How is Bail Amount Determined in Orange County?

If you are arrested for a crime in Orange County, California, you might be eligible for release while waiting for your trial by paying bail. The gist is that a judge could accept a monetary payment to secure your release from prison, and you’ll get the money back if you show up for your court appearances.

The amount you’ll have to pay depends on multiple factors and varies county by county in California. Orange County has different bail amounts than surrounding jurisdictions, so you’ll want to ensure you’re current on the latest bail schedule.

You never want to end up in jail, but it’s nice to know you have options for a release. Here’s a look at how bail amount is determined in Orange County, California.

Elements Influencing the Bail Amount

How much you’ll ultimately pay for bail in Orange County depends on the crime you’re accused of and the risk you pose to the community. The judge will look at the details of the charge, your past criminal convictions, your likelihood to flee, and the chance you’ll re-offend while out on bail while setting the amount.

Orange County has a uniform bail schedule the judge can consult, too. This schedule outlines how much bail typically costs for each type of offense.

The Orange County Uniform Bail Schedule

The Superior Court of California, County of Orange, judges annually approve a uniform bail schedule that provides a baseline for bail amounts based on the accusation. However, the judge overseeing your case doesn’t necessarily have to follow this bail schedule, particularly if there’s reason to believe you could be a flight risk.

The bail schedule is broken down into two sections: felonies and misdemeanors. This schedule also contains language on bail for multiple offenses, violation of probation, out-of-county charges, and scenarios where you might not receive bail at all.

Felony Bail

If you’re accused of a felony, the judge will likely follow the felony bail schedule. Keep in mind that your bail amount increases by $200,000 if you have two previous strikes and $300,000 for those with three previous strikes. You might not receive bail if you’re accused of murder with special circumstances, felony offenses involving violence, or felony offenses with threats of violence.

In 2023, felony bail amounts range from $20,000 for offenses like battery, grand theft, extortion, stalking, and petty theft to $5,000,000 for anyone caught with possession of 80kg or more of a controlled substance.

Driving under the influence causing bodily injury, evading a peace officer, vehicular manslaughter, and first-degree robbery charges have a $100,000 bail amount, as well, while that number is $1,000,000 for more severe offenses like many forms of murder, many types of kidnapping, various sex crimes, and multiple weapons charges.

As you can see, bail amounts vary significantly in Orange County, CA, so the amount you’ll have to pay depends on the accusations against you.

Misdemeanor or Infraction Bail

You can expect to pay less for bail if you’re accused of a misdemeanor. Some bail amounts, such as for those charged with prostitution, lewd conduct, and annoying communications, are set at $1,000, while bail is $15,000 for more serious misdemeanors like contempt and violation of a protective order.

Some DUI charges are misdemeanors, too, and bail costs $25,000 for most first offenses and up to $50,000 for serial offenders. Bail will be $500 for crimes not covered in the bail schedule and $50 for an infraction that will only lead to a fine.

Other Bail Provisions

Money isn’t the only thing involved in bail hearings, as you might have to follow some specific conditions. For example, Orange County judges can demand that you hand over your passport, give up your firearms, or stay away from particular locations as conditions of your bail.

Failing to abide by these conditions will land you in jail, and you might not be eligible for release.

Well-Known Bail Cases in Orange County

Orange County is no stranger to high-profile bail cases. These cases made national news, and the defendants were released after posting bail.

One such instance was the trial of Sheriff Mike Carona, Orange County’s top law enforcement officer. Carona was accused of accepting at least $350,000 in bribes in exchange for favors while holding an elected office. He was arrested and charged in 2007 and released after posting $20,000 bail. Carona was ultimately found not guilty of the public corruption charges he faced but later found guilty of witness tampering and sentenced to 66 months in jail.

Another well-known bail case is that of Justin Roiland, the star and co-creator of the “Rick and Morty” television series. Roiland was arrested for felony domestic violence in 2020 and released on $50,000 bond. He was also ordered to stay at least 100 feet from the complainant and turn over any firearms he owned or possessed.

Bail in Orange County

Every county in California has different bail amounts, and understanding how the process works will make your life easier as you navigate the legal system. Contact Orange County Bail Bonds to learn more.