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California Bail Schedules


Bail is a deposit that provides insurance to the court that you will appear for future court appearances. If you appear at all court hearings and see your criminal case through to the end, the bail will be returned to whomever posted it. If you don’t answer to the charges, the bail will be forfeited.

Everyone arrested for a California criminal offense must either post bail or obtain release on their own recognizance, also known as OR. Each county has its own bail schedule, which details the amount that must be posted to be released from jail on each offense.

Need quick, free advice about bail schedules? Email an attorney a question at with the subject line: Bail Question

The judge typically sets bail according to the schedule unless a defense attorney requests that it be lowered or the prosecutor asks that it be increased. Before approving such a request, the judge will hold a hearing to consider bail in the case and hear any objections from the other side.

In some situations, you may be released from jail on your own recognizance (OR). This is most likely if you are a local resident with strong ties to the community and/or are accused of a relatively less-serious offense, but rules vary from county to county. Some California counties have OR officers who review cases to determine which defendants are eligible to be released on their own recognizance.

If you must post bail, you may use a bail bond firm to get released from jail. Bail bond firms typically charge a non-refundable deposit of 10 percent of the bail amount in order to post your bond. Talk to your attorney about a reliable bail bondsman.

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