Crime Statistics of Oakland, CA

Oakland, California is a beautiful city with a lot to offer its residents. Its location is prime, situated right across the bay from bustling San Francisco and a short 30-minute drive to San Jose and the Silicon Valley, one of the most prosperous areas in the entire United States. The weather is amazing: mild summers, mild winters, and abundant sunshine.

With that said, there is a single smudge on Oakland’s appeal, and that is its crime rate. Oakland has more violent and property crime per capita than over 99% of United States cities.

According to Neighborhood Scout, there are 7,963 violent crimes per year in Oakland. That works out to almost 20 per 1,000 residents, meaning an Oakland resident has a 2 percent chance of being a victim of violent crime in any given year. In comparison, the state of California as a whole has only 4.23 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.

The property crime report for Oakland is equally bad. With 65.94 annual property crimes per 1,000 residents, someone in Oakland has a one-in-fifteen chance of being a victim.

Oakland’s crime statistics get really scary when crimes per square mile are observed. In California, there are an average of 92 crimes per year in any given square mile. Within the city of Oakland, that number jumps to 432.

These sobering statistics should not discourage people from visiting or moving to Oakland, but they certainly suggest some precautions should be taken, such as being aware of one’s surroundings and knowing the city and its areas to avoid.

With so much crime in Oakland, that invariably means a lot of arrests. For those unfortunate enough to find themselves arrested for a crime, it is important to understand how the bail bond process works.

With the exception of the most serious crimes such as murder, suspects typically are given the opportunity to post bail after they are arrested and booked. This enables them to return to their lives on the promise of appearing in court for their trial on its scheduled date.

The judge determines the bail amount by the severity of the crime and the suspect’s perceived flight risk. It can be as little as $500 for something like DUI, or $1 million or more for a violent felony. If the suspect’s friends or family are unable to post bail, he has the option of hiring a bonding company.

A bonding company typically requires a non-refundable fee which is set at 10% of the bail amount. The company then posts bail for the defendant in the form of a surety bond, guaranteeing his appearance in court for trial. If he fails to show up for trial, the bondsman is required either to track him down and bring him in for trial or to make good on the surety bond and pay the bail amount. The term “bounty hunting” refers to tracking down a suspect who has skipped bail.

Fortunately, over 98 percent of people who post bail show up for trial as agreed. This is one reason bail bonding companies are able to keep their rates so reasonable and remain in business.

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