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.
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.
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.