Kidnapping California | California PC 207

There are not many crimes that are considered as vile and detrimental to society as kidnapping. California law is very specific on what constitutes kidnapping and explains numerous types of kidnapping that can bring significantly different penalties. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a kidnapping, the penalties are always extremely severe.

What Constitutes Kidnapping?

The basic definition of kidnapping in California is using fear in order to take, arrest, steal or detain another person and move them to another part of the county, state, country or even world. The law goes on to explain several forms of kidnapping, that include enticing a child under fourteen to go with the accused, enticing a person to come with the accused with the intent of selling them into human slavery, or kidnapping a person with the intent to demand ransom or commit spousal rape.

Another instance of kidnapping is defined as taking an unwilling person during the commission of carjacking. The law even goes on to state that while it may not be considered kidnapping, demanding ransom while pretending to be a kidnapper is also a crime and is punishable by severe penalties itself.

Bail Amounts

Bail schedules are provided in each county and they list a preset bail amount that for which a person may be released by paying. Contact the Bail Hotline office in your county, where an agent can quickly determine the bail required for your release.  The preset bail amounts are going to be very high for this charge, so the 10% fee for posting your bond will be a welcome relief, while securing your freedom will allow you to begin building a proper defense by the assigned court date.

Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties set a defendant’s bail at one million dollars if they kidnap a person to commit a felonious sexual offense. Los Angeles County even sets a one million dollar bail amount for kidnapping a person in relation to a carjacking. The bail amounts will vary from county to county, depending on the circumstances of a kidnapping, but the bail amount will always be extremely high for this charge.

Penalties and Consequences

The penalties related to a kidnapping conviction are especially severe. A person convicted of any type of kidnapping faces at least three to eight years in prison. If a child was under fourteen when they were kidnapped, the convicted faces five to eleven years. Anyone who kidnaps a person and then attempts extortion or asks for ransom is treated even more severely and faces a sentence of life in prison. A person who kidnaps another during a carjacking or with the intent to commit rape, sodomy, spousal rape, robbery or several other serious crimes will also face life imprisonment.

Most of these penalties allow for the possibility of parole, except in cases where a person was held in an environment that caused or could have caused great bodily injury or death. Demanding ransom while pretending to be a kidnapper, even with no involvement in the actual kidnapping, will still bring a penalty of two to four years.

Kidnapping is an especially serious offense in California and the United States in general. The crime can sometimes lead to probation, if the judge has a good reason to allow such a light sentence, but this is not a common practice in any sense of the word. Anyone charged with kidnapping will need an experienced lawyer to ensure that they don’t spend much of the rest of their life behind bars.

Street Terrorism California | California PC 186.20

California has had pretty severe issues with street gang activity throughout the past few decades. This serious problem led the state legislature to pass the California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act. This legislation not only makes street gang activity illegal, it also introduces serious sentence enhancements for even aiding in the commission of crimes committed by street gangs.

While counties are still allowed to set their own bail amounts related to this activity, the State of California provides the sentences that must be handed out in relation to the crime. The penalties associated with street gang activity are so severe that a good attorney should be sought out as quickly as possible. Contact the nearest Bail Hotline office to discuss posting a bond for your release, at only a fraction of the face bail amount.

What the Law Says

California Penal Code 186 defines exactly what constitutes illegal gang activity, as well as the corresponding penalties. The first part of this law makes it a crime to knowingly participate in a street gang. It goes on to state that if you actively participate in a gang that you know engages in criminal activity and promotes, assists or furthers any felonious activity of that gang, you are guilty of a crime. This crime can be considered a felony or misdemeanor, and it makes the mere act of being in a gang illegal.

The law also sets forth sentencing enhancements for people who commit felonies that are associated with criminal gangs. This means that if a gang directed a person to commit a felony, the defendant will face a sentence enhancement. A sentence enhancement will also be attached if the crime was done to benefit, promote, assist or was in association with illegal gang activity. These enhancements apply even if a person isn’t an active member of the gang.

