career in the health care field, possibly nursing or physical therapy.

Clearly Samantha was not herself when this incident occurred. I cannot speculate on what caused her to act his way. But the aggressive behavior she displayed is something that I have never witnessed, and even have a hard time imagining. As I stated above, I am sure that if Samantha is released she will not pose a threat to anyone and will not flee.

I hold Samantha in the highest regard and urge you to reduce or even eliminate her bail. I would be happy to provide you with additional documentation or even testify in person.


Janet _________
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