Are you eligible for a Bail Bond?

Open handcuffsIn the United States criminal justice system, a person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty after a trial by jury (or after entering a free and voluntary plea). As a result, across the United States, including in the state of California, there is a presumption in the criminal justice system that a person is entitled to be released on bond pending a conclusion of a prosecution.

Understanding the basic premise regarding bond, there are some instances in which a person will end up ineligible to be released on bond pending further court proceedings. A person facing criminal charges in California, or an individual with a loved one in such a position, needs to have a basic understanding of how the bail bond system works in the state.

Cases in Which a Bail Bond Not Available

Although murder bail bonds are available in cases involving many types of homicide, a person charged with first degree murder may not be able to bond out in some instances. For example, murder bail bonds are not available when an individual faces the prospect of a life sentence without the possibility of parole or the imposition of the death sentence. Because the purpose of bail bonds, including murder bail bonds, are to ensure a defendant’s presence in court, a bond alone may not be enough to compel the future appearance of a person literally facing the potential loss of his or her life.

Certain types of cases involving allegations of aggravated sexual abuse may not qualify for bail bonds. Examples of cases in which sexual abuse bail bonds are not available include those involving the sexual abuse of young children or cases that involve other types of especially egregious conduct. Public safety considerations play a particularly significant roles when it comes to sexual abuse bail bonds.

More Expensive Bail Bonds

The most expensive bail bonds to secure, when available in these types of cases, include murder, sexual abuse and money laundering bail bonds. In addition to murder, sexual abuse and money laundering bail bonds being at the expensive end of range, domestic violence bail bonds, identity theft bail bonds and other types of bail bonds associated with other charges (particular crimes of violence) can be at the high end of the cost range depending on the facts and circumstances of a case. Domestic violence bail bonds can become particularly costly when a child is named as the victim of the crime charged.

Less Expensive Bail Bonds

As a general rule, less expensive bail bonds are associated with cases that do not involve crimes of violence. These can include immigration bail bonds, DUI bail bonds and identity theft bail bonds. With that noted, immigration bail bonds, DUI bail bonds and identity theft bail bonds can end up being more costly depending on the facts and circumstances of a particular case or the history of the defendant.

Bail Bond Schedules

California superior courts maintain bond schedules that set forth the presumptive bonds in a wide range of cases.

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Bail Bond Rates

In general, the standard industry rate for bail bonds is 10% of the face amount of bail. For example, if the face amount of bail is $10,000, the fee is $1,000. Read More


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