California Realignment and Crime Rate

Realignment is a hot topic in California right now. Los Angeles County leaders want changes to California’s realignment law so violent criminals released from state prison are monitored by armed parole officers.

Monterey County – The Herald

LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles County leaders want changes to California’s realignment law so violent criminals released from state prison are monitored by armed parole officers.

The Pasadena Star-News ( says the Board of Supervisors was reacting Tuesday to the quadruple killings outside a San Fernando Valley boarding house earlier this month.

The board directed county staff to report next month on the wording of proposed changes to the realignment law, AB 109.

The realignment was Gov. Jerry Brown’s way of fulfilling a Supreme Court order to ease state prison overcrowding.

The law calls for releasing 30,000 inmates by June 2013 and it mandates that inmates released since October 2011 can be placed on probation if their last offense wasn’t serious, violent or sexual in nature.

Information from: Pasadena Star-News,

Supervisors demand realignment changes after Northridge quadruple homicide

By Christina Villacorte Staff Writer
Posted:   12/11/2012 06:55:59 PM PST
Updated:   12/11/2012 07:30:33 PM PST

Saying it might have preempted the recent quadruple murders in Northridge, the Board of Supervisors demanded changes Tuesday to Gov. Jerry Brown’s public safety realignment law so violent criminals released from state prison are monitored by armed parole officers, instead of merely being placed on probation.

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky noted the realignment law, AB 109, currently mandates that inmates released since Oct. 1, 2011, can be placed on probation if their last offense was nonviolent, nonserious and nonsexual (N3).

Realignment does not consider an inmate’s entire criminal record – only their last offense.

“Just because the person’s last crime is a nonviolent crime doesn’t mean he’s nonviolent, (especially) if he’s had one, two, or 10 previous violent convictions,” Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said.

“That’s just plain stupid and it’s got to be changed,” he added.

Realignment is Brown’s way of fulfilling a Supreme Court order to ease the overcrowding in state prisons by releasing 30,000 inmates by June 2013.

Aside from making the county Probation Department responsible for supervising former inmates whose last crime was an N3, it also forced the Sheriff’s Department to jail those sentenced with N3 crimes since Oct. 1, 2011.

Read full note here: Press-Telegram.

Judges Agree Commercial Bail Best For Pretrial Release

Judges from throughout the country are reportedly saying they believe commercial bail continues to be the most effective option when it comes to pretrial release.

A recent survey conducted found that more than 90% of judges polled believe bail continues to play an integral part within the criminal justice system.  In addition, more than 95% of respondents cited a stronger confidence a defendant released via commercial bail would show up for mandatory court appearances.  They went onto say that confidence was markedly reduced when it came to defendants released via pretrial services or on their own recognizance (OR).

Studies have consistently shown that the skip rate for defendants released via commercial bail is far less than those released through other means.  This is largely due to the need for a friend or family member to cosign the bail bonds paperwork and take responsibility the defendant will go to court.  If the defendant fails to appear and cannot be returned to the system within 180 days, the person who signed the paperwork and the bondsman who posted the bond will be required to pay the full bail amount as a penalty.  This is a fairly strong motivator when it comes to making sure the defendant does what they need to do in order to resolve their case.

Nearly a third of judges polled said they had little to no confidence a defendant released via other means would appear in court when required.

California Crime Rate

Every jurisdiction and state in America has been fighting to lower crime rates in the areas where they live. Many regions have been successful in this so-called war on crime; other areas have some improving to do.

California politicians and law enforcement officials are quick to claim that the crime rate in their state has been continuously going down. It turns out that this statement is mostly true, but the overall crime rate doesn’t really give the facts about specific crimes. A large drop in one crime can affect the whole crime rate, but that doesn’t mean that the rate of another crime decreased as well.

