Have you ever wondered how much bail is for common crimes in California? It’s interesting to note that what you see on the news often misrepresents which crimes are most frequent in California. On the news, of course, the most violent and disruptive crimes are presented. You’ll see murder, shootouts, and more significant robberies. However, the reality is that most crimes are property crimes such as theft or burglary.

The other distinction to make is between crimes and misdemeanors. Crimes are more severe than misdemeanors and are a separate category. While misdemeanors may warrant the posting of bail, these amounts can be minimal. For example, the bail amount for the first count of public intoxication is typically only between $200-500. However, for crimes, bail can easily start at $20,000.

So, whether you’re just curious or you’re facing charges, here’s what the bail amounts are for 6 crimes commonly committed in Southern California:


Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. Whether or not you pass a drug or breathalyzer test, police may charge you for merely being too impaired to drive based on the officer’s observations. In most counties in Southern California, a first offense DUI charge results in a bail of $5000. However, if it’s a repeat offense, the amounts are higher.

Drug Possession

Possessing illegal substances and drugs, including prescription drugs if you don’t have the prescription, is either a misdemeanor or crime depending on the substance and quantity found. For example, marijuana is now legal as a recreational drug in California, but there are still regulations you must follow. For example, you are only allowed to consume it in private, and the amounts you can legally possess are small. If you are not an authorized seller and are found possessing large enough quantities to sell, you may also receive a charge. Typically, drug possession charges begin with bail amounts around $20,000 and can run upwards of $100,000 for 1 lb of a substance up to millions of dollars. It all depends on the drug and the amount in your possession.


You can receive assault charges when in a fist fight or when weapons are involved. Aggravated assault is the charge used to refer to attacks that result in more severe injuries. Assault with a firearm also falls into this category. Depending on the severity, bail amounts for assault typically begin around $25,000 and can run upwards of a million dollars if the judge determines there was also intent to rape. Attacks on police officers or other officials also typically start higher, at around $100,000.


While petty theft such as shoplifting is usually a misdemeanor, a repeat offense may bring on bail amounts of up to $20,000. On private residential property, bail for burglary (breaking and entering) is around $50,000. However, if there are other charges for violence or sexual offenses, the bail is set higher. Many uncomplicated thefts including vehicle theft start at $20,000 or the value of the items stolen, whichever is higher.

Weapons Charges

There are many different kinds of weapons charges including illegally possessing a loaded weapon or having a concealed weapon without a license. In these cases, the first offense with no criminal record usually starts with bail amounts of $20,000.

Restraining Order Violations

Whether a temporary or protective order is in place, violating this usually results in a bail of $15,000.

All bail amounts are subject to the judge viewing the case, who will evaluate the defendant’s risk of flight, prior criminal record and the combination of the charges made. As you can imagine, the more charges made and the longer the criminal record, the higher the bail is set. In some cases, the judge may not even set bail and require that the person in question remain under custody until the court date.

Do you need sound advice and help posting bail? Count on Herbert Bail Bonds to help you with all of your bail bondsman services. Call our 24-hour line for assistance at any time of day or night!