The Judicial Council of California has established the policy of promulgating uniform bail and penalty schedules for certain offenses in order to achieve a standard of uniformity in the handling of these offenses.
In general, bail is used to ensure the presence of the defendant before the court. Under Vehicle Code sections 40512 and 13103, bail may also be forfeited and forfeiture may be ordered without the necessity of any further court proceedings and be treated as a conviction for specified Vehicle Code offenses. A penalty in the form of a monetary sum is a fine imposed as all or a portion of a sentence imposed.
To achieve substantial uniformity of bail and penalties throughout the state in traffic, boating, fish and game, forestry, public utilities, parks and recreation, and business licensing cases, the trial court judges, in performing their duty under Penal Code section 1269b to annually revise and adopt a schedule of bail and penalties for all misdemeanor and infraction offenses except Vehicle Code infractions, must give consideration to the Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedules approved by the Judicial Council. The Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedule for infraction violations of the Vehicle Code will be established by the Judicial Council in accordance with Vehicle Code section 40310. Judges must give consideration to requiring additional bail for aggravating or enhancing factors.
After a court adopts a countywide bail and penalty schedule, under Penal Code section 1269b, the court must, as soon as practicable, mail or e-mail a copy of the schedule to the Judicial Council with a report stating how the revised schedule differs from the council's uniform traffic bail and penalty schedule, uniform boating bail and penalty schedule, uniform fish and game bail and penalty schedule, uniform forestry bail and penalty schedule, uniform public utilities bail and penalty schedule, uniform parks and recreation bail and penalty schedule, or uniform business licensing bail and penalty schedule.
The purpose of this uniform bail and penalty schedule is to:
(1) Show the standard amount for bail, which for Vehicle Code offenses may also be the amount used for a bail forfeiture instead of further proceedings; and
(2) Serve as a guideline for the imposition of a fine as all or a portion of the penalty for a first conviction of a listed offense where a fine is used as all or a portion of the penalty for such offense. The amounts shown for the misdemeanors on the boating, fish and game, forestry, public utilities, parks and recreation, and business licensing bail and penalty schedules have been set with this dual purpose in mind.
Unless otherwise shown, the maximum penalties for the listed offenses are six months in the county jail or a fine of $1,000, or both. The penalty amounts are intended to be used to provide standard fine amounts for a first offense conviction of a violation shown where a fine is used as all or a portion of the sentence imposed.
Courts may obtain copies of the Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedules by contacting:
Criminal Justice Services
Judicial Council of California
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102-3688
Rule 4.102 amended effective January 1, 2018; adopted as rule 850 effective January 1, 1965; previously renumbered as rule 4.102 and amended effective January 1, 2001; previously amended effective January 1, 1970, January 1, 1971, July 1, 1972, January 1, 1973, January 1, 1974, July 1, 1975, July 1, 1979, July 1, 1980, July 1, 1981, January 1, 1983, July 1, 1984, July 1, 1986, January 1, 1989, January 1, 1990, January 1, 1993, January 1, 1995, January 1, 1997, July 1, 2004, January 1, 2007, July 1, 2013, and January 1, 2016.