People take a vacation to let loose and shed their responsibilities, and what better place to do that than Las Vegas? Sin City has a reputation for few restrictions and an “Anything Goes” attitude. However, visitors must still abide by the law, or they can face serious consequences. If your friend or relative was arrested in Las Vegas and is asking you to post bail, you may want to be supportive but not know what steps to take.
If this is the first time a friend or family member has called you with a request for bail in Las Vegas, you probably have a lot of questions. You need to understand the various bail release factors in Nevada, including what you’re being asked to do, how to go about doing it, and what guarantees you should obtain before you pay anything to have someone released from jail. A local criminal defense attorney can be your advocate as you navigate this process to help your loved one receive the best possible outcome.
Factors That Influence the Amount of Bail
After the arrest, a judge will set bail for your friend or relative—this determines the amount you must pay to get them out. The judge will consider several factors when setting bail. For example, these factors may affect the judge’s decision:
Type of Offense
The judge will consider whether the offense your friend or family member committed was violent or nonviolent. In many cases, bail for nonviolent crimes is lower than bail for violent crimes.
The judge will examine the suspect’s criminal records. If this is your friend or relative’s first offense, bail will most likely be set low. However, if the suspect has a criminal record, the judge will consider:
- The number of offenses
- Whether they were misdemeanors or felonies
- Whether there are any pending criminal charges
People with a more extensive criminal history may face higher bail amounts.
The judge will weigh the risk that the suspect will flee the state or country and may impose higher bail amounts to discourage them from fleeing. When making this decision, the judge will look at whether the suspect has ties to the community, is a citizen of another country, or has a history or evading criminal charges.
If your friend or family member was arrested while visiting Las Vegas, that can pose a complication, as they clearly do not have ties to the community. However, judges recognize that many tourists are arrested while on vacation here and will take that into consideration. Flight risk is just one of many factors judges use when setting bail.
The Process of Posting Bail in Las Vegas
You can post bail with a money order, cashier’s check, attorney trust account check, or cash. In Las Vegas, you can also provide bail money using a credit card. Note that the Las Vegas Justice Courts also charge a filing fee.
If this is your first time posting bail, or if you can’t afford bail, you might consider hiring a bail bondsman to help you. A bonding agency’s bail bondsman can make a financial arrangement with the court to have a suspect released from jail in exchange for money (or asset collateral).
The court will set the amount of bail in relation to the severity of the infraction. A bonding agency will usually charge about 10% of the bail amount for the service. However, note that a bail bond agency has the right to hire a bounty hunter to track down the suspect if he or she does not appear at the designated court date. The bond agency can also sue the defendant for the money used as the bail bond as well as recover unpaid money by claiming assets.
Follow the Rules for Las Vegas Bail Release
When you post bail for a suspect, the suspect is promising they will appear in court at the proper time. In Nevada, most courts return bail money once they resolve the matter, even if the suspect receives a guilty verdict. If the suspect misses a court date, however, the courts generally won’t return the bail money (known as Nevada bail forfeiture).
At the Las Vegas Clark County Detention Center (CCDC), you have to post bail at the pretrial service window according to the suspect’s bail schedule. You can find out the bail schedule by contacting the court or checking online. Find the contact information of the specific court keeping the suspect and ask about the status of the suspect’s bail. Follow the rules of the specific court to ensure a successful release.
It’s very important that the suspect appears at his or her court appearance. Bail works by allowing the suspect to stay in his or her own home while waiting for the court appearance date, as long as the suspect promises to be there. If the suspect misses the court date, he or she forfeits the bond money used as collateral and becomes a flight risk in the eyes of the court. If the suspect is caught, the court may hold him or her without bail.
How a Lawyer Can Help With Bail in Las Vegas
Trying to help your friend or relative from out of state can be confusing and overwhelming. Our lawyers can help you by:
- Speaking on behalf of your loved one at the bail hearing
- Recommending a bail bond company
- Filing paperwork on your behalf
- Walking you through the bail bond payment process
We recognize that posting bail, especially from far away, is stressful for everyone. We will advise you on the best way to get your friend or relative out of jail as quickly as possible.
Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney in Las Vegas
While Las Vegas courts supply a public defender, hiring a defense attorney is often a better way to protect a suspect’s rights. If you’re bailing out someone in Las Vegas and have questions pertaining to the legal and financial implications, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer. If someone calls you requesting bail, but you believe the person won’t show up in court, contact De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration Lawyers for a free case evaluation.
We’ll offer our expert advice on how to lessen or eliminate your financial risk. Our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys have experience handling bond agencies and suspects who miss court dates and can help you protect your rights as a friend providing bail in the Las Vegas court system. You can reach us at (702) 805-2694..