Burglary and Robbery

Burglary and robbery are two crimes that have the potential of emotionally scarring a person for life. Both of these crimes occur far more frequently than crimes like murder and rape, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t on a downward trend. California keeps records of each instance of a crime, but it is more important to go by the number of crimes committed per one hundred thousand citizens. This allows the rate to take population growth into account.

The burglary rate in California dropped by fifty percent between 1994 and 2010. The rate was 1222.5 per 100,000 residents in 1994, and it dropped all the way down to 614.3 by 2010. A similar drop occurred in robberies committed in the state. Robbery rates were more than cut in half during the same 16-year period. The robbery rate was 356.8 per 100,000 residents in 1994 and plummeted to 156 per 100,000 by the end of 2010. Regardless of the trends of other crimes during this time, robbery and burglary rates obviously helped bring down the crime rate in general.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence laws in California encompass a large spectrum of citizens. Any person who abuses a cohabitant, spouse, person they’re dating or person they’ve had a child with is guilty of domestic violence. This holds true for any person who formally had one of the aforementioned rolls.

Domestic violence is another crime that seems to have taken a steep decline. In 2000 there were around 197,000 calls to the police for domestic violence; by 2010 this number had dropped to around 166,000. In this same period of time the population of California grew by around four million people, so the domestic violence rate in the state significantly dropped.

All Violent Crimes

Crimes are listed as either violent or property offenses. Violent crimes are of course the ones that most people worry about, so knowing whether these crimes are decreasing or not is very important to California citizens. As it turns out, the violent crime rate has dropped, along with the property crime rate. The violent crime rate topped out around 1,100 per 100,000 residents in 1992. Eighteen years later that rate had dropped all the way to 440.6. This nearly one-third cut in the violent crime rate is evident with many Californian citizens feeling much safer in their cities and towns.

It would appear as if California’s war on crime has been pretty effective. The overall property and violent crime rates have been decreasing over the past few decades. The crimes that most people worry about are contributing to this substantial drop by decreasing in occurrence every year. There will likely be many politicians who try to take credit for this dramatic decrease, but the most important thing is the fact that the rate is definitely dropping. 

Santa Clara County’s Bail Schedule

 Knowing the ins-and-outs of the criminal justice system can benefit everybody regardless of their lifestyle. This is severely evident by the fact that there have been 297 people convicted of crimes, imprisoned and then later exonerated after work from The Innocence Project proved their innocence. There have even been people released from death row after this work. This goes to show that even innocent people should know the inner workings of the law.

One thing that everyone should know is that it isn’t necessary to wait in jail to receive bail from a judge. If you’ve been arrested in Santa Clara County, contact either the San Jose or Martinez Bail Hotline locations to find out if you’re bail-eligible without stepping a foot into a courtroom.

What is a Bail Schedule?

Santa Clara County’s bail schedule was decided upon by the county’s superior court. The schedule has a long list of offenses that a person may be charged with, and a preset bail amount related to each of those charges. The bail amounts may seem high, due to the fact that America has some of the highest bail amounts in the civilized world. However, bail bond agencies in California can actually secure a person’s release with only a fee of 10% of their preset bail amount. This can also preempt a judge from raising your bail amount after considering the facts of the specific case.

Specific Bail Amounts

Santa Clara County’s 2012 bail schedule lists numerous crimes and, as to be expected, some of them are so heinous that the County considers them unbailable; first and second degree murder are two of these. Then there are other crimes that do have a preset bail amount, but that amount is so high that it is obvious the county doesn’t want the accused back on the streets. Possessing or using weapons of mass destruction, for instance, will garner a person a one million dollar bail amount. These crimes are extreme examples of how harsh bail amounts can be, but there are many with relatively low bail in exchange for your freedom while awaiting trial.

Vandalism is one crime for which bail isn’t excessively high. It’s set at one-thousand dollars, which means a person could actually get out of jail with only $100 using a bail bond agent. A person who impersonates a peace officer in Santa Clara County faces a bail amount a bit more severe, requiring a $5,000 bail amount, as does someone who unjustifiably abandons his or her spouse. Just because these crimes don’t require a million dollar bail amount, does not mean they are not taken seriously within the county. Santa Clara County takes crime very seriously. It actually has one of the most inclusive and specific bail schedules in the entire state of California.

