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April 24, 2023  |  Posted by jesse  |  Bail Bonds

From the outside, navigating the criminal justice system can be a daunting experience, especially when it comes to understanding the process of bail. When you are wondering how to find bail information, one of the most common questions is how much the bail would be. The answer completely depends on the crime being committed.

Understanding the Purpose of Bail

Bail is a monetary guarantee ensuring a defendant returns to court for their scheduled hearings. Bail is collateral to guarantee the accused individual follows the court’s orders and does not endanger the community or pose a flight risk. The bail amount depends on the crime, but there are additional factors including: 

  • If they pose a flight risk, which means they are considered more likely to try and escape the country or location before a trial. 
  • Their ties to the community. 
  • Their employment status. 
  • Whether the defendant has a criminal history or not. 

How is Bail Set? 

If you are looking for bond amounts by crime there is no cut-and-dry approach, and within California, each county can set a bail schedule. Every year, a group of judges for each specific country will decide on a schedule for each penal code, along with a corresponding dollar value, which can be located on the county court’s website. Judges also have the power to raise or lower bail amounts, which can depend on the circumstances of the case, the defendant’s record, whether they have ties to the community, and if they are able to pay bail.

The Impact of Crime Categories on Bail Amounts

Determining the bond amounts by crime will depend on the category of the crime. Crimes can fall into two main categories, misdemeanors and felonies

A misdemeanor is a less serious crime that typically carries lesser penalties, for example, fines but there may be time in jail, which is typically up to one year. Because misdemeanors carry less weight in comparison to felonies, the bail amounts are usually lower. 

Felonies are classed as more severe crimes and come with harsher penalties, typically involving imprisonment for over a year. Bail amounts are significantly higher because of the increased severity.

What Are the Bail Amounts Based on the Crime? 

Amounts vary based on jurisdiction, however, specific crimes tend to cover general trends, and these include the following: 

Domestic Violence

A domestic violence charge carries higher bail amounts, between $5,000 to $50,000 or over. The higher balance is reflected in the potential risks to the victim, and the amount can vary according to the crime’s severity and if the defendant has any previous domestic violence conviction. 


Some of the most common types of assault experienced can be sexual, aggravated, simple, or verbal, and bail amount for an assault charge starts at $1,000 for a simple assault, which is where the accused party may have intended to scare or threaten an individual into believing they were going to be physically harmed. The bail amount can go up to $50,000 or more in more severe cases, for example, the use of a deadly weapon or assault that results in serious bodily harm. 

Sex Crimes

Sex crimes are taken very seriously in any state, and bail amounts can be very high because of the potential for harm. Sex crimes like sexual assault or being in possession of child pornography carry a bail amount starting around $25,000, and, in the most extreme cases, can be up to $500,000. 


Theft covers a wide range of crimes and can start with misdemeanors such as shoplifting and on the other end, grand theft auto, burglary, and similar crimes. Bail can be as low as $500 for low-level misdemeanors, or bail for major crimes like grand theft auto can start at $5,000 and exceed $50,000. 

Drug Offenses

Drug offenses, from possession of drugs, possession of paraphernalia, delivery of a controlled substance, and possession with intent to distribute through to illegal manufacturing of other controlled substances and drug trafficking all come with different bail amounts. The bail amount can also vary depending on the quantity or type of drugs involved in relation to the defendant’s criminal history. Simple possession bail may start from $1,000 up to $5,000 and the more serious offenses like drug trafficking can be $100,000 or more. 

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

A DUI offense can vary depending on the circumstances of the DUI and if the defendant has been previously convicted of one. The typical range is between $500 to $10,000.

Does Every Crime Have a Bail Amount? 

Not every crime has a bail amount. There can be cases where a judge may even deny bail altogether, and these are typically reserved for specific crimes, like violent crimes or if the defendant poses a flight risk.

Can a Bail Amount Be Negotiated? 

While bail amounts are set by a judge, a defense attorney can request a bail reduction so they can negotiate a lower amount. First offenses typically carry lower bail amounts, and it is important to push for a reduction in these circumstances.

What Happens if an Individual Cannot Afford to Pay Bail? 

The defendants who cannot afford to pay their bail need to seek the assistance of bail agents. Bail agents like Balboa Bail Bonds charge a fee and provide a guarantee to the court that the defendant will appear for the scheduled hearings. If the defendant appears for all court proceedings and is found to be not guilty, the bail money is then returned back to the defendant, less any fines or court fees.

Get the Support You Need

If you need to know how to find a bail amount, you can get in contact with us. We provide 24/7 free bail information on bail bond prices, payment options, and court information. Our world-beating bail advice ensures you get the support you need and our free price quotes guarantee you are always in the know. Get in contact with us today and we can get to work on your case or give you the information you need.