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.

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. 

Invasion of Privacy | California PC 630

 Technology has made leaps and bounds in just the past few years. Things that may not have seemed possible at the dawning of the new millennium are now achievable and happening on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, this has given criminals an abundance of new tools to work with to invade another’s privacy.

California takes invasion of privacy very seriously. The state actually defines invasion of privacy and sets the sentencing parameters when a person is convicted, however bail and the choice of punishment is largely left to each individual county. Regardless in which California County you may have been arrested, Bail Hotline has a location nearby and will help you determine if you are eligible for a quick release per the local bail schedule.

The Law Defined

California’s laws are very in-depth and cover a great number of instances that are considered an invasion of privacy. The statute specifically outlaws: the unauthorized tapping or connecting to any communication, recording or using amplifying devices to eavesdrop, intercepting any phone call, recording any phone call without the consent of all parties and in many cases even criminalizes the act of assisting a person in committing any of these infractions. These crimes are covered in subsections of the main invasion of privacy law, but the punishments are nearly identical in all cases.

Corresponding Bail

A charge of invasion of privacy will bring a different bail amount depending on the county of arrest, and the bail schedule set forth by its Superior Court. These schedules list crimes that are committed within the county’s jurisdiction and the preset bail amounts linked to each crime. The bail schedule allows a person to get out of jail before seeing a judge, most often by using bail bond agencies that can secure a quick release for a fraction of the full “face amount.”

A person arrested for unlawful invasion of privacy using an electronic device in Alameda County will face a five thousand dollar bail amount.
Unfortunately, many counties do not specifically list invasion of privacy in their schedules, but this doesn’t mean there isn’t a bail amount. Most counties have a list in their schedule for “crimes not listed.” The bail amounts of these crimes are based on the maximum incarceration time possible for the crime. Invasion of privacy is a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. If charged as a misdemeanor, a conviction cannot lead to more than one year in jail. In Riverside County, this would calculate to a bail set at $5,000 because the maximum jail time is under three years.

Penalties and Consequences

Anyone charged with misdemeanor invasion of privacy will face a $2,500 fine, one year in jail, or a combination of the fine and jail time. A person who was previously convicted of this crime, however, will face the same amount of jail time plus a fine increase of up to $10,000. There are a few instances where a person can be charged with a felony: if a person unlawfully connects or taps into any communication going out over any line, cable, telephone, telegraph or other instrument, tries to read, obtain or communicate that information or assists in any of the aforementioned, they can be charged with a serious felony. A conviction of this magnitude will lead to either sixteen months, two years or three years in a state institution. The choice of these three sentences is up to the judge.

Invasion of privacy laws are taken very seriously in California. If a person even records their own phone conversation without the knowledge of the other party, they may be breaking the law. It is important for anyone arrested for this crime to contact a bail bond agency for quick release, and then contact a good lawyer. Many people may see eavesdropping and invading another’s privacy as a game, but the government definitely does not.

False Imprisonment | California PC 236

 False imprisonment is a serious crime in California, with multiple factors that are considered once a person is charged with this offense. All counties within California have the right to decide upon their own bail amounts to garner a release once charged with the crime, however, the state of California actually lays out what constitutes this charge and provides the sentencing guidelines that the counties must abide by when enforcing penalties. 

What is False Imprisonment?

False imprisonment has a very simple definition in the State of California: unlawfully violating another person’s personal liberty; accomplished by confining, detaining or restraining a person without their consent. This crime can be made even more serious if the accused used violence, menace, fraud or deceit during the commission of the crime. Menace basically means that a person threatened harm upon another person in an effort to violate their personal liberty. There are defenses to a charge of false imprisonment, but only a good lawyer can argue the case, so it is imperative that a person charged with this crime get out of jail as quickly as possible to prepare their defense.

Bail Amounts

The bail amounts related to false imprisonment are going to vary depending on what county a person is arrested in, and under what specific circumstances. Call the closest of Bail Hotline’s twenty-five branch offices, and speak with a bail agent to find out the preset bail amount provided in any given county’s bail schedule

San Diego County’s bail schedule, for example, sets a bail amount of $10,000 for those accused of this crime. Los Angeles County, on the other hand, sets bail at $50,000, while Santa Clara County only sets it at five thousand dollars. All of these bail schedules have specific instances where a person can be given a higher bail amount depending on circumstances related to the false imprisonment charge.

Consequences and Penalties

False imprisonment is known as a ‘wobbler,’ meaning it can be charged either as a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor charge will only bring a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to a year in jail. False imprisonment is considered a felony if menace, violence, fraud or deceit was used, in which case a person faces sixteen months, two years or three years respectively in a state prison. If these methods were used against an elderly person or dependent, then the punishment jumps up to two, three or four more years. In any case, these penalties are severe and not to be taken casually.

False imprisonment, especially certain forms of the crime, is a serious offense in California that can lead to very damaging consequences. Anyone accused of this crime is in for quite a legal battle if they want the charges set aside or significantly reduced. Taking the charge lightly will likely incur the severest punishment possible in the state of California, so obtaining your release from jail as quickly as possible to begin preparing your defense is ideal.

Crimes Against Elders | California PC 368


Not many crimes against elders are committed within California, and the United States in general, generate such an emotional response as those against the elderly. Elderly people are very susceptible due to the fact that they might be confused, mentally incompetent, physically impaired or just generally unable to protect themselves.