With the use of a bail bond agent and the county’s bail schedule, it is possible to get out of jail within just a few hours and refrain from missing any work. Time outside of jail is every defendant’s friend, whether or not they are guilty. Quickly securing your freedom will ensure you have the most time possible to contact a lawyer and prepare your defense, and return to the family that depends upon you.


Riverside County’s Bail Schedule

 Most people who wind up charged with a crime in the criminal justice system have no frame of reference about exactly how to handle the situation. This is most evident when a person notices that a great majority of cases are plea-bargained out as opposed to defended. In many cases, a person who is arrested believes that they must sit in jail until they are granted bail by a judge, but this is hardly the case.

Every county within California, including Riverside, has a bail schedule that allows most of those arrested for crimes to get out of jail before ever standing in a courtroom. This can be affordably expedited by contacting any one of four convenient Riverside County Bail Hotline locations, with an agent who can secure a defendant’s release for only ten percent of the preset bail amount.

Who Benefits from Bail Schedules?

Bail schedules are legal documents created and approved by the Superior Court of every California County. These schedules have a nearly all-inclusive list of crimes, with a corresponding preset bail amount for most of them. The bail schedule is actually beneficial for the county, as well; money is saved by not having to house as many accused offenders for the 2 days it usually takes them to see a judge.

Defendants can also benefit from bail schedules by getting out of jail more quickly, and being able to start preparations for their defense. Having their freedom while waiting for a court date also allows them to not miss any time at work and handle all of their obligations. These preset bail amounts are usually high, depending on the charge, but bail bond premiums in California are set at no more than ten percent of the bail face amount.

Bail for Crimes In Riverside County

Most crimes on the Riverside County Bail Schedule have preset amounts – a good thing of which to take advantage. Once a person stands before a judge, there is a chance that bail can be disallowed due to the circumstances of a case; or the bail chosen at the bench could also be much higher than the minimum shown in the schedule.

There are, of course, certain circumstances where bail cannot be posted before seeing a judge. A murder involving special circumstances or any felony where a person has threatened another with great bodily harm will lead to a person being denied bail.  One crime that stands out in the Riverside County bail schedule is the crime of assaulting the President or another government official. Though such a crime against the President would be a federal one, the preset bail amount stipulated on the schedule is still $100,000.

A person arrested for a fourth or subsequent DUI also faces a harsh bail amount, which will be a minimum of fifty thousand dollars. One surprising bail amount listed is for the charge of having a weapon on school grounds – even with the tragic consequences that could occur due to this crime, the bail is still only set at $5,000. There is even a section of Riverside County’s bail schedule that gives bail amounts for crimes that aren’t listed, based on the maximum sentence a person can receive for their crime.

It is important for anyone accused of a crime to remember that every minute spent in jail is time away from his or her obligations to work and family. It is also very difficult to prepare a decent defense from a jail cell. Anyone arrested should contact a Bail Hotline agent as soon as possible and then seek the counsel of an appropriate attorney as soon as they are released.

Download a pdf copy of Riverside County’s 2012 Bail Schedule here.

San Bernardino County’s Bail Schedule

Any crime that ends in the arrest of a person is serious in one way or another. A few of these crimes require the state to hold a person in jail while awaiting trial in the interest of public safety, but the vast majority of crime does not fall into this category. San Bernardino County, just like every other county in California, has a way to weed through these differences in offenses. It would cost the county far too much to house every defendant for the two days it usually takes to stand before a judge for a bail hearing.

Each county has a bail schedule that allows most offenders to get out of jail before ever seeing a judge. The bail amounts for this offense can be very high, but all defendants can contact one of three San Bernardino County Bail Hotline locations to determine whether or not they are eligible to be released – and for how much less their bond can be achieved.

