In Washington state, judges often rely on a bail schedule to determine how much they should impose in a case. It’s at the judge’s discretion to decide whether to set an amount higher or lower than the one listed on the schedule.
The judge may weigh the circumstances surrounding a case when deciding what bail to impose. Factors such as a defendant’s alleged criminal violation and their propensity to flee may also weigh in the judge’s decision to impose bail (and if so, how much).
What are common bail amounts in Washington state?
A copy of the bail schedule is easily accessible online on the Washington Courts website. It details how the bail amounts for some of the more common criminal offenses are:
DWI: There are two types of DUI charges. One is a felony, whereas the other is not. In the case of the former, there’s a $1,000 suggested bail, while it’s $5,000 for a felony.
Drug possession: The recommended bail amount in drug possession cases depends on the schedule of the drug involved (how highly addictive it is), how much the defendant was alleged to have been in possession of and what it appears their intention was to do with it (i.e. possess for personal consumption or to distribute it). Most drug possession charges of any drug, excluding marijuana, are felony offenses, with suggested bail amounts of $5,000.
Domestic violence: It rises to the level of assault in Washington state. There are different degrees of domestic violence charges, some of which involve attempts at causing harm, the use of firearms or other deadly weapons. These are also all felony charges, with a $5,000 suggested bail in first- and second-degree assault cases. Lower-level assault cases are prosecuted as misdemeanors and carry a $1,000 suggested bail.
Theft: First- and second-degree theft charges are felonies, with a suggested $5,000 bail. Depending on the alleged offense, there’s between a $500-$1,000 suggested bail on most lower-level theft charges.
The bail schedule published by the state is more than 108 pages long and details every violation of Washington law, its respective code and applicable suggested bail amounts. Please note that if you are facing federal charges, the bail amounts may significantly deviate from the state schedule.
You’re in for an uphill battle if you’re facing any of the above-referenced criminal charges here in Washington. You’ll want to put up a solid defense to avoid being convicted of the charges.