Merced Bail Schedule

201412.10

The Superior Court of Merced County implemented the Merced County Bail Schedule to assist in enhancing the administration of justice in that California jurisdiction. Specifically, the Merced County Bail Schedule is designed to permit the more equitable and efficient processing of bond applications when a person has been arrested in Merced County.

The Merced County Bail Schedule makes it easier for an arrested individual (or his or her family) to connect with a bail bonds service and arrange for bail to be posted. With the Merced County Bail Schedule, a bail bonds service oftentimes is able to arrange for a person to be released from jail following an arrest within a matter of a few hours. This is a significant improvement over the time frame that existed in the absence of the schedule.

Felony Bail Schedule

The Merced County Bail Schedule includes a section that addresses bond amounts for felony charges. The Superior Court has been very specific in this regard and has listed presumptive bond amounts on a crime by crime basis.

The presumptive bond amount in the felony section should be considered the base amount of bail needed to obtain a person’s release. There can be upward adjustments based on the specific facts and circumstances of a case or a person charged. There exists no ability to go below the presumptive bond level associated with a specific charge without going before a judge. A Merced County Superior Court judge does have the ability to adjust bond amounts. However, the objective is to gain a person’s release as soon after an arrest as possible and without the need to go before a judge — which can take some time (included a matter of days if an arrest occurs on a Friday night or a holiday).

The amount of bail needed in a felony case, pursuant to the Merced County Bail Schedule, runs from $1,000 at the low end to $20,000 at the high end. The Merced County Bail Schedule does not take into account certain more serious crimes like murder or kidnapping. In these types of more serious criminal offenses, an arrested person must appear before a Merced County Superior Court judge before a bond will ne set. (More often than not, the bond in these types of serious criminal cases, the bond amount will be very high.)

Misdemeanor Bail Schedule

The Merced County Bail Schedule also includes a bail scale for misdemeanor cases. A misdemeanor case is a criminal charge of a less serious nature than a felony and that carries a lesser penalty. The presumptive bond amounts for misdemeanor offenses established by the Merced County Bail Schedule run from $500 to $2,000.

Vehicle Offense Bail Schedule

The Merced County Bail Schedule includes a section dedicated to bond amounts for offenses associated with the operation of a motor vehicle. These include DUIs. The range of bonds established by the Merced County Bail Schedule for vehicle offenses is from $1,000 to $10,000. DUI with an injury is the most serious offense on that scale.