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Chances of Getting Bail Set in a Murder Case

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | May 01, 2023

Regarding California Penal Code 187 PC murder cases, the typical bail in Los Angeles County and across California is 2 million dollars.  As far as the answer as to whether or not that bail or a lower or a higher bail will be set, the answer is yes.  Better than nine times out of 10, I would say that the judge has to set bail, even in murder cases.

There are some exceptions when bail isn't set.  The person will just be detained, but that rarely occurs, and obviously, having an excellent criminal defense attorney by your side will usually ensure that some bail will be set. 

The problem, of course, is that it's tough to cover a $2-million-dollar So you'd have to have either a $2-million-dollar property and then a bail bondsman would want a pretty hefty premium for a bond related to a murder case.

I would say anywhere from 5% to 10% of the actual bail.  That's very difficult for many people to come up with, especially when they're seeking an attorney.

Of course, having an attorney on a murder case is crucial.  You want to get the attorney over bailing the person out if you only have a choice to get one or the other.

This is because the attorney can impact whether or not you receive some horrible sentence, like 15 to life for second-degree murder or 25 to life for first-degree murder.

Factors Considered When Setting Bail

When it comes to bail, many different factors are looked at.  They're going to look at certainly:

  • Whether you're a flight risk, even in murder cases,
  • Whether you're a danger to the community, and
  • Under the new Humphrey’s case that's come out, they also have to look at how much money you make.

It's unfair that one person gets held in because they don't make much money while another person who makes much money gets to bail out. That's the whole premise behind Humphrey's case, and several factors must be covered regarding Humphrey's bail. 

File a Written Motion

If we're going to make a legitimate run at getting a bail below bail schedule, which is $2 million for murder, you'll probably want to file a written motion with the court.

You have to give the prosecutors five days' notice to have the best chance at making a run at getting a reasonable bail so the person can get out. 

But you also have to be realistic and honest with yourself.  It's difficult in a PC 187 murder case to let somebody out. So the judges will typically err on setting a higher bail. 

They're going to set the case at bail schedule, being concerned that if they don't do that, the person gets out and something terrible happens, the judge will be blamed for that.  So, they don't take any chances, in my experience, when it comes to murder cases.

Hire an Experienced Murder Defense Lawyer

But if you or a loved one is charged with Penal Code 187 PC murder and you're looking for a good criminal defense attorney, you want to find someone with the experience.

I've been doing this now for 30 years.  I started out working for the district attorney's office, then a superior court judge, and finally, in the early 1990s, I became a criminal defense attorney defending people for murder charges. 

I think the second case that I tried was a murder case in Los Angeles County, and I got a not guilty verdict on the first-degree murder charge and was able to get the case reduced to voluntary manslaughter.

So, you want somebody who's battled-tested, been around the block, and can fight these cases. But, suppose you or your loved one needs the best.  Pick up the phone now.  Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.

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About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.