How Bail Is Set

The California legal system can be intimidating for someone unfamiliar with the bail process or how bail is set in different counties and for different offenses. At Armstrong Bail Bonds, our experienced bail bond agents will quickly and efficiently determine the cost of bail for an individual crime and explain, in easy-to-understand terms, how the bail amount is set and by whom. Whether you choose to use our services or not, Armstrong Bail Bonds is always available to answer any questions about California’s complex bail system—we’re here to help!

In the state of California, bail amounts are set by judges, though these officials typically refer to the county’s “bail schedule” to determine how much bail should be for a particular offense. A judge will usually set the bail amount at a defendant’s first court appearance after an arrest, either at the bail hearing or the arraignment, though Armstrong Bail Bonds can often post bail before the defendant appears before the judge.

Bail Schedules In Southern California


There are various bail schedules throughout California counties that determine the bail for specific crimes. Many jails have posted bail schedules, which specify bail amounts for common crimes. Bail schedules can vary considerably according to locality, type of crime, and residency. The police will not accept bail other than as set forth in a schedule; suspects wanting to pay less must go before a judge.


Downloadable Schedules:

Los Angeles County Misdemeanor Bail Schedule

Los Angeles County Felony Bail Schedule

San Diego County Misdemeanor & Felony Bail Schedule

Orange County Misdemeanor & Felony Bail Schedule

Ventura County Misdemeanor & Felony Bail Schedule

Riverside County Misdemeanor & Felony Bail Schedule


Factors That May Influence Bail Amount

Though most California judges adhere to the current-year bail schedule, they have the power to raise or lower the defendant’s bail based on the nature of each crime and the circumstances of each individual case. In addition to the seriousness of the offense, the bail amount can depend on a number of factors, such as a defendant’s past criminal record, whether a defendant is employed, and if a defendant has close ties to family members and to the community. For defendants deemed a “flight risk” or those with outstanding warrants in other counties, judges may actually deny bail (meaning that the defendant must remain in jail until their court date), while first-time and non-violent offenders may be released on their “own recognizance” (meaning bail is waived).


For more information on how bail is set or to find out how much bail will be for a specific offense, call Armstrong Bail Bonds today! We look forward to speaking with you about your case!

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