Serious Bail Amounts

The individual counties of California set forth their own bail amounts for these crimes, and they vary widely. Santa Clara County sets bail for a serious felony related to street gangs at twenty-five thousand dollars. Los Angeles County sets it a bit higher, at forty thousand dollars. Santa Barbara County takes the crime even more seriously; they set the bail amount for any felony benefiting a gang at $100,000.

Penalties and Consequences

The penalties associated with being in a street gang, or committing a felony for their benefit, can also be quite variable. A person convicted of simply being a part of a criminal street gang can face a misdemeanor that will bring one year in jail, or a felony that will lead to between sixteen months and three years in prison.

The enhancements related to gang activity are even more serious. Committing a felony related to a criminal gang that isn’t considered a serious or violent felony will bring a sentence enhancement of two to four years. Committing a crime that is considered a serious felony will fetch an enhancement of five years. Serious felonies include, but aren’t limited to, making criminal threats, shooting at an occupied home or car and assault with a deadly weapon against a peace officer.

Violent felonies bring an even greater enhancement. Some crimes are considered violent and serious, and in these cases the more severe enhancement is usually given. The commission of a violent felony related to gang activity brings a sentence enhancement of ten years. All of these enhancements have to be served in addition and consecutively to the penalty related to the underlying felony.

A few specific felonies can bring even greater sentencing enhancements. Home invasion robbery, carjacking and committing drive-by shootings could all subject a person to life imprisonment. Also, if any felony was committed within one thousand feet of a school zone, the accused faces an aggravating factor that could make their sentence extremely harsh.

Criminal street gang activity is taken very serious in California. The law actually specifies that 328 gang-related murders occurred in 1986 and that this statistic was rising. These laws are meant to protect the public safety, but unfortunately, they sometimes affect people who have no relation whatsoever to criminal gangs. If a person is charged with any serious crime, especially if the prosecutor is adding street gang enhancements, it is important for them to contact a lawyer immediately. 

Perjury California | California PC 118

There are not many instances where merely telling a lie can be considered a crime and punished by jail time. Perjury, however, is another matter. Perjury is considered a crime throughout the State of California due to the fact that its mere commission can deprive an innocent person of their freedom.

The State of California sets forth the rules regarding what constitutes perjury and the penalties associated with it, but the individual counties set the bail associated with the crime and enforce the sentence. One thing is for sure: anyone charged with perjury will need a very good lawyer to escape serious penalties.

What Constitutes Perjury

California Penal Codes 118 through 129 set forth what constitutes perjury and the possible penalties. The basic definition of perjury is when a person knowingly gives false information after they have been sworn in under oath. This does not mean, however, that a person cannot be guilty of perjury outside of a courtroom.

A person can actually be charged with perjury if they give false information while testifying in a court of law, or while giving a deposition. Perjury also applies to giving false information on certain documents such as signed affidavits, signed declarations and signed certificates. A person can even be prosecuted under perjury laws if they give false information on a driver’s license application filed at the Department of Motor Vehicles! It is also considered perjury if a person entices another to commit the crime.

Bail Amounts

Since counties handle their own bail amounts by way of their bail schedules, a person accused of perjury will have a different bail depending on the county in which they are arrested. Each county’s bail schedule lists crimes and their preset bail amounts; contact the nearest Bail Hotline office, and an agent will arrange to post your bond at a fraction of the face bail amount to secure your release.

Even though each county sets its own bail amount for perjury, the numbers don’t vary much between the counties. Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Santa Clara Counties all set the bail for perjury and subordination of perjury at twenty-five thousand dollars. Monterey County sets its bail amount slightly lower, at twenty thousand dollars, but it sets the bail amount for subordination of perjury at $30,000. Monterey County even has a section devoted to police officers who file false police reports, also considered perjury, as either five or ten thousand dollars, depending on whether it’s charged as a misdemeanor or felony.