Crimes against elders encompass several different statutes and can make the punishments for certain crimes far worse than they would’ve been had they been committed against, say a thirty-five year old citizen. Anyone charged with a crime against an elderly person will definitely need legal representation, because the State of California does not look kindly upon those who are so convicted.

Laws to Protect the Elderly

there are several crimes against elders that can land a person in jail, or even increase the charges for what some may see as minor crimes. California Penal Code 368 states that it is illegal to knowingly cause or put an elderly person in a situation, whether that situation is likely to produce great bodily harm or not, where the elder person would be subject to mental or physical suffering, unjustifiable pain, injury or danger in general. It also states that crimes such as theft, embezzlement and false imprisonment will be charged more severely if they are committed against an elderly person. This applies to the general public and caretakers equally.

Bail Amounts Can Vary

Each county in California is able to set their own bail amounts, so they can differ drastically. General crimes against elders, for example, will warrant a twenty-five thousand dollar bail amount on the bail schedules of San Diego and Santa Clara Counties – while the same crime in Los Angeles County will incur a fifty thousand dollar bail. Some counties apply more similar bail for these crimes; Santa Clara and San Diego Counties, for instance, have set bail amounts of ten thousand dollars to those who steal from the elderly. Because the preset bail amount varies depending on the charge and the county, it is best to contact your closest Bail Hotline if you find yourself bailing out a friend or loved one charged with these crimes.

Consequences and Penalties

Penalties for those convicted can change, once circumstances are considered, but the penalties are usually similar. Most of these crimes can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. Any misdemeanor charge will only warrant a maximum of one year in jail and a fine.

A person that knowingly puts an elderly person in a dangerous situation that could likely cause great bodily harm, or who commits theft or embezzlement against them, faces 2-4 years in prison if the crime is charged as a felony. This will likely be in addition to the punishments involved with the actual crime itself. False imprisonment of an elderly person by use of menace, violence, deceit or fraud also brings a minimum of two years in prison, assuming no other charges are tacked on.

Crimes against elders are treated with the utmost importance by the California criminal justice system. Due to their general inability to protect themselves, crimes committed against them are treated more severely by the courts. Anyone charged with a crime against an elderly person will need competent legal representation if they hope to escape the harsh penalties related to these crimes. Though our legal system says you are considered innocent until proven guilty, without an attorney most people accused of crimes against the elderly will end up on the wrong end of the law.

Money Laundering | California PC 186.9

 Not many crimes catch the public’s interest the way that money laundering does. The simple mention of this crime summons thoughts of mob bosses passing their illegally gained money through a restaurant or dry cleaning front to ensure that the source of their ill-gotten gains is never discovered.

Unfortunately, many people in California have discovered that the legal definition in the state is far broader than most would believe. A person could commit the crime of money laundering without even knowing it. Understanding the law is the best way for people to protect themselves from prosecution for this offense.

What Activities Are Considered Money Laundering?

In California this law is very broad and complex. If a person conducts, or even attempts to conduct, one or more transactions that exceed $5,000 dollars at a financial institution within a week’s period they are quickly flagged.  If they are also contributing to any type of criminal activity, then they are guilty of money laundering.

They are also guilty of money laundering if they conduct these transactions knowing that the money in some way came from criminal activity, even if they do not participate in that activity themselves. This makes it very easy for a person to be charged with money laundering; a person merely depositing money into a bank that was given to them by a drug dealer or other criminal would be guilty of the crime.

The definition of financial institution is also incredibly broad and can include any institution from a national bank to a pawnbroker. Many people wonder why these laws are so broad, and it turns out it is basically California’s way of convicting major crime bosses. A person at the top of a criminal empire does not usually have a direct hand in the criminal activity going on below him, but often benefits from the proceeds of his crimes. Because of this, California found a way to charge these major criminals, even when they have not physically committed any infraction.

Penalties You May Be Facing

The base penalty for money laundering is a jail term not exceeding one year and/or a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the value of the money laundered. This is not, however the only punishment a person usually receives. Each transaction of $5,000 in a week or $25,000 in a month is treated as a separate offense and can be penalized as such. Penalties continue to increase as certain thresholds of money are reached as well. If the illegal transactions exceed $150,000, then an additional year will be added to the overall sentence. This continues all of the way up to 2.5 million dollars, which will garner a person an additional four years – and also, each five thousand dollar transaction can be charged and sentenced separately.

How Much Can You Expect the Bail To Be?

The preset bail schedule amounts for money laundering vary between all California counties. In Monterey, San Benito and Santa Barbara counties, for instance, the bail amount for money laundering is $10,000. In Santa Barbara though, this bail amount can increase to $40,000 dollars, dependent on the amount of money involved in the crime. These bail amounts may seem very steep, but they are worth it to have additional time to confer with a lawyer. Unfortunately, California PC 1275 states that illegally gained money cannot be used for bail. This usually means that a person accused of money laundering will have to prove their bail money did not come from illegal activities, and Bail Hotline can walk you through these steps.

Money laundering is no longer a crime that affects only major crime bosses. Almost anyone could become involved with money laundering without realizing they are being so used. A lack of knowledge of the law is never an excuse to break it, so many people walk in front of a judge completely unprepared with how they will handle the situation. If charged with this crime, there are serious and complicated aspects to be dealt with.  Calling Bail Hotline as soon as you are booked, can get the ball rolling toward a more rapid release.