Definition of a Bail Schedule

Bail schedules are legal documents put forth by the Superior Court in each California county, that list almost every crime that could be committed and a corresponding preset bail amount. This means the accused can either pay the full amount or have a bail bond agency get them out for a fraction of that fee. Many people choose to wait for their bail hearing, either out of ignorance of the law or in hope that their bail amount will be lowered. It is true that judges have the option to reduce a specific bail amount, but this usually only happens after the accused has been in a county jail’s general population for a few days. Unfortunately, the courts can also increase these bail amounts once the defendant gets in front of a judge, so it is a gamble either way.

Crimes Listed on the Schedule

The list of crimes in San Bernardino County’s bail schedule is nearly exhaustive, and there are even instructions on bail amounts for crimes that aren’t included on the list. A crime that carries a maximum jail time of six months, for example, will require a $5,000 dollar bail. Other crimes carry stiffer penalties. Cultivating or processing peyote, for example, will require a $25,000 dollar bail amount. Doctors in the county can even face stiff penalties – any doctor who writes an unnecessary prescription for a controlled substance will face a bail amount of $25,000. Though these penalties seem stiff, they are not the worst that could happen.

There are charges that have bail amounts intentionally so steep that it is quite obvious the county is making every effort to keep the accused in jail. If a person were to kidnap another for the purpose of ransom they would face a bail amount of one million dollars. Using an explosive device with the intent to kill another also brings with it a one million dollar bail amount. Some crimes, on the other hand, are so intense that the county will not allow bail. Using force to escape from prison is unbailable, as is a murder with special circumstances – both require the accused to wait in jail until their trial.

San Bernardino County takes crime and the safety of its residents very seriously. The most dangerous offenders do not have the option to get out on bail, and even lesser offenses often carry bail amounts high enough to prevent dangerous felons from getting back out onto the street. Fortunately, the county recognizes that not all crimes reach this magnitude and most offenders are allowed to get out of jail before seeing a judge, which lets them return to job and family while the county saves money on their room and board in the meantime.

Click here to download a pdf of San Bernardino’s 2012 Bail Schedule.

Monterey County’s Bail Schedule

Every county in California makes an effort to keep dangerous criminals off of the street. On the other hand, available jail space is a definite issue. And so, there are times in which people accused of certain crimes are allowed to utilize preset bail amounts to secure their freedom while awaiting trial.

In these cases, the accused has the option to get bailed out of jail before ever seeing a judge. Monterey County’s bail schedule allows for this possibility, by providing defendants with presumptive bail amounts that they can post. A simple call to Bail Hotline’s Salinas location in Monterey County will quickly let you know if your charges qualify for a preset bail.

Bail Schedules

A bail schedule is a county’s list of crimes and the preset bail amount that applies to each of those crimes, set forth by their Superior Court. If you do wait for a hearing or arraignment, the judge does have the option to lower the bail amount that is required for your release.  Of course, if a bail agent posts your bond, the ten percent fee that is charged is always going to be lower than any bail the judge imposes.

Keep in mind that the court also has the option to raise a bail amount once the judge has considered any aggravating circumstances to your case. Monterey County’s bail schedule has a nearly exhaustive list of crimes, and most of these will list a bail amount that allows a person to await trial outside of jail.

Specific Crimes

Various listed crimes on a bail schedule carry very different bail amounts. Some offenses actually carry no bail amount, and they require the defendant to await trial inside of jail; such as treason, derailing a train and second-degree murder of a peace officer where there was an intent to kill. The majority of other crimes carry a specified bail amount. If a person carjacks another person, and doesn’t allow the victim to leave the car, it is considered kidnapping during a carjacking – and carries a one million dollar bail amount. Another stiff bail amount is given to those who conspire to commit any type of murder, a charge that will also bring a one million dollar bail.