Penalties and Consequences

Perjury is punished by several different penalties, depending on the facts of a case. An officer who files a false police report will face a year in jail if charged with a misdemeanor, but they will receive between two and four years in prison if charged with a felony. Other instances of perjury are always considered felonies; this means a person convicted will face between 2-4 years in prison. A person who commits perjury, and through that action causes the execution of an innocent person, will face either life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Perjury is considered a very serious crime. It is one of the few crimes whose penalties can range from one year in jail to capital punishment! Because of this large discrepancy, it is vital for anyone accused of perjury to contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Securing release through a bail bond agency will ensure a person has plenty of time to prepare their case. There are legitimate defenses for a perjury charge, but it usually requires a skilled attorney to convince the jury.

Robbery California | California PC 211

California takes theft of any type very seriously. But, when it comes to robbery, the State considers the crime excessively detrimental. The law of California defines several instances of robbery and sets forth the penalties for first-degree and second-degree robbery.
Each individual county is allowed to ask for whatever bail they deem necessary when a person is arrested for robbery. However, they are bound by state law to enforce specific penalties. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding a robbery accusation, you will want to contact your nearest Bail Hotline agent, since a PC 1275 hearing will be in order to make certain your bond payment is proven to be from legitimate means.

Definitions of Robbery

California Penal Codes 211 through 215 state the rules and penalties related to robbery. The main definition of robbery is taking another’s personal property while they are either in possession of it, Or, if they are in the immediate presence of that property. This taking must be against the victim’s will and be accomplished through the use of fear or force. The victim’s fear can be fear of injury to a person, their property, their family members or this same fear they feel upon a person who is with the robbery victim.

First-degree robbery is defined as: “robbery against a person at or near the vicinity of an ATM, in their home or floating dwelling, or who is performing their duty as a taxi, trolley, streetcar or other type of vehicular transportation driver.” This applies to any vehicle that is used in the means of transportation for hire. Any other type of robbery besides the aforementioned is considered second-degree robbery.

Bail for Robbery

The charge of robbery is included in each California county’s bail schedule – meaning a person can secure their release before seeing a judge, by contacting a bail bond agency or paying the bail in full. These bail amounts vary by county, although they are very similar. Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Santa Clara Counties all set bail for first-degree robbery at one hundred thousand dollars and second-degree robbery at fifty thousand dollars. Monterey County sets first-degree robbery at seventy-five thousand dollars and second-degree robbery at forty thousand.

Penalties and Consequences

The penalties for robbery will vary depending on the circumstances involved. First-degree robbery is punishable by three to six years in prison. This penalty is increased to 3-9 years if the robbery involved a person acting in concert with at least two other people to rob an inhabited dwelling, an inhabited floating house or vessel or the inhabited part of any type of building.

Attempted robbery is also punished as a felony. The law goes on to say car jacking, train robbery and attempted (actual or attempted) are also punished as felonies. Carjacking is punishable by three to nine years in prison and can even be charged separately from a robbery that occurred during the carjacking.

Robbery is a serious crime that can cause severe emotional stress or physical harm to a victim. California, for this reason, does not take robbery commissions lightly. A person convicted of this crime can face over a decade in state prison, which will understandably ruin whatever they currently have going on in their life. Anyone charged with robbery will want the strongest defense they can afford.

Criminal Profiteering California | California PC 186

The State of California has had more than its fair share of problems and issues with organized crime. The term itself most likely brings up visions of ‘Scarface’ and Bugsy Siegel, but organized crime isn’t always so infamous and nationally recognized.

California lawmakers decided that putting an end to the criminal profiteering of organized crime would likely curb much of its occurrence. The California Control of Profits of Organized Crime Act even regards some street gang activity as criminal profiteering. There are several crimes that fall under the umbrella of criminal profiteering, and anyone who is facing a charge related to it will definitely need a good lawyer if they don’t want to lose all of their possessions.

What is Criminal Profiteering?

California Penal Code 186 deals with the definition and penalties related to criminal profiteering. While these codes do not attempt to set a specific prison time for people engaged in the act, they do apply certain penalties in an effort to reduce the occurrence of such activities. Several crimes can fall under the criminal profiteering law, but they all have the same penalty.

