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Los Angeles: 323-547-8786 | Orange County: 714-541-1155 San Bernardino: 909-381-3899 | San Diego: 619-381-4859 | Riverside: 951-445-4155

24 Hour Bail Bonds:

Los Angeles: 323-547-8786

Orange County: 714-541-1155

San Bernardino: 909-381-3899

San Diego: 619-381-4859

Riverside: 951-445-4155

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How Much is Bail in California?

Posted on Dec 26th, 2022 by Super User 1294 Views

If you have been arrested and accused of a crime, you may or may not have an easy time getting released from custody. Offenders charged with minor offenses are often freed on their own recognizance, but those accused of more serious crimes could have to post bail to be discharged. If the offender is suspected of being a flight risk or the crime is considered to be particularly violent or serious, bail would be rejected. This blog goes into great detail regarding how much bail costs in California.

A Brief Overview of Bail Bonds

A bail bond refers to a "surety bond, which a bail bondsman deposits to the courts as an assurance for a defendant's attendance at all court proceedings. In cases where the accused or their loved ones simply do not have the financial resources to post bail, a bail bond firm can step in to help.

The Price of California Bail Bonds

Paying bail in advance can be expensive. You could incur more than $50,000 in debt. Also, you might not be able to put that capital to use, since it could be in your bank account rather than generating income or enhancing your standard of living.

Bail bonds allow you to secure your assets while also reducing the overall expense of the litigation process. They also cover any financial shortfalls you could have, eliminating the need for you to spend days or months in police custody before your court hearing. California doesn't have a predefined bail price. Instead, it is up to the judge who sets the bail amount.

However, bail bond fees are mandated by the California Department of Insurance. Most bail bond firms are required to charge 10%. However, some occasionally offer discounts. This fee is a non-refundable cost associated with giving the court the bail money. The charge covers the expense of obtaining the capital as well as delivering it to the courts and managing it.

Additionally, it covers the risks of having to pick you up and deliver you to court if you do not show up on the scheduled date and day as well as the expenses of running the bail bond firm like payroll, rent, taxes, and insurance. If your bail amount is $30,000, the bail bond would cost you $3,000. The capital cost for the bail bond company is then covered by this premium.

How California Bail Bonds Work

The California bail bond process starts when you contact a bail bondsman on behalf of the defendant. The bail bondsman would then deposit the court-mandated bail in full once the defendant has paid the bail premium. The accused person would then be freed from custody before the start of the case when the bondsman has been paid and has delivered the bail amount to the court.

Setting Bail Bonds

Most arresting officers would request that the bail be set at a higher amount than what the bail schedule indicates. The purpose of this is to offer the accused person an opportunity of being released from custody on bail. If the judge feels that the bail amount is either too high or low, they could opt to adjust it.

The value of bail in the past could be significantly less than what it would be today due to inflation. Judges will often review the previous bail and compute inflation to verify that the bail amount reflects similar conditions in the past. If there is a greater chance that the accused would try to skip court, some judges would increase the bail amounts.

Usually, this would be predicated on statistics, such as offenses that have high rates of absenteeism or perpetrators who could already have a criminal history. When determining bail, it's also important to consider the gravity of the offense and the accused's financial position.

Calculating Bail Bonds

No matter how expensive the bail is, getting a bail bond is significantly less expensive than trying to pay the entire bail amount all at once. You will often be required to pay 10 percent of the bail sum. In other words, if the bail set is $40,000, you'll only have to pay $4,000 upfront to obtain the funds required. The bail bond firm's funds would be discharged and they will be refunded in full provided that you adhere to the rules and make a court appearance on the scheduled dates.

There is normally some sort of bail bond calculator available at bail bond agencies so that you can estimate your costs. The bail amount would determine how much this will cost. You only need to input the bail amount that you have been asked to pay to find the amount that the bail bond firm would charge you.

It's important to note that the majority of bail bond calculators do not take the collateral and other related charges into account. It's ideal to contact a professional bail bondsman who can provide you with a more precise price quote if you want to fully grasp and get a sense of what to expect to spend for your bail bond.

