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.
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.