Criminal profiteering is an act that is attempted or committed whose commission is meant to cause advantage or financial gain for the party committing the act. This also includes threats that are made for advantage or financial gain. The specific act must be one that is capable of being charged as a crime under at least thirty-three different California statutes. The law basically says that if any of these thirty-three legal statutes are violated in an attempt to profit or gain advantage, then the criminal act, regardless of what it is, falls under criminal profiteering as well.

For criminal profiteering penalties to take effect, a repeat pattern of these activities must be proven. When more than one of the crimes mentioned in the statute is committed with the same purpose, results, method of commission, or are somehow interrelated by other distinguishing characteristics, it is enough to prove a pattern of criminal profiteering activities. This gives the state the right to certain assets owned by the offending party.

Related Crimes
The penal code mentions several crimes that, if committed for financial gain or advantage, are considered criminal profiteering. Some of these crimes include embezzlement, extortion, gambling, murder and kidnapping. Other crimes mentioned would usually never pop into a person’s mind when they thought of organized crime – including child pornography, unauthorized access to computer systems, stealing a person’s personal identification information and stealing vehicles – but they can be related.

The above crimes are by no means the only ones that could be related to criminal profiteering. Even the attempted commission of many of these crimes is considered criminal profiteering. The underlying similarity between all of these crimes is the fact that, if they are committed with intent to profit from the commission of the crime, they are considered criminal profiteering – and if a pattern of this activity becomes apparent, the perpetrator will be held financially liable.

Penalties and Consequences

The penalties listed for criminal profiteering are not related to time served in prison but rather to financial assets. The state can actually place a lien on property that they believe was received or purchased with profits from the crime. If a person is subsequently convicted of the underlying crime, this property will be forfeited to the government.

There are some instances where someone who owns specific property that was involved in criminal profiteering, but did not engage in the activity, can keep their property; the process of keeping this property requires filing papers with the government. When this is not the case, however, the government will restrict property from being transferred or sold until after the criminal trial is over.

Once a person is found guilty, they will immediately face a trial that decides whether their property was purchased through criminal profiteering activities. If the jury in this trial believes the prosecuting attorney’s assertions, then the accused person will not only face sentencing for the underlying offense, they will lose their property as well.

Criminal profiteering is an especially equitable business for those who violate the law in an effort to gain money or resources. California takes these crimes very seriously and this law attempts to stop their commission through the seizure of property and money gained through their commission. Any person accused of a crime in which the prosecuting attorney claims a pattern of criminal profiteering has emerged should get a lawyer immediately. These people not only face the loss of their freedom but the loss of all of their worldly possessions as well.

False Personation / Impersonation | California PC 530

Taking on the persona of another person in California is often a serious criminal offense. ‘False personation’ is an in-depth and specific law that covers a number of criminal activities; commission of any of these activities while impersonating another will bring with it serious jail time if convicted.

The State of California actually sets forth the law defining false personation, as well as the possible punishments if a person is convicted of this crime. The actual bail amounts will vary between counties, and they will be large – so, it’s in your best interest to contact one of our Bail Hotline’s locations and have a bail agent work on your release for only 10% of the face amount of bail.

Crimes of False Personation

False personation can take many forms that are punishable under the law. The first mention of personation in California Penal Code 530 is that it is a felony to impersonate a person and marry or pretend to marry another, even if the person married was aware of the impersonation. The next mention is that credibly impersonating another person on the Internet in an effort to defraud, harass or intimidate another person is also a punishable crime.

The law goes on to say that impersonating a person in either their official or private capacity is a crime, if the offender engages in certain activities. These activities include making bail or becoming the surety for an arrestee, verifying or publishing a document in another person’s name in an effort for the document to be used as true, or performing any other act which would leave the person impersonated liable for civil or criminal penalties.

False personation laws go on to describe manufacturing, selling or providing false birth certificates, false baptismal certificates or false government-issued identification cards as a crime. A person can even be charged with false personation if they say they are someone else in an effort to receive a payment meant for the person they’re impersonating. Assisting anyone in obtaining a document from the Department of Motor Vehicles that they don’t legitimately deserve is also considered a crime under false personation. The law goes on to define several other instances of personation. Most of these laws involve committing fraud while impersonating another.

