Understanding Bail in Nevada: Getting Out of Jail

posting bail in Nevada

Being arrested can be a distressing experience, but understanding the bail process in Nevada can help alleviate some of the anxiety. Bail allows individuals to be released from custody while awaiting their criminal case to conclude.

However, there are important considerations to keep in mind when posting bail, and knowing what happens after release is equally crucial.

Whether you’re a defendant or a concerned family member, this guide will provide you with the knowledge you need to navigate the Nevada bail system.

If you require assistance, we highly suggest seeking the expertise of a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. Our team can help.

The Defenders is a criminal defense law firm in Nevada with extensive experience in navigating the complex bail system. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to assist you and answer any questions you may have.

Contact our team today for a free case evaluation.

Definition: What Is Bail?

Bail is an amount of money set by the court that allows a person, known as the defendant, to be released from custody while their criminal case is ongoing. It serves as a form of insurance to ensure the defendant’s appearance at future court dates.

There are two primary types of bail: cash bail and surety bond. Cash bail necessitates the full amount to be paid in cash, while surety bonds involve working with a bail bond company that will cover the cost for a fee. Additionally, property can also be utilized as a form of bail.

In Nevada, most defendants are eligible for release on bail unless charged with a capital offense or deemed a threat to public safety.

What Is the Purpose of Posting Bail?

As mentioned above, bail can be posted in the form of cash or property, as well as a bond.

Bail is not a fine or punishment.

It acts as an insurance policy for a person who has been arrested. It allows them to be released from custody and await their court appearances out of jail until the required court dates.

The Bail Process in Nevada

Arrest and Booking

When a person is arrested in Nevada, they are taken to the police station for processing and booking. This process typically takes around 2-3 hours and involves documenting personal information, taking fingerprints, and recording details of the alleged offense.

Initial Court Appearance

After the booking process, the defendant is brought before a judge for their initial court appearance. At this stage, the judge sets the court date and determines the bail amount required for release.

The judge takes various factors into consideration when determining the bail amount, including the nature of the offense, the defendant’s ties to the community, and the likelihood of the defendant appearing for future court dates.

Being Released from Jail

There are multiple ways a defendant can be released from jail in Nevada:

Own Recognizance (OR) Release

One option for release is an own recognizance (OR) release, where the defendant is released without having to pay any bail money.

There are a lot of things considered by the court before a defendant is granted an OR release. The court will look at the defendant’s criminal record, ties to the community, and risk of flight to name a few.

Cash Bail

A cash bond allows the defendant or their co-signer to pay the full bail amount in cash to secure their release. This option is only viable if the defendant or their co-signer can afford to pay the entire bail amount upfront. While it saves on the fees associated with using a bail bond agent, it may deplete resources that could be used for legal defense.

Surety Bond

In cases where the bail amount is too high or the defendant cannot afford to pay the full amount, a bail bond company can be hired. A bail bondsman, for a non-refundable fee of 15% of the total bail amount, pays the full bail amount to the court on behalf of the defendant. The defendant and their co-signer must provide collateral worth the entire bail amount. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail money is forfeited, and the co-signer and defendant may be responsible for paying the remaining amount.

Property Bond

For cases with particularly high bail amounts, a property bond may be an option. The defendant or their co-signer can use their property, such as their home, as collateral for the bail amount. This type of bond involves extensive paperwork, and the property presented must be located in Nevada. The owner of the property must also be able to pay the full bail amount if necessary.

The Cost of Bail in Nevada

In Nevada, bail bond companies are allowed to charge a fixed rate of 15% for their services. This fee is non-refundable and serves as the bondsman’s payment for securing the defendant’s release.

Additionally, there may be nominal fees and other costs associated with the bail process.

For example, a defendant facing charges of domestic violence with no aggravating conditions may have a bail amount of approximately $3000. In this case, a bail bond agency would charge $450 as their fee, which is non-refundable. It’s important to consider all costs and fees associated with bail before making a decision.

What Happens After Release on Bail?