However, even a thousand dollars could be a significant financial burden for some individuals. Fortunately, bail bond firms let you create payment plans and terms so you can settle the bail amount in installments. You can increase your chances of settling your bail bond in full without having a significant adverse effect on your finances or life by spreading out the costs over several months or years.

Types of Bail

Several elements influence which type of bail bond is appropriate in your situation. A judge bases the sum on the alleged offense, the defendant's prior convictions, and the location of the arrest. Some bail bonds are only applied in rare situations, whereas others are used regularly.

Some of the most common types of bail bonds include:

  • Unsecured Bonds

No money is needed upfront. Instead, the offender agrees to settle the bail amount to the courts if they don't show up for the scheduled court hearing. Since there's no collateral to cover this type of bond, it can be dangerous.

  • Cash Bonds

Cash bail is when the accused, a member of the family, or a loved one settles the entire bond sum in US dollars. A cash bond has not always been necessary for some offenders under California's bail system. Each county contains a list of offenses and the associated bond amounts.

  • Property Bonds

In this case, the court acquires a lien against the defendant's property rather than cash. If the accused doesn't show up for a court hearing, the court could seize the property. This type of bail bond requires property worth much more than the bail for the magistrate to approve it. California law stipulates that the value of the property should be at least 150 percent of the entire bail amount.

  • Bail Bonds

Bail bonds are frequently used to post bail. Most people cannot post bail unless they possess significant assets, such as property or cash. This bail system has been used for several decades all across the world.

How to Post Bail

Given that bail can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars or more, securing a bond through a qualified bail bondsman is the most common form of posting bail. You can purchase or arrange a bond for up to 10 percent of the bail amount, meaning that if an accused's bail is set at $40,000, you could do so for $4,000.

Once the premium is paid in full, the bail bondsman will deposit the bail sum to the court to ensure the accused's release. The premium given to the bail bondsman is not refundable.

When securing the bond, you could be required to provide collateral, especially if the bail amount is substantial. This is normally real property because personal property could easily disappear. Personal property rarely has significant worth unless it's a priceless artwork or a collection of unique objects.

The bail bonds service provider would try to sell your security if the judge forfeits your bail because you failed to appear in court.

Most bail amounts are posted by a third party other than the accused. You could co-sign for a bail bond with the bail bonds company, but doing so comes with a few obligations. The bail bondsman will first make an effort to locate the defendant if they flee the state or simply fail to show up on the scheduled day. If the defendant cannot be found, the bail bond firm will turn to the cosigner for payment.

Who Qualifies for Bail Release?

Most jurisdictions have different bail schedules. The sum of money known as bail is required for a defendant to be freed from custody. A person has two options for posting the bail:

  1. Using a bail bondsman
  2. Paying the full sum

Most of the time, the bail amount varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. For instance, if an individual is detained for domestic abuse in Los Angeles county, the bail amount for that specific felony in Riverside county could differ.

In most cases, the bail sum is set during the initial court session, often known as an arraignment. A magistrate has the discretion to either grant a person's request for release on their own recognizance (OR) and require them to appear in court again or to reject their OR request and set the bail amount.

A magistrate would also take into account the following while making this decision:

  • The severity of the offense
  • The accused's criminal past
  • Whether the accused has a history of missing court proceedings
  • Whether the offender is on probation or parole

Elements That Affect an Accused Person's Bail Amount?

The criminal courts consider several factors when deciding the appropriate bond amount for an offender. The court or magistrate would consider the following reasons while setting, reducing, or rejecting bail as per California PC 1275:

  • Whether the local community would be put in danger if the defendant was released. This element is crucial in the decision-making process. According to California PC 1275a1, public safety should be the main consideration
  • Whether the accused poses a "flight risk." An individual who poses a flight risk is one who has a history of evading authorities and avoiding court appearances
  • The severity and nature of the crime. Large-scale, violent, and serious felonies attract higher bail rates than misdemeanors

Judges are tasked with determining the severity of an offense under PC 1275a2, which includes the following factors:

  • Whether or not the defendant is alleged to have made threats against the complainant or witnesses
  • Whether or not deadly weapons, such as a firearm, were used in the alleged crime
  • Whether the offender used or had access to illicit drugs
  • Whether or not the accused has a criminal history. If this is the case, any previous issues like "skipping bail," or "bail-jumping," where a person misses their court date after being released on bail, could pose legal challenges

Bail Schedule for Misdemeanor and Felony Crimes

Most California counties use a framework known as a bail schedule, which offers predetermined bail bond amounts for certain felonies and misdemeanors, to set bail. The Riverside County Sheriff's Office makes use of an annual bail schedule that’s posted online.

The bail deputy would be asked by the magistrate to provide the scheduled bail amount for the alleged offense against the offender. Following that, the deputy would let the judge know what the suitable bail is and record any prior absences.

Most criminal defense lawyers seek the courts to discharge their defendant on their own recognizance. Since bond amounts vary by jurisdiction, offenders' loved ones need to check the bail schedule in that particular jurisdiction.

The standard bail amount for felonies that aren't covered by the schedule is 10,000 US dollars. For misdemeanors that aren't on the bail schedule, bail is set at $2,500. If the crime can be tried as a wobbler, either a misdemeanor or a felony, the bail amount stands at 50% of the felony bail amount.

During the booking process, all wobbler crimes are given bail amounts equivalent to those for serious felonies. These bail sums only apply to arrests carried out without a valid warrant. The bail sum would often be stated in the warrant if the arrest is carried out according to one unless the court decides otherwise.

The bail schedule also stipulates a few crucial guidelines and exclusions that defendants and those close to them should be notified of. This includes the following:

  • If the offense was perpetrated while the offender was on bail, then the amount would be doubled, irrespective of whether the crime was a felony or misdemeanor
  • When a defendant faces charges for more than one crime, bail is often set at the maximum allowed by law for the most severe charges. For some circumstances, such as causing serious physical harm or perpetrating a hate crime, the bail amounts could be enhanced
  • If the offender has a history of convictions for certain offenses, such as domestic violence charges like violating a restraining order, the price of bail would be doubled

The Benefits of Securing a Bail Bond

It can be expensive to bail an individual out of detention. Bail for even minor felony offenses can run into six figures. Moreover, it's often impossible to avoid paying the bond. Many of the accused have families to take care of and work to go to. They cannot afford to sit in a detention center for several weeks awaiting a court hearing.

Bail bondsmen do everything in their power to guarantee a positive outcome for their clients. Although they are not permitted to charge lower than the standard 10% premium (unless in exceptional situations), they can provide valuable resources such as information, guidance, support, and funds to secure their release.

Bail bond companies operate discreetly to post your bail. Due to the rapport they already have with the judicial system and police departments, they can usually process the bail and secure your release from detention swiftly.

What Is the Difference Between Bond and Bail?

It is important to understand the distinction between bonds and bail. Despite being used interchangeably, each word has a different meaning. Bail refers to the amount of cash the offender pays to the court, and it's refunded after the case ends if all conditions are met. A bond is a promise to fulfill a bail commitment. If a bail bonds service provider is required, they consent to be liable for the amount paid if the accused doesn't show up for court.

Find a Bail Bondsman Near Me

If you’re searching for a bail bonds company in Temecula, CA, then Justice Bail Bonds can help. We have professional bail bondsmen available for your convenience around the clock. In addition, we will walk you through the bail bonds process and offer you options that are specific to your case. Call us at 951-445-4155 right away to start the process of obtaining the release of your beloved one.

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For faster service please call 951-445-4155 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you or a loved one has been arrested and need to be bailed out quickly and confidentially or if you simply have questions regarding bail, an arrest, or inmate information please do not hesitate to call or fill out our contact us form. We are available 24/7 for all of your bail needs. 

For faster service please call 951-445-4155 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you or a loved one has been arrested and need to be bailed out quickly and confidentially or if you simply have questions regarding bail, an arrest, or inmate information please do not hesitate to call or fill out our contact us form. We are available 24/7 for all of your bail needs.