Bail and Penalties

The preset bail amounts in most California County bail schedules usually treat all instances of false personation as one crime regardless of the possible outcome of trial. Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Counties, for instance, list a fifty thousand dollar bail amount for false personation; Monterey and San Benito Counties, however, only require a ten thousand dollar bail amount.
The penalties related to false personation vary depending on the actual act committed. Harassing someone online through impersonating another person is punishable by one year in jail and a fine of one thousand dollars. Manufacturing, selling, providing and owning false birth certificates, baptismal certificates and identification cards will bring the same one-year jail sentence and fine.

Impersonating another person to obtain bail for a defendant, publish or verify a written document as true – or commission of any act which could bring civil or criminal liabilities to the impersonated – is punishable by the same year in jail and a fine of ten thousand dollars. There are various ways, such as repeated offenses, for these penalties to increase; though first time offenders usually face a year in jail plus fines.

Anyone who is charged with this crime and doesn’t wish to spend a year or more in prison would do well to post bail and seek an attorney’s assistance as soon as possible. These charges are not minor and can end badly for the accused if they don’t have a knowledgeable attorney. 

Conspiracy California | California PC 182

There are not many crimes whose mere attempt brings with them a penalty equal to that of the attempted crime, but conspiracy breaks this mold. The State of California sets forth the rules regarding the conspiracy to commit crimes and the punishments allowable by law in California Penal Code 182. While individual counties are able to set their own bail amounts and choose between specific sentences to hand down for a crime, most agree with the state – that conspiracy to commit a crime should be treated as harshly as the crime itself. This makes it essential that a person charged with conspiracy find a good lawyer, because they will face the same penalty they would’ve had they actually committed the crime.

What is Conspiracy?

The main definition of conspiracy used in California courts is when two or more people conspire to break the law. The statute, however, does not stop there. It specifies certain crimes in an effort to distinguish between punishments. The statute specifically mentions committing crimes against any judicial or executive member of the state or federal government. It also mentions conspiring to commit injurious acts upon the public health, justice system, public morals and administration of law. All of these subsections have their own specific punishments that can be handed down by a court of law.

Bail Defined

Conspiracy charges incur a wide range of bail amounts. Several counties, including Los Angeles, San Benito, and Monterey list a bail amount that the same required if the conspired crime was actually committed. Monterey County even goes further, to say that regardless of the conspired crime, bail cannot be set below ten thousand dollars. These bail schedules vary so much that, dependent on the conspired crime, a person may be able to get out on relatively low bail or may be remanded to jail until trial. Contacting your nearest Bail Hotline office can cut through the details, and hopefully allow your immediate release with only ten percent of the preset bail indicated.

Penalties and Consequences

Actual penalties for a conspiracy conviction also vary widely. Almost any conspired felony is punishable by the sentencing guidelines related to the actual commission of the felony. Conspiring to commit a crime against judicial or executive officers, however, will bring with it a conviction of at least five to nine years. Punishment for any conspired misdemeanor is up to one year in jail and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars. This holds true as long as the person wasn’t conspiring to commit identity fraud, in which case the fine will jump up to twenty-five thousand dollars.

Any type of conspiracy charge should not be taken lightly, as a conviction will bring with it a punishment as severe as the commission of the conspired crime. This means a person can receive life imprisonment for simply planning to commit certain crimes. The accused will want to secure their release as quickly as possible, to be able to return to their job and family, and to secure appropriate legal counsel to begin preparing their defense.


Embezzlement California | California PC 503

Crimes involving the theft of property or money are often punished based upon how much that property was worth. This holds true with embezzlement as well. The State of California treats embezzlement as a type of theft, yet it does come with a separate and more specific definition.

The State of California actually sets forth what constitutes embezzlement and the sentencing guidelines related to it, while each individual county is allowed to impose the sentences in the way they see fit. Embezzlement is a serious crime in California, so anyone accused of the crime will want to contact a lawyer to ensure they know all of their options.

