Alabama’s criminal bail schedule is undergoing some changes this year.

The Alabama Supreme Court sets that bail schedule with recommended bail amounts for varying crimes. Tuscaloosa County adheres to that schedule.

A big change in 2017 is a significant increase in the suggested maximum bail for anyone facing a murder charge.

Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Hays Webb said that in years past the suggested bail for murder suspects ranged between $15,000 and $60,000.

Effective Jan. 1, that maximum amount was raised from $60,000 to $150,000.

Plenty of people in Alabama believe the bail amount for murder was entirely too low.

“Imagine having lost a family member,” Webb said. “Bonds are not intended to be punitive, they are intended to keep our community safe.”

The difference between $60,000 and $150,000 is huge, Webb said.

A bail’s purpose is ensuring anyone charged with a crime shows up in court when their crime goes to trial. The amounts are set by magistrates, not the district attorney or by law enforcement.


Categories: Archives, Local News