Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Bail in Las Vegas
What exactly is “bail”?
Bail is a specific amount of money needed to get a person out of jail after an arrest. It is a Constitutional right allowed to citizens by the 8th Amendment. It declares that every citizen has the right to bail so they may return to their family and employment while they wait for their day in court. A bail bond is set in one of two ways. It can be set by the judge at an arraignment hearing or it can be determined by what is known as a bail schedule. Bail schedules are lists of charges and corresponding bail amounts that have been devised by local judges and attorneys to create a fair means of allowing defendants to be released from jail on bail without clogging the courts with lengthy arraignment hearings.
What is a bail bond?
A bail bond is a legal and binding contract between a bail bondsman, a co-signer and a defendant. The bail bondsman agrees to be responsible for the full amount of the bail if the co-signer promises to make sure the defendant makes all of their court dates. The co-signer must also agree to be responsible for the full amount of the bail if the defendant does not appear in court. To secure the bail bond, the co-signer must pay the bail bondsman a premium of 15% of the total cost of the bail bond. The fee is mandated by the state of Nevada and is non-negotiable and non-refundable. In order to write bail bonds in the state of Nevada, a person must be sufficiently trained as well as being licensed and bonded.
What does a bail bond cost?
In the state of Nevada, there is a required, 15% premium that must be paid to secure the bail bond. It is non-refundable. Fees are also set by state law and therefore, are non-negotiable. If at any time, a bail bond service offers to waive the fee or charges anything other than the standard 15%, they are acting illegally and should be avoided. Many bail bond services have fees for specific services, while others do not. Before signing any bail bond contract, always read through it from start to finish to know exactly what the fees are and what each fee is for. Never sign any contract with a a bail bond service that charges over 15% for a bail bond premium.
What if I can't afford the premium for the bond?
An arrest can cause immediate financial difficulties for a struggling family. No one expects an arrest, therefore few are sufficiently prepared. With today's economy, many people live from paycheck to paycheck and few have enough in savings to handle a small emergency, let alone cover a bail bond. Express Bail Bonds service takes a variety of payment options. They also have convenient payment plans for individuals who qualify. Depending on the situation and the nature of the offense, Express Bail Bonds service will work with their co-signers to make sure they have everything they need to get their loved one out of jail and back home where they belong.
How long does the bail bonds process take?
There are several steps in the bail bonds process. The first step is filling out the bail bonds application. This normally does not take longer than 30 minutes to an hour. A property bail bond may take longer due to the fact that the property must be verified and secured. Once the bail bond application is completed and the bail bond has been sufficiently secured with collateral, the bail bond agent will go to the jail to obtain the release of your loved one.
The bail bondsman will go to the jail or court and post the defendant's bail. The jailer will then be notified and the release process will begin. There are several factors that will influence how long the release process takes. If the facility is small and fully staffed, the process can take as little as two hours. If it is a holiday weekend and the facility is short-staffed or overwhelmed with new cases, it an take as long as 12 hours for a defendant to be released. Once the defendant has been released, they will discuss the situation with the bail bondsman. The bail bondsman will inform both the defendant and co-signer of their rights and responsibilities. The court date will also be discussed.
Can I pay the bond myself?
In certain situations cash bonds are available. A cash bond does not require the use of a bail bond service. Instead, you can pay the bail bond directly to the jail, in cash. Most cash bonds are small enough that the full amount of bail is required to obtain the release of the defendant. Even though a bail bondsman is not used, the process remains basically the same. In order for the defendant to be released, he or she must agree to comply with the orders of the court and attend all scheduled court hearings. Once the court has been satisfied, the bail will be exonerated and the funds released back to the person who posted it, minus any court costs and fees an restitution.
How do I find out my court date?
If you are arraigned at an actual court hearing in front of a judge, you will be given a court date before you are dismissed. If your bail bond was set according to a pre-determined bail bonds schedule, you will receive notice of any future court dates by the clerk of courts who accepts your bail bond and enter it into the system. Your bail bonds agent will also be informed of your court date, as well as any changes to your case that are implemented by the court. If you ever have any doubts about your court date or what is expected of you while you are out on bond, your bail bondsman will be able to answer all of your questions. If for some reason, you forget your court date and can't get in touch with your bail bondsman, you can always call the court that is handling your case. They will be able to tell you everything you need to know from the court date to the name of the judge who is handling your case.
What happens if I miss court?
Accidents happen. If you forget your court date or are detained by circumstances beyond your control, immediately call the court and your bail bondsman and explain the situation. As long as it does not become a habit, most courts will reset your court date and not penalize you. If you avoid going to court, several things can and will take place. If you miss going to court and do not call the court immediately, you will be considered a fugitive and a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. This means that a bounty hunter or law enforcement officers will be looking for you. Once you are found, you will be returned to jail and your bail revoked. If you avoid capture and remain free while on a warrant, your bail bond will be forfeited and the co-signer will become responsible for the entire amount that has been left unpaid.
Is it important for me to have an attorney?
The decision to hire an attorney can only be made by the defendant. For minor offenses, hiring an attorney may not be necessary. The court will offer a defendant the use of a public defender if they have no physical means of support or do not have the money to hire an attorney on their own. If you have been involved in criminal activity that can result in substantial fines and jail time, hiring an attorney may be in your best interest. Being in court alone can be a frightening experience. Having an attorney will help to protect your rights and ensure that you are treated fairly throughout the entire judicial process. If you have the opportunity to be able to afford a qualified attorney, it may be in your best interest to hire them to help you understand the legal ramifications involved in your case.
Can you help me find an attorney?
While many attorneys will refer their clients to specific bail bonds service, bail bondsmen are not supposed to offer legal advice or suggest one attorney over another. It is important, however, to let your bail bondsman know what attorney you have hired to represent you. There may be situations in which the bail bondsman needs to contact your attorney and advise them of changes in your case. Maintaining constant contact with your attorney and bail bonds agent is extremely important. It shows you are sincere about taking care of the business at hand and are willing to work towards getting your case resolved in a timely fashion.
Can a bail bonds service be discreet?
Yes! Express Bail Bonds keeps all of its client's information 100% confidential. Our clients have a right to privacy. An arrest can set people to talking, that is why our bail bondsmen do everything humanly possible to prevent rumors and hearsay from being spread throughout the community. We take great pride in being extremely discreet and our level of confidentiality and professionalism is unmatched within the industry. Confidentiality is extremely important to our staff. We all believe that your business is yours and yours alone. No one else needs to know what is going on with your case unless you are the one to tell them. If you want to make sure your legal matters remain private, call Express Bail Bonds today and let us help you keep your information confidential.