What is Bail?
In most cases, after a person is arrested, in order to be released from jail, bail must be posted.
Bail is a sum certain amount that must be posted with a court, jail, or detention center to ensure that a person makes it back to court to answer to the crimes for which that person has been charged. If you make all of your required appearances and your case is closed with the court, you will get your bail money returned. This return of your bail money is known as “exoneration of bail.” In some cases, an attorney can get your bail exonerated before your case is closed. However, failure to appear in court will cause your bail to be forfeited. This means you will lose your bail money.
Sometimes, if the jail is overcrowded, the Clark County Detention Center’s Pre-Trial Services may release a person on their “own recognizance”, also known as an “O.R. Bond.” Factors that are considered in whether to release someone on their own recognizance include:
• The seriousness of the offense;
• The likelihood of the person to appear in court as scheduled;
• The potential threat to other persons, including the victim; and
• The person’s physical and mental state. (For example, if a person is still intoxicated or under the influence of a drug, he may not be released until he is sober).
If someone has not bailed himself/herself out of jail before their first appearance in court, all of the information taken by the Clark County Detention Center’s Pre-Trial Services is made available to the Judge, and all of the above factors can go into the Judge’s decision on whether to release this person on his own recognizance or to reduce his/her bail.
What if I don’t have enough money to post bail?
If you, your family or friends do not have enough money to post bail, you may have to wait until your first court appearance and request that either you are released on your own recognizance or that your bail be reduced. Otherwise, you may want to considering hiring a licensed surety, otherwise known as a “bail bondsman.” A bail bondsman in Nevada will charge 15% of the total amount of the bail as their non-refundable fee. In addition, to this fee, often times the person requesting the bail must put up some sort of collateral (car title; property title; credit card) and/or personal guarantee for the total amount of the bail. In turn, the bail bondsman will then post the total amount of the bail to get you, your loved one or a friend released from jail. If you, your loved one, or friend later fails to appear, the bail can be forfeited and the bail bondsman has the right to come after you for the remainder of the bail.
Here is how it works: Let’s say that “Joe Friend” was arrested for Driving Under the Influence on Sahara Avenue. He is at the Clark County Detention Center and calls you frantically to get him out. Joe’s bail is set at $2,000. But you just paid your rent and you don’t have $2,000, but you do have $500 and new car. You then search the web and you find “Bill Bondsman”, a licensed bail bondsman. Bill tells you that he can post bail for Joe for 15% of the $2,000 bail, or a total of $300. But he would like your personal guarantee and your car title as collateral so that if Joe does not show up for court, you will pay the total amount of the bail You pay Bill $300 and you give him the title to your new car to hold as collateral. Joe is released from jail several hours later grateful for your help. As long as Joe shows up for court as required, when his case is closed, you will get your car title back; and you will have only spent $300 helping Joe.
What happens to the bail, if a person does not show up to Court as ordered?
Generally, if you miss a court appearance, the Judge will immediately issue a bench warrant for your arrest and your bail is forfeited. In other words, the total amount of the bail is taken by the court and will not be returned.
In our scenario, if “Joe Friend” failed to show up because he over slept, the Judge would issue a bench warrant for Joe’s arrest and forfeit the bail that was posted by “Bill Bondsman.” Bill Bondsman will now come after you for the amount and may even take your car to pay for the $2,000 that was forfeited to the Court.
How do I find someone that may have been arrested in Clark County, Las Vegas, Nevada?
If you have a friend or loved one that may have been arrested here are some helpful links:
For Inmate searches:
As you can see, getting arrested can be complicated and scary. Let the lawyers at The Wright Law Group, P.C., help you through this daunting process. Contact us Immediately at 702-405-0001 and we can help you step-by-step from arrest to the closing of your case.