How Much is Bail for a Felony?

Posted on by Eric
bail for a felony

A felony is a crime, typically one involving violence, that is considered more serious than a misdemeanor. Felonies are generally punishable by a year or more in prison. Crimes like hit and run, robbery, car-jacking, assault with a firearm, child molestation, child pornography, kidnapping, rape, and murder are examples of felonies. If you or a loved one have been arrested for a felony, you’re faced with many difficult questions. Chief among them are “can you get bail for a felony,” “how much is bail for a felony,” “can you get a bond for a felony,” and “what do I do now”? We’re here to help you with these questions and more.

Can You Get Bail for a Felony?

Bail is not intended to be a punishment. It is intended to allow the accused to remain free but also ensure that they show up for their appointed court date. Bail is almost always set, even in felony cases. Only the most extreme cases, like serial murders, are denied bail.

However, because the punishment for a felony conviction is far more severe than for a misdemeanor, the felony bail cost for a first-time felony is typically 5-10 times as high as for a misdemeanor. In California, if there is no established bail amount for a specific first-time felony, the bail is fixed at $10,000. Yet a previously convicted felon who is arrested on suspicion that they committed another felony will typically face a felony bail cost of $100,000.

Can You Get a Bond for a Felony?

This is a great question because bail and bond are not the same things. Bail is the refundable amount of money paid to the court to secure your release before your trial date. A bond is the series of promises you must make along with the bail payment. And a bail bond is the agreement you make with an independent, licensed bail bond agent who provides the total bail money to the court in exchange for a non-refundable fee from you. 

A bail bond typically costs about 10% of the total bail amount. Bail bond agents will provide a bond for a felony, if the judge sets bail. Learn more about how bail bonds work.

Determining How Much is Bail for a Felony

While every state in the U.S. allows bail for most felonies, the felony bail costs vary by county, state, offense, and the circumstances surrounding the offense. On average, felony bail most often ranges between $1,500 to $50,000, though bail amounts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions are not unheard of. The United States Constitution prohibits excessive bail, even for felonies. But the individual’s ability to pay is factored into the bail amount. Millionaires will typically face far higher bail amounts for egregious cases than someone of far more modest means.

When determining felony bail costs, the judge will hear arguments from the prosecutor and your attorney. The judge’s considerations will include:

  • The nature and circumstances of the offense
  • Your employment and financial picture
  • Your position in the community
  • Your family ties to the community
  • The length of your residence in the community
  • Your age, reputation, and mental stability
  • Your criminal history

These will factor into the judge’s determination of an appropriate felony bail cost for your case. 

Average Bail Amounts by Felony

The only person who can answer the question “how much is bail for a felony” in your case is the judge that is assigned to your bail hearing. And bail amounts can vary by state. That being said, you can get a ballpark idea of the felony bail costs for your case based on the average bail amounts for these various crimes:

  • Hit and run bail runs $5,000 to $10,000 unless a death results, in which case, bail is often $50,000
  • Robbery bail typically runs $25,000 to $100,000 depending upon the circumstances
  • Car-jacking typically involves other felonies; therefore, bail often runs to $100,000 or more
  • Assault with a firearm bail is generally about $50,000
  • Kidnapping bail ranges from $25,000 up to $1,000,000. Kidnapping a child typically starts at about $500,000
  • Rape bail ranges from $25,000 to $100,000
  • Murder has no set bail amount but typically runs from $250,000 to $1,000,000.

What to Do if You’re Arrested for a Felony?

Every state in the nation has different laws, but a felony charge is extremely serious anywhere. If you or a loved one has been arrested for a felony, your first move should be to contact an attorney experienced in defending felony charges. Even once you post bail and get out of jail before your trial, you’ll need expert guidance to protect your interests and plead your case. And, no matter how much the bail is for your felony, your attorney can appeal the judge’s decision to try to have the felony bail cost for your case reduced. 

Can You Get Your Felony Bail Costs Reduced?

When determining how much bail to set for a felony, the judge evaluates two overarching concerns, the community’s safety should you be released; and whether you represent a flight risk. If the felony bail cost for your case is just too high for you to pay, even with a felony bail bond, your attorney can argue the following points in an attempt to have the bail amount reviewed:

  • Your ties to the community
  • Your employment history
  • Your residence history and that of any extended family in the community
  • Whether you possess a passport or visa

Your attorney may recommend that you surrender your passport or accept an ankle monitor as part of his attempt to negotiate a lower felony bail cost. 

Your felony bail will be lowered only if it can be shown that it is excessive or that you genuinely cannot pay it, even with a felony bail bond. And, you will remain in jail while your attorney argues for lower bail.

If you or someone you love has been arrested for a felony, Simply Bail can help! Learn how Simply Bail works for you. 

Simply Bail — the fastest, most hassle-free way to get someone out of jail


Related Content: