Misdemeanor bail is a type of bail that is required for a certain kind of criminal offense. In the United States, there are a total of 3 different categories for criminal offenses. These three criminal offenses include felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. Misdemeanors are placed in between felonies and infractions when it comes gaging the severity of the crimes. Most frequently misdemeanors are punishable with up to one year in prison and a $1000 fine. There are however other options of punishment for this type of offense that exist as well.
In most cases, misdemeanor charges are filed on paper and do not require a court hearing. Typically, the defendant will be mailed court ordered papers informing him or her of the day and time that they must appear before the judge.
There are however some cases where misdemeanors do require bail. This exception takes place when misdemeanor crimes are “elevated” to felonies. The crimes get “elevated” when there have either been previous similar charges against the defendant or when the injuries inflicted upon a victim are quite severe. In these types of cases, a misdemeanor can include a potential for longer jail time, and/or time in a state penitentiary.
As with any other type of bail, the defendant being released will be required to attend any future court appearances ordered by the judge. If the defendant were to try to flee the area or “skip bail” he or she will face losing the entire bail bond amount to the courts as well as further consequences for defying the courts. Just as with any other bail bond, the indemnitor of the misdemeanor bail will be responsible for the full bail amount if the defendant misses court.
In California most misdemeanor bail amounts are determined based on the standard bail schedules table. This means that most bails for similar crimes will be set at the same amount, although there are exceptions from time to time.