San Diego County’s Bail Schedule

Getting arrested in San Diego County is going to be a hassle regardless of the charge, and this holds true in most areas throughout California. Many people that are detained by law enforcement believe that they must sit in jail until they are given a bail hearing, but this is not the case. Most crimes occurring in San Diego County have certain bail amounts attached by statute, which means the majority of people arrested can be released before they ever see a judge. If a person knows how to use these rules to their advantage, they are far more likely to spend very little time in jail.

What is a Bail Schedule?

The county bail schedules are a preset list of bail amounts for any crime that may be committed in a specific area. In the county of San Diego, these bail amounts are chosen by a majority vote in the Superior Court of San Diego County. Once a person is arrested, they may gain their freedom before any hearings by posting these bail amounts. The only downfall in doing this is the fact that a judge could possibly lower a bail amount if a person waits for their initial hearing, but this will likely involve sitting in jail for at least two days. Bail bond agents can secure a person’s release by charging a fee that is only ten percent of the set bail amount, so it is often prudent for an inmate to contact one of these agencies as soon they receive their phone call.

Crimes on the Bail Schedule

San Diego County lists all possible crimes on their bail schedule, including those that require a person to see a judge before being considered for release. One obvious feature of San Diego that can be interpreted simply by looking at the bail schedule is the fact that the ocean is a big part of everyday life. This is shown by the fact that there are five pages in the very beginning of the bail schedule related to fishing, camping and water activities. These bail amounts are often low, and they can drop as low as twenty-five dollars.

Of course, because every possible crime is listed on the bail schedule, there are instances when the schedule requires a person to stand before a judge before being considered for bail. These are usually serious offenses and range from perjury that resulted in an innocent person’s death to treason. Some instances of kidnapping and sexual assault also fall under the “No Bail” section of the San Diego County bail schedule. It is even important to note, in the post-9/11 world, that the charge of using any weapon of mass destruction also brings with it the necessity to stand before a judge before being considered for release.

Specific Bail Amounts

There are some serious offenses that many people don’t know carry high bail amounts. Mayhem, which is the permanent disabling or dismembering of another person, carries with it a $50,000 bail amount. Stalking is another serious offense, and it requires a $100,000 bail amount. Soliciting someone to commit murder also carries with it a steep fine, but the San Diego bail amount is $250,000, much lower than that of some other California counties. Pandering, which is the act of soliciting women to be prostitutes or finding customers for them, is also a serious crime, and carries with it a $50,000 bail amount. If someone is trying to recruit a prostitute under the age of sixteen, bail will jump up to $75,000.

The existence of bail schedules benefits the county and the accused equally. The county is able to save money on the housing of inmates, while an accused person is able to get out of jail quickly and prepare their defense. There are instances in the bail schedule that state a person must go before a judge to be considered for bail, but these are the most serious of crimes and do not affect the majority of those arrested. The best way for an inmate in San Diego County to find out if their offense has a set bail amount is to contact their lawyer or Bail Hotline immediately.

Download San Diego County’s 2012 Bail Schedule here (pdf).

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