Written by our Subject Matter Experts, Updated on May 4, 2021
Our comprehensive guide shows average bail amounts you may see for different crimes, both felonies, and misdemeanors. Our experts go into detail to first explain how the bail amount is determined and how it can depend on many factors.
We share average bail prices for common crimes such as assault, murder, drug charges, DUI / DWI, and many other crimes. Bail amounts are set by each jurisdiction resulting in variations in the exact bail bond amount set.
Bail Bonds Network’s research focuses on average bail amounts set in different states, from high net worth states to lower-income areas in order to capture the most comprehensive average bail amounts.
- How Is Bail Amount Determined?
- Who Sets The Bail Amount?
- How Can Bail Amount Be Lowered?
- Average Bail Amounts for Misdemeanor Crimes
- Average Bail Amounts for Felony Crimes
How Is Bail Amount Determined?
While many factors are taken into account when setting the bail amount, the deciding factors that play a role in determining the bail amount are:
- Your age
- If you have any other current charges
- Your criminal history
- Prior record of not appearing to court
- Your perceived threat or danger to the victim, family, or any member of the public
- Record of substance/drug abuse or a threat to oneself by suicide or other means
Significant differences exist in costs of bail bonds depending on the charge being a misdemeanor vs a felony – felony charges can be 5 to 10 times higher due to the potential flight risk from a possible long-term sentence. Capital crimes, such as murder with substantial evidence, may not have a bail amount set due to the significant risk of harm to others. The same applies to major felony charges where there is strong evidence that bodily harm was done.
If a person was previously convicted of a capital crime and served their time and was released, but was later arrested again, that person will typically not be allowed to post bail in most counties.
Laws are in place to protect the arrested person, especially during this vulnerable and difficult time. If the arrested individual is stuck in jail without a bail amount set, or if the bail amount is set at a price that’s above their financial means, then that individual has the right to bring their case to the overseeing judge and the Court of Appeals where they can claim improper process and a lack of fair due-process around reducing the bail amount. Each county and jurisdiction handles this process differently – some more pro-defendant vs others who are more firm in holding the position that was initially set. This is one of the main reasons why bail reform is a sensitive topic.
Average Bail Amounts for Misdemeanor Crimes
Misdemeanors are lower-level offenses, typically less violent than felonies. An arrest is not often necessary with some misdemeanor charges, although in certain cases arrest occurs and bail needs to be posted. Depending on the state, misdemeanors are classified Class 1 or A, 2/B, and 3/C. We listed the average bail amounts for common misdemeanor charges.
Average Bail Amount for Assault
Average Bail Amount for Violation of Restraining Order
Average Bail Amount for Controlled Substance Possession
Average Bail Amount for DUI on Suspended License
Average Bail Amount for DUI or DWI
The first DUI charge can be as low as $500 but many states have increased the bail amount to $2,500. A second DUI increases the bail amount to $10,000. A third DUI charge comes with a $15,000 bail amount and significant legal implications for future driving rights. If a fourth DUI charge is received, the misdemeanor turns into a felony and a $50,000 bail bond is often required. Driving under the influence and causing bodily injury to someone often requires a bail bond of $25,000 in most cases. If there is gross negligence, the charge becomes a felony, and bail is set around $100,000.
States in the South and Midwest where living expenses are typically lower and individuals have a lower income, the bail amount set for DUI/DWI starts around $2,500 for the first offense. A 2nd and 3rd offense increased by an additional $2,500. These rates are towards the higher end for low-income states. States like Texas and New Mexico take a strong stance against drunk driving and set bail higher to discourage the behavior.
Average Bail Amount for Public Intoxication
Average Bail Amount for Protesting
The Washington Post analyzed arrest data from the George Floyd protests and found that 77% were accused of nonviolent misdemeanors with the most common charges being a violation of curfew or emergency orders. 22% had charges including violence or the threat of violence to people, businesses, or property. Common felony-related charges for protesting include rioting, burglary, looting, attempted murder, assault on police, weapons, and arson.
With such a wide range of arrest reasons, the exact bail amount for protesting can range from as little as $100 for a simple misdemeanor charge all the way up to $100,000 or higher for violent crimes that put people’s lives in danger. Bail funds are in place to help those who have been arrested while protesting and can’t afford the bail amount.
Average Bail Amount for Petty Theft
Average Bail Amounts for Felony Crimes
Felonies have a 5 to 10 times higher bail amount than misdemeanors. The primary reason for this is the added flight risk that comes from someone who committed a felony, or because of their perceived threat to the public as most felonies include an excessive amount of violence or use of a weapon.
