In this blog, we put together a list of the typical bail amounts by crime. This is to give you an approximate idea of what is a reasonable bail amount according to the charge.
How is bail cost determined?
According to the 8th amendment, anyone arrested for a crime is entitled to a fair bail amount. Bail is not intended to be a punishment. It is simply money that the defendant or someone on behalf of the defendant pays to the court. Once someone pays their bail, they are conditionally released. This means their money will get their money back when they show up for all required court appearances. Its purpose is to ensure that a defendant will appear at their trial. If your bail is too high, or is not proportionate to the crime you are accused of, you should speak with a lawyer to see if you have any options to reduce the amount.
Keep in mind that each jurisdiction sets their bail costs differently. Each court will take into account a wide range of factors. Some jurisdictions use standardized schedules for bail based on the crimes committed. This means that an assault charge could result in a $10,000 bail in one jurisdiction, but $200,000 in another.
How does a court determine bail amounts?
A judge has the authority to set the bail amount for the defendant. Judges may elect to set no bail at all, or deny someone bail altogether. In severe cases, judges deny bail because the defendant is accused of a very severe, or violent crime. The rationale is that the defendant may be a danger to the community if released, or may try to flee the country. Many courts in Colorado use the Colorado Pretrial Assessment Tool (CPAT). This helps to determine the likelihood of an individual returning for their court date and whether or not they might commit another crime while released. The following factors contribute to this decision:
- Having a home or a mobile phone
- Renting vs owning a residence
- Contributions to residential payments
- Current or past substance abuse
- Past or present mental health problems
- History of revoked supervision or bond
- Having other pending cases
- Past jail or prison sentences
- Age of first arrest
- Having active arrest warrants or pending cases
- Whether or not the accused is currently on supervision
After the courts determine a score for an individual, they are assigned a risk category. The scale is 1-4, 1 being the lowest risk and 4 being the highest.
Speak with an attorney
If you believe that your bail amount is too high or you cannot afford it, speak to an attorney like Jeff Weeden. He will be able to fight for a lower bond amount for you whenever possible and even start working on your case before you get to the jail. An experienced, compassionate attorney will speak to the judge or commissioner in charge of setting your bail amount. Your attorney can provide more background information about your record that might result in a lower bail amount. If you don’t have an attorney, the judge will likely only see the allegations with you and set bail according to that.
How much is bail for felonies?
Felonies are more severe than misdemeanors. Therefore, they come with higher bond amounts and higher punishments.
Murder bail amounts
In many murder cases, there is no bail set. In this case, the person will not be released before trial. Sometimes, however, if it is a second degree murder charge, bail might be around $250,000. If the person is being charged as an accessory to first degree murder, it’s possible the cost will be doubled. In the case of first degree murder, bail will often be set around the $1,000,000 mark. (See: What is the Difference between First and Second-Degree Murder Charges?)
These cases often have no bail set, i.e. the person will not be released pending trial. If the charge is a 2nd-degree murder charge, the bail is typically around $250,000. If the person is charged as an accessory to 1st-degree murder, then the cost doubles to $500,000. For 1st degree murder, if bail is set, it is not uncommon for it to be near the $1,000,000 mark.
Manslaughter bail amount
Bail for voluntary manslaughter tends to be set at $100,000. Voluntary manslaughter is when someone commits murder while under the stress of uncontrollable mental or emotional anguish. Involuntary manslaughter, murder caused by a non-felony crime like reckless driving, carries a lower bail amount at around $25,000.
The lowest amount of bail we ever see is for those that have no criminal record, or a very light one and will not pose a threat risk. In this case, the defendant must pay 10% of the bail amount. This amounts to a non-refundable $2,500.
Assault bail amount
There are many levels of assault. The amount of bail for assault may be as little as $2,500 and as high as $1,000,000 if the assault was committed with the intent of a much more serious violent crime such as first-degree murder. Assault with a firearm is often around $50,000. For assault with a deadly weapon, the bail is often around $25,000. Keep in mind that these are approximate figures. Because of this, you should speak to an attorney if you have questions about your assault bail amount.
Sexual offenses bail amounts
Both first and second degree sexual assault are felonies in Colorado. The bail amount tends to be up to $750,000. It can reach $1,000,000 if there were additional aggravating factors such as the victim being pregnant or suffering a severe physical injury or the assailant. Aggravated sexual assault can include:
- Threatened the victim with a deadly weapon.
- Was on parole, probation, or on bond.
- Has a prior record of violent crime.
- Was aided by another person.
Carjacking bail amount
Carjacking is when someone takes a vehicle with threat of force while the owner is still present in the car. The carjacking bail amount tends to be between $25,000 and $100,000. However, vehicle theft or burglary, which is when someone takes a car without the owner being present requires around $2,500-$5,000 bail.
Robbery bail amount
There are several tiers of robbery in Colorado. A first-degree robbery will typically come with a $100,000 bail amount. For second-degree robbery, it tends to be $50,000. The minimum of $25,000 for robberies escalates if the individual had a prior felony or used a deadly weapon or threatened physical harm.
Burglary bail amount
Many people are surprised to find that robbery and burglary have such different bail amounts. After all, what’s the difference between robbery and burglary anyway? The answer is actually quite a bit, and it shows in the amount of bail required per crime. The minimum burglary bail amount is $20,000. However, in some areas, it might be set at $50,000. When a burglary takes place on a residential property, the bail amount will be $50,000. If there is a sexual or violent offense that occurs during a burglary, the bail amount often escalates to $1,000,000.
How much is bail for misdemeanors?
Because misdemeanors are less serious offenses than felonies, the bail cost tends to be lower. However, like felony bail amounts, the individual’s prior history will factor into the amount. For example, if the individual has multiple DUI charges, the judge might deem him or her too dangerous to release on bail. Furthermore, bail amounts change in each jurisdiction depending on the average income of that particular area.
Assault and battery bail amount
There is a wide range of assault and battery classifications. These can be felonies in more severe cases. Assault against a family member tends to come with a bail between $2,500 and $5,000. However, sexual battery as well as battery against a spouse can elevate the bail amount to $10,000.
Restraining order violation bail amount
This offense has the largest range of bail amounts. The courts will typically set bail amounts in accordance with criminal assessment. The income level of the jurisdiction will factor into the decision as well. Hence, bail amounts for restraining order violations range from $1,000 to $15,000. The court will consider the severity of your charges. It will also take into account any previous restraining order violations.
Possession of a controlled substance bail amount
Many drug offenses in Colorado are now classified as misdemeanors rather than felonies. For first time offenders, the bail amount could be around $2,500 or less. For a second or third offense, the amount could be higher. Don’t forget that there is a wide range of bail amounts for drug offenses.
Fight Against Unfair Bail Amounts
First, if you think your bail is too high, speak with Denver criminal defense attorney Jeff Weeden. He will be able to help you determine whether or not the amount is fair according to your record, circumstances, and the typical amounts expected in your jurisdiction. Remember, nobody should have to sit in jail because the amount of bail they must pay is unfair. He can help argue to the judge or magistrate against an unfair bail amount. Lastly, do not allow an unfair bail amount keep you from seeing your family. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.