Not all charges are penalized which such severity. For instance, transporting a BB gun into a local or state public building will require a bail amount of between $7,500-$15,000. The varied amounts are because the crime is considered a “wobbler” – one that can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor at the prosecutor’s discretion. Another example of a lesser bail required is committing a firearm offense with a stolen firearm. The bail amount for committing any offense of this type, with knowledge that the firearm used was stolen, will require a twenty-five thousand dollar bail.

Monterey County takes crime just as seriously as any other California county, but they understand that not every criminal needs to be housed and fed at their expense – when the accused is merely waiting for a judge to set their bail amount. The county ends up saving money because of the bail schedule – while at the same time, defendants are able to return to their jobs and families with the freedom to assist in preparing their defense.

Kern County’s Bail Schedule

Many people do not really comprehend how the justice system works in California. Failure to understand these rules can land people in jail when they shouldn’t necessarily be there. Many people don’t realize that it is perfectly legal in, when they are charged with most crimes, to be released from jail without ever seeing a judge for a bail hearing.

What are Bail Schedules?
Bail schedules are basically a long list of possible crimes that a person might commit within a jurisdiction. These schedules list the crime and the preset bail amount for each, and are set forth by the superior court of the specific county. Using these schedules, a person can secure their own release by paying the full preset bail amount or by contacting a bail bond agent.

All counties in California have their own specific bail schedule, which can be a shortcut to securing a defendant’s release. Once the bail amount has been determined, a bail agent can arrange a person’s release for a fee of only ten percent of the face amount of bail.

Advantages of Using Bail Schedules

Once a person is standing before a judge, the court can raise the “preset” bail amount, after considering prior convictions or aggravating circumstances to the case. Bail schedules keep the jails from overcrowding, and so are supported by law enforcement.  Also a proper defense argument will be difficult to construct while a person is held within the confines of a jail cell. Getting released as quickly as possible always goes a long way in helping a person prepare their defense. Returning home to one’s family and job is a stabilizing factor, both emotionally and financially.

Kern County Unbailable Offenses

The bail schedule in Kern County is different than many other schedules, in the fact that it lists several offenses that are unbailable. In fact, the schedule says that any felony offense, which is punishable by death or life imprisonment without parole, is not bailable. Most other counties only list one offense – murder with special circumstances – as unbailable.

Bailable Crimes

Not all crimes are treated as seriously as capital offenses when it comes to bail, but the high bail amounts for other crimes go a long way in showing that Kern County is tough on crime. If a person merely threatens the life of a judge or official, without any actual attempt to hurt them, the bail amount is $100,000. Kidnapping a victim under the age of fourteen brings a bail amount of $250,000.

Other crimes are not nearly as serious. A battery charge, for instance, requires only a seventy-five hundred dollar bail amount. Contributing to the delinquency of a minor brings even a smaller amount, requiring only a $2500 bail.

Bail schedules effectively allow a person to get out of jail more rapidly, and agencies like Bail Hotline make it possible for them to afford to do so. Though the bail schedule in Kern County may have been intended to save the county money from housing prisoners, it also provides a great benefit to those who have been arrested.  

Solano County’s Bail Schedule

As in virtually any other county in the state of California, Solano County has its own bail schedule, and this schedule is used to give a reference for bail amounts issued to individuals who are arrested and charged with certain crimes. The bail schedule for Solano County lists what an arrested individual may face when trying to be released from custody pending a trial. If you or a loved one has been arrested in Solano County, contact our Bail Hotline Fairfield office for immediate help.


Bail Amounts Increase with Multiple Charges

When you look over the bail schedule of Solano County, you will see the average amount of bail for certain crimes. The figures displayed do not necessarily represent what the actual amount of bail will be, especially when multiple charges are pending. It will give you a basic idea of all the various crimes and potential face amounts of bail that are stipulated for crimes allowing bail in this manner.  You bail agent will be familiar with all the possible variations as soon as you give them the facts of your arrest and the charges.
Circumstances Matter

Bail amounts can differ based on the circumstances of a criminal accusation and subsequent arrest. For instance, a person who kills another person with a vehicle may be charged with vehicular manslaughter, resulting in a bail amount averaging around $10,000.  However, if there was intent to use the vehicle to kill someone, the charge can then become vehicular homicide – for which there is no bail amount.   Other crimes with no bail amount include murder and capital murder. In these situations, neither a bail bonding agency nor any amount of money will get you released from jail while awaiting trial.

Correlation Between Jail Time and Bail

Some crimes carry a minimum sentence in California, and as such, you may be able to use the Solano County bail schedule to have a better idea of bail amounts based on the number of years in jail or prison the defendant is facing. For instance, someone looking at a potential of three years in prison may have their bail amount set at $15,000, while an individual who is facing a sentence of 16 years may be required to post up to $180,000 in order to be released from custody while awaiting their trial.

In most cases a bail agent will be able to work with you to post a bond on your behalf, allowing your freedom until a verdict is pronounced. Not only will you be able to return to your home, job and family, but also your release will give you the time and access to assist in building a proper defense.  Sitting in jail is never something you want to do if there is any choice, and with the many options available – from zero down financing to collateral loans – in most cases you are only one phone call away from securing your release.

Reasonable Bail | The 8th Amendment

The United States Constitution provides several rights for those accused of crimes within our country. The founding fathers wanted to ensure that the federal and state governments could not become corrupt and violate a person’s civil liberties without facing repercussions.

One of the rights that many people may only become familiar with after they or a family member is arrested is the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. This amendment guarantees the government cannot impose excessive bail, and it also prevents cruel and unusual punishment. Many people become confused when someone is held without bail, so it is important to know some nuances of the Eighth Amendment.

Historic Roots

The Eighth Amendment was part of the Bill of Rights, which was adopted in 1791, but this is not where the idea of reasonable bail was originally conceived. Sheriffs in England were allowed to decide whether or not a person could be bailed out of jail, but they often abused this power. In 1275, the English Parliament thought it solved this problem by specifying which crimes were bailable and which ones were not.

The King of England then began subverting this law and claimed that he had the right to hold people in jails without bail at will. The back and forth between executive officers and the legislative body of England continued until 1689 when the English Bill of Rights stated that excessive bail shouldn’t be required. Americans brought this basic idea to the New World with them, and once they gained their freedom they held onto many laws that had made England a great nation.

What it Means Today

Many people wonder how the 8th Amendment applies to the modern day world. Some are surprised when they see TV shows where defendants are remanded without bail, thinking that this is a violation of the Constitution. Unfortunately for some people accused of crimes, it is not. The Eighth Amendment only guarantees that courts cannot set excessive bail; it does not, however, state that bail is required.

America in general requires high bail amounts that many people find excessive, creating the need for bail bond agencies and bounty hunters. It is obvious that America is different than other countries in its view of “excessive bail,” demonstrated by the fact that it is one of the few countries in the world where bounty hunting is actually legal.

There are numerous times when a person may be denied bail. If the Court believes a person presents a serious threat to others if they are released, then it is their duty to hold the person in jail. Bail is meant to ensure that a person returns for their court date, so if a judge believes there is no bail amount that will guarantee a person’s return, they can deny bail outright. For instance, this can be the case if someone is accused of a crime that could bring the death penalty if convicted. As mentioned previously, bail amounts in America are exceptionally high, but if a person feels their Eighth Amendment rights are being violated, they should contact a bail bond agent and lawyer as soon as possible.

The Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is meant to protect those accused of crimes from corrupt governments. This amendment has been running through our forefather’s blood since before America became a nation. Just because the government cannot impose excessive bail on a person, however, does not mean that they must grant bail. A person who feels their rights are being violated will never be noticed if they do not speak up.