Once a defendant is released on bail, they must adhere to certain conditions set by the court. These conditions may include attending all required court appearances, refraining from committing any new offenses, and following any restrictions related to travel or contact with the alleged victim(s).

Failure to comply with these conditions can result in revocation of bail and a warrant for the defendant’s arrest.

Duration of Incarceration and Bail Hearings

The length of time a defendant stays in jail before posting bail depends on the nature of the crime and the timing of the arrest.

In Nevada, courts typically schedule bail hearings on the next weekday morning for most crimes. The bail hearing process can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the size of the facility.

If a bail agent is involved in a property or surety bond, the process may take additional time. However, if an arrest occurs over the weekend, the defendant may have to wait overnight to post bail. Bail hearings usually take place during the defendant’s first appearance in court, which can occur within 72 hours of the arrest, excluding holidays and weekends.

What Happens to Bail Money Once the Trial Begins?

When a defendant posts a cash bond, the full bail amount is returned to them once their case is concluded, provided they have attended all court appearances as required.

However, with a surety bond facilitated by a bail bond company, the 15% fee charged by the bondsman is non-refundable. Any collateral provided by the defendant or the co-signer will be returned in full, as long as the defendant complies with the conditions of the bail and fulfills all necessary court appearances. It’s important to note that fines and other fees may be deducted based on court findings.

Violating Bail Conditions

If a defendant fails to comply with the conditions of their bail, the bail may be forfeited.

This means that the bond company must pay the court the remaining bail amount. The court will issue a bench warrant for the defendant’s arrest due to their failure to appear in court.

In Nevada, failing to appear in court is considered a separate crime, with corresponding penalties.

Bail bond agents work diligently to track down the defendants and bring them to court to avoid losing their money.

Seeking Assistance from a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Navigating the bail process can be complicated, especially for those with little to no experience with the criminal justice system. It’s crucial to seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can guide you through this process and help ensure your rights are protected.

At The Defenders, our team of expert lawyers has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases. We understand the complexities of bail and work diligently to secure our clients’ release while providing them with top-notch legal representation. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you navigate this difficult process.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve been arrested. How do I get out of here? And how soon can that be?

This depends on whether the judge has set a bail amount and if you are able to post it. If cash bail is required, you can secure your release as soon as you pay the full amount. If a bond is necessary, it may take some time for the process to be completed, but usually within 24 hours.

What happens to the bail money once the trial is set?

Once the trial is complete, bail is returned to the defendant, sometimes less a court processing fee. However, if they do not appear in court as ordered, the court keeps the bail and the defendant is then subject to a warrant for their arrest.

How is the bail amount determined?

Bail is set based on many factors. Some of which includes the severity of the alleged crime, the likelihood of the defendant fleeing, and the level of threat the defendant poses to the community.

What if the defendant is unable to afford full payment for bail?

Bail bonds are a way for a person, who is unable to afford payment of the full bail amount in cash, to be released from jail by paying only a small percentage of the set bail amount. A bail bondsman will post bail for the defendant and usually requires initial payment of only 15% of the total bail amount set by the court. This 15% is non-refundable. A bail bondsman will also require collateral in the form of valuable property worth the full amount of bail. If the defendant does not appear in court as required, the bail bondsman is entitled to keep the collateral as compensation.

Is there a way to get out of jail without having to pay bail?

Yes. A person can be released on their “own recognizance” (O.R.) without having to pay bail. This basically means that they sign a document promising to appear in court as ordered. There are several factors that are considered before granting a request for release O.R. such as how strong are the defendant’s ties to the community, the likelihood of fleeing, does their immediate family live in the area, do they have a steady job, and whether or not this is their first time being arrested.

What are the conditions of bail?

The term “conditions of release” refers to what is expected of the defendant once bail has been paid. Each case has varying conditions of release, but all are expected to be followed; otherwise, the judge is likely to revoke bail and have you put back into jail to await your court hearings. Some bail conditions may be a general requirement that all laws be obeyed, while other conditions may be specific to the crime. For example, a condition may order a domestic violence suspect not to contact the alleged victim.

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