Bail is money that some criminal defendants are required to deposit to guarantee that they will return to court if released from jail while their cases are pending. Although there are several exceptions, in general people arrested for an infraction or a misdemeanor must be released upon signing a written notice to appear.

Exceptions to this general rule include cases in which:

  • The arrestee requests to be brought before a judge
  • The arrestee refuses to sign a promise to appear
  • The arrestee is charged with a violation of a domestic violence protective order
  • The arrestee is severely intoxicated or requires medical attention
  • The arrestee has outstanding warrants
  • The arrestee fails to provide satisfactory identification
  • The release would jeopardize the prosecution of the offense for which the person was arrested
  • The safety of others would be jeopardized if the arrestee is released
  • The officer has reason to believe the arrestee will not appear
  • The arrestee is charged with Driving Under the Influence

Bail may be posted with cash, a cashier’s check or through a bail bond. A bail bond is a legal contract that requires someone to pay money if a defendant fails to return to court. It is guaranteed by the assets of the person who posted it, such as real estate, savings, or valuable personal property. To post the bail, money can be deposited with the Sheriff’s Department. For more information about how to post bail for your particular situation, call the Sheriff’s Department at (909) 350-2476.

At a bail hearing, the judge will set the bail amount according to the County’s bail schedule and in light of the circumstances of the arrestee’s background and the conduct with which he is charged.  The County of San Bernardino has a bail schedule guiding the amount of bail for the pertinent charges that is posted at sb-court.org. The bail schedule is a guideline, thus the actual bail set may deviate from the schedule.

An arrestee may be released on their own recognizance, or “released OR.”

If released OR, the arrestee may be required to submit to reasonable conditions of release. If a court agrees to release the arrestee OR, the court will require them to sign an agreement specifying their:

  • Promise to appear at all times and places as ordered
  • Promise to obey all reasonable conditions of the release
  • Promise not to leave the state without the court’s permission
  • Agreement to waive extradition from another state if it becomes necessary
  • Acknowledgement the arrestee understands the consequences of violating the conditions of OR release

Use the Inmate Locator to help you find a person in jail in San Bernardino County.

Learning that a loved one has been arrested is a painful and stressful experience. Uncertainty and lack of information about the process only makes things more difficult. The arrest process is complex; there are exceptions to every rule. But the following information can help guide you through the process.

People arrested by a law enforcement agency are taken for initial processing to the stationhouse of the agency in which the arrest occurred. Excluding holidays and weekends, the in custody arraignment must happen within 48 hours of the arrest: This will probably be the first time you will be able to see your friend or loved-one following an arrest. An arraignment is the court proceeding at which the arrestee is informed of his rights and the charges against him, he is given a copy of the charging document, an opportunity to enter a plea to the charges and bail will be set. The court will also set the next court hearing date at the arraignment. Arraignments are held in court but the arrestee may appear by video from either the West Valley Detention Center or the Adelanto Detention Center.

In the County of San Bernardino, each local law enforcement agency has different booking procedures.

Visit the Corrections and Detentions Bureau page of the San Bernardino County Sheriff for more information.