Bay Area Domestic Violence Bail schedules – Should I Bail Out?
Often, a domestic violence arrest triggers an immediate dilemma of whether to bail out or wait for a court proceeding. Bail is the system by which those accused of a crime can essentially mortgage their freedom by posting a bond in court. The amount of the bond depends on the crimes alleged as well as the county the crime is alleged to have occurred in and is set by the county jail officials in charge of the booking process.
What is unique about domestic violence arrests(CA Penal Code 273.5) is that while the offense is often charged as a misdemeanor, the initial arrest is almost always a felony arrest. As such, the bail amount initially set by the jail is likely to be reduced dramatically and often a defendant can be released without bail. Additionally, the District Attorney may opt not to file charges at all in which case bail is no longer necessary.
In Santa Clara, the initial bail set for domestic violence by the county’s bail schedule is $25,000. In San Mateo and Alameda and San Francisco, bail for a felony domestic violence arrest is $50,000.
Somethings to consider when deciding whether to bail out after a domestic violence arrest:
1. What is the court date assigned to my case if I stay in custody?
2. What is the likelihood of the District Attorney filing charges against me?
3. What is the likelihood of an Own Recognizance release assuming I am charged?
4. Would the bail premium preclude financial ability to retain counsel
The answers to these questions will often dictate a person’s decision to post bail or not. Summit Defense Criminal Attorneys offers a free consultation and can help you prioritize these and other decisions if you are arrested for domestic violence.