Average Bail Amounts: How Much is Bail for Assault in California?

how much is bail for assault

Being arrested for assault can be an incredibly stressful and uncertain time. As you deal with the shock and confusion of the allegations against you, one of the first questions on your mind is likely, “How much will bail cost?”

The bail system allows people who have been arrested to pay a fee in exchange for being released from jail while their case moves through the courts. Judges have a lot of discretion when setting bail amounts, so it’s impossible to give an exact figure without knowing the details of your case.

At our criminal defense firm, we know this uncertainty only adds to the distress of our clients who have been accused of assault. In this article, we’ll walk through the average bail amounts for common assault charges in California. We’ll also discuss the key factors judges consider when setting bail and guide on working with bail bonds companies and criminal defense attorneys.

Armed with this information, you’ll have a better sense of what to expect while also learning about the legal resources available to help you through this difficult time.

What is Considered Assault in California?

Before looking at bail amounts, it helps to understand the different types of assault charges in California:

Simple Assault

A simple assault is an attempt to physically injure someone, or actions intended to make someone fear immediate harm or offense. This includes threats of violence that would make a reasonable person anxious or afraid. Simple assault is a misdemeanor in California.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

This charge is filed when someone tries to attack or injure another person using a deadly weapon such as a gun, knife, club, or other item capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death. Assault with a deadly weapon is a felony.

Assault and Battery

Assault refers to attempts or threats to harm someone, while battery is actual physical contact. Assault and battery charges are filed when a perpetrator both threatens and physically harms the victim. This can either be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.

Aggravated Assault

When an assault involves the intent to cause “great bodily injury” or was carried out with a deadly weapon or instrument, it is considered aggravated assault. These dangerous felony charges can lead to substantial prison time.

Domestic Violence/Spousal Battery

Under California law, assault or battery offenses committed against a spouse, cohabitant, fiancé/fiancée, or someone you have a child with are considered domestic violence. These acts can lead to misdemeanor or felony charges.

Key Factors Judges Consider When Setting Bail

Once someone is arrested on assault charges, a judge will decide the bail amount based on several legal factors, including:

Severity of the Charges

More serious felony crimes generally warrant higher bail amounts, while less serious misdemeanors may qualify for lower bail or release on personal recognizance.

Criminal History

First-time offenders with no prior arrests may receive lower bail than repeat offenders with extensive criminal records.

Flight Risk

People with minimal ties to the community and a history of missing court dates may be seen as higher flight risks, with bail set accordingly.

Danger to the Community

Those accused of violent assault crimes are often seen as a potential public safety risk, which could drive bail amounts higher.

While judges have discretion, they must weigh these and other case-specific factors when setting a “reasonable” bail amount under the state constitution. Assault defense attorneys can argue for lower bail by presenting countervailing evidence regarding a client’s financial resources, employment, stable housing, and family situation.

Average Bail Amounts for Common Assault Charges

While every case is different, looking at statewide averages provides a general sense of typical bail amounts set for common assault charges:

Simple Assault

For misdemeanor simple assault, the average bail amount is $5,000 – $10,000. First-time simple assault offenses may sometimes qualify for release on recognizance or bail under $5,000.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

These dangerous felony assault charges warrant high bail, with averages typically ranging from $25,000 – $50,000+. However, aggravating factors like prior strikes could push bail over $100,000.

Assault and Battery

When charged as a misdemeanor, assault, and battery bail averages $5,000 – $10,000, similar to simple assault. But when prosecuted as a felony, bail jumps to an average of $25,000 – $50,000+.

Aggravated Assault

Reflecting the violent nature of these charges, the average bail for aggravated assault often starts around $50,000 and frequently exceeds $100,000, depending on criminal histories and weapon use.

Domestic Violence/Spousal Battery

For misdemeanor domestic violence charges, bail averages $5,000 – $25,000. Felony domestic violence bail averages $50,000 to $100,000+.

As these numbers illustrate, California takes assault charges very seriously, with bail often reaching five or six-figures even for some misdemeanor offenses. It’s essential to have experienced local counsel argue zealously against unreasonably high bail at your first court appearance.

Getting Help From a Bail Bonds Company

A commercial bail bonds company is one option for people who can’t afford to pay the full bail amount upfront. These companies will post a bond and charge a nonrefundable fee, usually 10% of the total bail. They will also require collateral and may impose strict payment plans.

It’s important to research bail bond companies thoroughly and avoid predatory lenders. Look for established firms with good reputations and reasonable fees. Ask detailed questions and read the fine print before signing any agreements that put homes, vehicles or other assets at risk.

Working with a Criminal Defense Attorney

Beyond just assistance with bail, having an experienced Rancho Cucamonga criminal defense attorney is essential for navigating assault charges. An attorney can thoroughly investigate the allegations and build a strong legal defense to get charges reduced or dismissed.

An attorney can also advise if a plea may be preferable to avoid harsher penalties if convicted at trial. They serve as an invaluable guide through each stage of the litigation, keeping your rights and interests protected. Don’t leave your defense solely to an overworked public defender.

Take Control of Your Case with Legal Representation

Facing assault charges can turn your life upside down and make you feel powerless. But, gaining insight into the bail process and average amounts for your offense can help restore a sense of control. Working with a criminal defense attorney experienced with California assault cases allows you to take proactive steps in building your strongest case.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for assault, contact Kolacia Law Firm for a free case evaluation. During this consultation, we will review the allegations, conduct an initial investigation, explain your legal options, and develop a defense strategy.

Author Bio

Daniel Kolacia is the CEO and Managing Partner of Kolacia Law Firm, a Rancho Cucamonga, CA, criminal defense law firm. As a former prosecutor with more than 15 years of experience in criminal defense, he is knowledgeable about both sides of the courtroom, an advantage he uses to help defend his clients. He has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including white-collar crimes, misdemeanors, felonies, traffic cases, and other criminal charges.

Daniel received his Juris Doctor from the Southwestern University School of Law and is a member of the California Bar Association. He has received numerous accolades for his work and has worked on several high-profile cases featured on Dateline, CNBC, Los Angeles Times, and various local publications.

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