Freddie Smoke III, is the man allegedly responsible for the Bully fire. He was arrested but less than 36 hours later he was let out on bail with a $10,000 bond. And after many of you wrote to us, asking why his bail was so low, we decided to get the facts on what goes into getting out on bail.
We spoke with Shasta County Court Executive Officer Melissa Fowler-Bradley who said it all depends on the charges. She said every year the court adopts a bail schedule. Judges use that schedule as a guideline.
The schedule doesn't list all offenses but enough to weigh the seriousness of certain charges. The schedule is organized based on California’s penal code and every year court staff reviews the amounts.
"To consider the bail schedule, to consider any input that we've received and then they adopt a bail schedule that they choose to set bail on any felony or misdemeanor offense," said Fowler-Bradley.
Fowler-Bradley said there are three different types of ways to post bail. Those are cash, putting up property and the most common is bail bonds.
Holly Bail Bonds said they first have to gather information and see why a person is in custody. After that they look into the charges and into who will eventually pay before they bail someone out.
"The kind of connections they have to the county, to the City of Redding the likelihood of whether they’re gonna come back to court,” said Holly Hoekstra, owner of Holly Bail Bonds.
The borrower typically pays 10 percent of the bail up front. Hoekstra said the bail bondsman not only offer money but counsel and try to keep the person being charged on track.
“Were here to guide them through that,” she said. “Remind them; hey you got court tomorrow you gotta be in court and then they come by and let us know I’ve been to court, this is my next court date."