Average Bail Amount for Murder
Attempted murder has a strict bail bond that is normally set at around $500,000. Willful and premeditated murder is served with a $1 million bail. Soliciting murder is also a $1 million bond, however many states hold a firm “no bail” stance on 1st-degree murder charges or where attempt or conspiracy to commit murder occurred. 2nd-degree murder and being an accessory to murder has a $500,000 bail amount associated with it, whereas soliciting murder has a $100,000 bail amount.
Average Bail Amount for Manslaughter
Average Bail Amount for Kidnapping
Average Bail Amount for Robbery
Average Bail Amount for Carjacking
Average Bail Amount for Assault
Average Bail Amount for Domestic Assault
Average Bail Amount for Rape
Average Bail Amount for Arson
Average Bail Amount for Theft and Burglary
Average Bail Amount for Stalking
Average Bail Amount for Concealed Weapon Charge
Average Bail Amount for Illegal Possession of Loaded Weapon
Average Bail Amount for Hit and Run
Average Bail Amount for Drug Possession
Average Bail Amount for Marijuana Arrest
Average Bail Amount for Evading Arrest
Who Sets The Bail Amount?
The bail amount can be set forth in the bail schedule for each county jail, or by a judge or magistrate.
Many counties have bail schedules that show bail prices for different crimes. These are starting points when it comes to bail amounts. If the arrested person is not a repeat offender who presents significant risk outside of the standard levels, the bail schedule will typically apply. Posting the bail amount on the bail schedule is the fastest way to be released from jail.
The magistrate is an official who is below the judge. Magistrates often handle the process of setting the initial bail amount per county guidelines. They are used more frequently if bail schedules are not publicly accessible in their jurisdiction, and they handle lighter crimes like misdemeanors but also various felonies. A meeting can be set with the magistrate to push back on the bail amount set if the bail price was set at an unreasonable amount for the defendant.
Bail amounts can be set by judges for more significant felonies. Judges are also involved in the bail amount if the defendant makes a claim against the initial bail amount set, especially when lawyers and an official complaint is filed. We often see this in the media when popular public figures are arrested and various court hearings are scheduled to determine if the bail amount can be adjusted, or if a ruling of “cash bail” only or even no bail can be reduced to something more obtainable.
Unfortunately, in states where the magistrate handles the setting of bail amounts, there can be a wide range of prices set. While there are rules and guidelines for magistrates to follow, it does not guarantee that judgment and bias won’t come into play. “Stereotyping” might be too facile to describe the behavior, but it’s not out of the question for magistrates and judges to draw unfair conclusions when it comes to the bail amount set.
A lawyer should be involved in the event the crime is significant or the defendant feels unfairly treated in the hearings. This gray area and uncertainty around how bail will be set by a magistrate or judge lead us back to bail schedules. It’s usually a benefit to see bail schedules posted in counties. Not all counties have them but it’s the first thing to check – and if the bail amount is unattainable in the fee schedule, then a magistrate or judge can be consulted as an alternate option to lower costs.
How Can Bail Amount Be Lowered?
To reduce the bail amount set, it’s highly recommended to proactively pursue all of the below options to increase the odds of the judge lowering the bail amount.
Electronic Monitoring Device
Terms should be laid out by the county officials in clear writing that explains how the technology works and any limitations or inaccuracies with the geo-specific monitoring, as well as steps to take if an issue arises due to technology. The exact geo-fencing lines should be explained so the defendant clearly understands the limitations around the movement to stay within allowed geo boundaries.
Alcohol / Drug Vehicular Locking System
If arrest resulted because of drug or alcohol use while operating a vehicle, it’s highly recommended to proactively approach the court to voluntarily install an ignition locking device to ensure the vehicle will not be operated while under influence. Costs will need to be covered by the person seeking release from jail.
Bond Reduction Letter
Write a letter to the judge requesting a reduction of the bail amount. Make it emotional and make sure it comes from the heart. The letter should touch on your personal relationship with the arrested person, and why you are vouching for them, and reasons why their bail amount should be reduced. Use various suggestions in this article to recommend proactive steps that the person is willing to take (and that you’re willing to supervise) to ensure a successful transition back into the real world.
Offer the court the option of house arrest, ensuring you will limit your travel and will only leave the premise under the supervision and prior agreement.
Returning at a set time limits risk for the court and shows goodwill from the defendant. Most crimes occur after-hours.
Voluntary Drug Testing / Rehab
Costs will need to be covered by the defendant. Scheduling is set by the courts randomly for drug testing. Rehab or alcohol intervention is highly recommended and further shows the proactive steps taken by the defendant. Agreeing to these terms must be done in writing. Not following through with the commitments can lead to re-arrest with increased bail set and possibly unattainable conditions for release. It’s important to note that additional fees are possible for equipment, supervision, and drug testing.
A bounty hunter is hired by a bail bondsman to locate and arrest a person who does not show to court as agreed in their bail bond agreement. Bounty hunters are sometimes referred to as bail recovery agents.