Embezzlement Defined

California defines several instances of embezzlement within Penal Codes 503 and 504. The basic definition of the crime is when someone fraudulently appropriates property with which they have been entrusted. The code lists several specific instances including embezzlement by officers of the state, lessees, property transporters, financial employees and debt collectors. The law goes on to mention specific instances involving clerks, agents, tenants, lodgers and those entrusted to sell another’s property who then divert the money for themselves.

Bail Defined

Embezzlement is listed in many of the California County bail schedules. These schedules list crimes along with their preset bail amount. This allows most people accused of crimes to get out of jail through the use of a bail bond agent within hours of their arrest – without ever having to see a judge. These preset amounts, however, can vary drastically between counties. It is also important to point out that California law doesn’t allow the use of feloniously obtained funds to secure bail, so the defendant is going to need to prove their bond money wasn’t gained through criminal means.

Each county lists several instances of embezzlement with differing bail amounts. Embezzlement of funds for construction, for instance, brings a twenty-five thousand dollar bail amount in both Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties. The same crime only requires a ten thousand dollar bond in San Benito and Monterey counties.

Some counties indicate specific instances of this charge, which incur a different bail. San Benito and Monterey Counties, for example, additionally list embezzlement of over $950 by a caretaker as an offense requiring a twenty thousand dollar bond.

Possible Penalties 

Penalties for embezzlement will vary widely, dependent upon the circumstances of a case. The law states that the penalties for embezzlement will be the same as theft of the amount or property type of for what was embezzled. This means a person can be sentenced under simple larceny guidelines, or they could be sentenced under grand theft auto guidelines. Because of these rules, embezzlement can be treated as a misdemeanor or felony, making it a ‘wobbler.’ In cases where a person embezzles money from the state, country or any other type of municipality, however, the crime is automatically charged as a felony.

The statutes involving embezzlement are complex and far-reaching. California takes the fraudulent appropriation of another person’s property seriously, and the crime is punished as such. If you, or someone you love, has been arrested for this crime – contact an expert at Bail Hotline, who can walk you through the process of proving any bond monies are legitimate. This step is required in order for you to be released on bail, so that you may return to your job and family and have access to an attorney specializing in this field.

Vehicle Theft California | Ca Vehicle Code 10850

Vehicle theft is a serious crime in the state of California, and the severity of these laws leave no doubt that stealing cars is going to cost you money and jail time. California Penal Codes 10850 and 10851 handle vehicle thefts, which are somewhat separate from grand theft. Even if stealing a car doesn’t fall under grand theft auto, it is imperative for a person accused of vehicle theft to get a good lawyer, because the consequences of a conviction are very harsh.

Though the State of California defines what constitutes vehicle theft and the punishments that may be given upon conviction, each individual county is responsible for choosing their own bail amount related to the crime, as well as selecting between and enforcing the preset sentences provided by the State.

Definition of Vehicular Theft

VC 10850 defines vehicular theft as the taking of another’s vehicle without their consent, with the intent to at least temporarily deny the owner of the possession of their vehicle. This basically means anyone who takes another person’s vehicle without their consent, even if they plan on returning it, has committed vehicular theft.

Anyone who is an accomplice or party to this crime is also considered to have violated the statute. The law is simple and straightforward, though it does have a separate subsection relating to the theft of emergency vehicles or vehicles modified for use by disabled persons; a charge dealt with more severely.

Bail Bond Amounts

Bail amounts will vary between counties due to the fact that each county’s Superior Court sets forth their individual bail schedules. This list of crimes also gives their corresponding preset bail amounts. By using the bail schedule, the bail agency in many cases can get the accused out of jail within hours without first having to see a judge, for a mere fraction of the face amount of the bail.

This charge, however, may require a PC 1275 hearing to determine the legitimacy of the funds used to post the defendant’s bail, so be sure to check with Bail Hotline to determine whether this code applies and, if so, how to prove to the court that your bond is posted with legal money.

Los Angeles and Santa Clara Counties both set bail for vehicle theft at $5,000 for people arrested of vehicular theft. San Benito County often refers to temporary vehicle theft as ‘joyriding’ and has this bail amount set for ten thousand dollars. A person in that county with a prior felony conviction, however, will face a $40,000 amount.

Penalties and Consequences

Fines and jail time related to a vehicular theft conviction can vary. Strictly speaking, vehicular theft is considered a ‘wobbler,’ which means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony. A person charged with a misdemeanor will face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to five thousand dollars. A person could be charged with a felony if they steal an emergency vehicle or vehicle modified for a disabled person, have been convicted of a similar felony before or steal a vehicle worth a certain amount of money. A conviction under these terms will bring a term in prison of two, three or four years and a fine that can reach up to $10,000.

Vehicular theft is punished severely by the State of California upon conviction. Anyone accused of this crime will want a bond posted as soon as possible in order to prepare a defense. A conviction of this magnitude could potentially rob a person of his or her freedom for years, so it is imperative to find help from someone who knows exactly how the California legal system works.

Criminal Threats California | California PC 422

Most crimes are taken quite seriously in the State of California.  What most people don’t know is that the mere threats of criminal acts are taken just as seriously. Criminal threats are viewed as crimes in and of themselves. Making some types of threats can lead to imprisonment sometimes equivalent to actually committing several of these crimes.

Although individual counties are the entities that set bail and choose between specific punishments for people convicted of criminal threats, it is the State of California that sets forth the definition and sentencing guidelines. One thing is for sure: anyone accused of criminal threats should seek a lawyer immediately to avoid serious consequences.

What Constitutes a Criminal Threat?

California defines several instances that constitute a criminal threat. One example of a criminal threat occurs when a person makes a threat against another person, that they will commit a crime causing great bodily harm or death to that person or their immediate family. This threat can be made by any medium (such as phone or email) and must be made in a way that causes the threatened person to live in constant fear for their safety or the lives of their family.

California Penal Code 422 also states that making a known false bomb report constitutes criminal threat. It goes on to say that mailing a fake bomb, or other type of fake weapon of mass destruction, also constitutes criminal threat. The final instance of criminal threat mentioned in the code is when a person posts any type of information about an academic researcher, with the express purpose of causing another to either commit or threaten to commit a crime of violence against that researcher or their immediate family.

Bail Amounts

Each California County’s superior court sets forth a bail schedule that lists crimes and a preset bail amount for each. Using this bail schedule, one of Bail Hotline’s twenty-five locations throughout California can arrange for your release within only a few hours time, charging just a ten percent fee of the face bail amount.

Each county’s bail schedule usually differs in set amounts for various crimes, but most California counties are in agreement on the preset bail for criminal threats. Los Angeles and Santa Barbara Counties both list the bail for criminal threats at $50,000. Monterey and San Benito counties actually have some variance in preset bail for this charge, dependent upon whom the threat is made.

Penalties and Consequences

The punishments for most criminal threats are also similar. A threat of great bodily harm to a person or their family carries the same penalty as disseminating information on an academic researcher with the intent of inciting others to cause them harm – a maximum of one year in jail and a fine of one-thousand dollars.

California Penal Code 422 doesn’t speak to the sentencing of a person who sends a fake weapon of mass destruction or makes a false bomb threat. The incarceration penalties for these crimes are handled differently than other criminal threats. The code simply states that a person who commits these crimes must reimburse the government for emergency response costs related to the crime. If convicted, a person must also reimburse any private or public entity that incurred costs due to their emergency response. Finally, the convicted must also reimburse anyone else, individual or organization, for any costs incurred due to the false threat.

A criminal threat is considered a serious crime within the State of California. Putting a person in fear of their life is considered by some to be tantamount to terrorism. It is for this reason that severe penalties exist for the crime. Anyone accused of making criminal threats should call a bail agent to post a bond on the preset bail schedule, rather than waiting to stand in court and risk the bail amount being raised by a stern judge.