Bail Bond

Does a judge always grant bail for a murder defendant? If so, exactly how much can he pay to walk free?

Bail Bond Related Penal Codes

There are a number of penal code violations for which a judge will not allow bail. Murder is one of them. Prior escape from a prison or a jail might also be one of them. There are a variety of different penal code violations that are associated with murder and manslaughter. Each penal code violation is treated differently and is associated with a different level of bail.

With special circumstances, a straight-up murder will have no bail. It is a felony penal code violation of penal code 187. However, if a judge does grant bail for any reason, the assumptive bail rate will begin at $1 million. However, in many cases, the bail rate will be higher and will include bail for charges such as kidnapping, possession of a weapon, and more.

As far as other criminal offenses that involve taking a person’s life, here is a brief overview of each”

  • Gross Vehicular Homicide – which is usually a DUI with gross negligence – is a felony that has an assumptive bail of $50,000. It is penal code violation 191.5
  • Voluntary manslaughter is a felony and a violation of penal code 192a. The assumptive bail is $60,000.
  • Involuntary manslaughter is a violation of penal code 192b and has an assumptive bail of $25,000.
  • Manslaughter caused by driving a vehicle with gross negligence (but not a DUI) is a violation of penal code 192c1 and has an assumptive bail of $50,000.
  • Vehicular homicide – which is a DUI without gross negligence – has an assumptive bail of $50,000 and is a violation of penal code 192c3.
  • Manslaughter with a vessel is violation of penal code 1922.5 and can be either a felony or a misdemeanor.  Assumptive bail is $50,000.

You can see that in many cases when a life is taken either voluntarily or involuntarily, the judge will grant a bail. However, when it comes to murder, the judge will either deny bail or set it at a very high level.
When bail is set at $1 million, a defendant will have to spend at least $100,000 to get out of jail as a down payment to a bail bondsman. That money will not be returned to the defendant either.