Understanding the Bail Bond Process in Las Vegas
What is Bail?
Bail is a process in our legal system which allows a criminal defendant to be released from jail while his or her case is still pending.
A sum of money is posted with the court to insure the criminal defendant will return to his or her next court date. The money is held by the court until all the court proceedings are completed. Once all court proceedings are completed the sum of money is returned to the person or company that posted it.
What is a Bail Bond?
Bail bond is a promise guaranteed by money that the defendant will show up for future court dates. The court will keep all the money, if the defendant fails to appear for a court date and a bench warrant is issued.
Paying Bail with Cash
You can pay for bail with your own money. The cash must be paid directly to the jail. The money will be refunded back to you in the form of a check two months after the legal process is completed.
Bail Bond and Bail Bond Agency
If you cannot afford to pay the bail in cash, a bail bond agency can pay it for you. A bail bond (or a surety bond to be more precise) is when a defendant or his/her family hires a bondsman to post a bond on their behalf.
Under Nevada law, a bail bond company cannot charge more than 15% of the entire bail amount. If the bail is set at $1,000.00, the cost to bail out of jail is $150.00 or less. In the Sate of Nevada, the Department of Insurance regulates all bail bond agencies.
How Do Bail Bonds Work
Once you hire a bail bond company, a bail agent will deliver the bond money to the jail on your behalf. When the bond money is given to the jail, the defendant is released from custody.
Getting a Bail Bond
Hiring a bail bond agency is easy. Simply contact any Las Vegas agency with the name of the arrested person and the name of the jail he or she is being held in (if known). The licensed bail bond agents will locate the defendant in the detention facility, contact the facility to verify the bail amount, and then complete the necessary paperwork to ensure the defendant is release from jail.
Applying for a Bail Bond Over the Phone (Bail by Phone)
The bail bonds process may be completed over the phone by supplying a bail bond agent with the necessary information about the arrested person. In addition, there are a few documents that will require your signature. Usually, these documents may be emailed or faxed to you, or you may come into the office to receive them.
Securing Bail: Bail Collateral
Usually, collateral is something pledged as security for repayment and will be surrendered in the event of the default. Collateral is not always a prerequisite when posting a bond.
In Las Vegas, when collateral is required, the bonding company will hold something of value to secure bail - a car title, a real estate deed (home or condominium), or a bank account. Once the defendant appears in court the collateral is returned to the legal owner.
Note: Unlike collateral, the bail agent’s fee (15%) is not refundable. This fee is a payment for services rendered regardless of the outcome of the case.
Usually, the following documents are needed to process the bail bond:
- A client information form
- Payment arrangement form (if necessary)
- Authorization to process payment
- An information form regarding future court dates and client responsibilities
All necessary forms can be send to you by fax or e-mail.
Are All Offenses Bailable?
No. Not all types of crime are bailable. Generally, the capital offenses - murder, treason, espionage and other crimes punishable by death penalty or life imprisonment are not bailable.
Most of the time, the bail bonds agencies will provide the jail release bail bonds for all misdemeanor and felony arrests, such as:
- Warrant arrests
- Drug possession
- Domestic battery
- Casino cheating
- Grand larceny
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
The Amount of Bail
The bail amount a person must post with the jail is determined by the judge. If you don’t know the amount of bail, don’t worry. The bail agent will contact the Las Vegas jail and find out the amount from them. Once they know the bail amount, the bail bond agent can determine what it will cost you to post bail to insure the defendant’s release.
Jails in Las Vegas
The largest and most used jail in the Las Vegas Valley is the Clark County Detention Center. It has two facilities and houses over 1000 people. Check our Inmate Search page for information on how to located in inmate in Las Vegas.
If Case Continues for Longer Than a Year, Will the Bond Expire?
It depends on the bail bond company. At some bail bond companies bonds will expire after 12 months, and then you have to renew the bond and pay premium again, and at some companies bonds are issued for the duration of entire court case. When getting a bond, don't forget to ask bail bondsman if this bond will have to be renewed after a year.
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