How High is Merced Crime?

Bail in a criminal case is a deposit in cash or collateral as assurance of the defendant’s appearance as required by the court to secure pretrial release from detention pending disposition of the case.

The defendant who fails to abide by conditions of pretrial release may forfeit the deposit. In some cases, sureties post bail bonds that secure some or all of the amounts of bail necessary for release.

For posting bail bonds, bondsmen charge premiums, in California 10 percent of the total amount posted. For a $1,000 bail bond the premium is $100. Bail bonds remain in effect for a year. If for want of a guilty plea a case continues longer, another bond must be posted and another premium paid, or the defendant returns to pretrial detention. Some defendants post partial bail amounts and purchase bail bonds for the remainder. Actual bail is refundable; bail bond premiums are not.

In some cases, indemnitors or guarantors, typically relatives or employers, take responsibility for defendants on pretrial release and assume financial liability for their bail. If the defendant makes timely appearances at all case proceedings, the court must discharge the bail or bail bond is the legal process ends regardless of the outcome of the charges.

Merced Geography and History

Named for the nearby Merced River, the City of Merced in the San Joaquin Valley of central California is the seat of Merced County. The 2010 Decennial Census reported a population of 78,958, a substantial increase from 63,893 in 2000. Less than two hours by car from Yosemite National Park eastward and the Pacific Ocean beaches westward, Merced is about 110 miles from Sacramento, 130 miles from San Francisco, 45 miles from Fresno, and 270 miles from Los Angeles.

Merced Demography

The most common occupations in Merced are in retail sales and government offices. Principal employers are the County of Merced, the University of California, Mercy Medical Center, and the Merced City School District, each with more than 1,000 personnel. Service providers, administrative support specialists, and educators are also present in prominent force.

The citizens of Merced, 16.47 percent of whom have bachelor or more advanced academic degrees, may be slightly less educated than those of cities and towns nationally, 21.84 percent of whom are so distinguished. The 2010 Merced per-capita income, $17,623, a $70,492 annual income for a family of four, is relatively low in the State of California and in the nation, and Merced’s 30.78-percent rate of residents in poverty is higher than average both state- and nationwide.

Merced is ethnically diverse, mostly Anglo, Hispanic, and Asian. Residents of Hispanic or Latino origin comprise nearly half of the population. About 20 percent of the Merced population is foreign-born. The most common language is English. Other important languages are Spanish and Miao/Hmong.

Merced Criminology

The crime rate in Merced, 41 crimes per 1,000 residents, is considerably higher than that of the national average of all American communities, large and small, but not among the very highest. The chance of victimization by crimes of violence or property in Merced is one in 24.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) crime data from uniform crime reports from 18,000 local law enforcement agencies combining both violent and property crimes show Merced as not among America’s safest communities. In California, the Merced crime rate is higher than in 90 percent of the state’s urban communities. Compared to communities of similar population, Merced’s rates of violent crime and crime against property combined is considerably above average.

The Merced violent crime rate for rape, criminal homicide, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and assault with a deadly weapon is one of the highest nationally for all urban communities. The chance of victimization by one of these violent crimes in Merced is one in 142.

Merced’s property crime rate for motor vehicle theft, arson, larceny, and burglary, 34 per 1,000 residents, makes the city one with an above-average chance of victimization compared to all other American urban communities. The chance of becoming a victim of any of these crimes against property in Merced is one in 30. Merced has one of the highest rates of motor vehicle theft in the nation according to the FBI crime data. The chance of an auto theft for Merced residents is one in 179.

The Merced Police Department operates three stations. Pretrial detention of arrested suspects ordered by the Superior Court of California, County of Merced is at the Merced County Jail.
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