If you are arrested and charged with a crime in Las Vegas, you have two choices: You could remain in jail, or you could post a bail bond to guarantee your appearance in court. The amount of bail the court sets depends on your previous record and the nature of the crime. If the court has reason to believe you are a flight risk or if you have committed previous crimes, your bail is most likely going to be higher than if this is the first time you’ve been arrested. In most cases, the defendant – the person who was arrested – cannot afford to pay the entire bail bond to the court.
Posting a Bail Bond
If the bond is affordable, you may post the entire bond to the court. For example, if the court set your bail at $1,500, you would pay $1,500 to the court to guarantee your appearance in court. If the bond is higher than you can afford, you may call a bondsman. In Las Vegas, the bail bondsman will charge a 15 percent non-refundable premium. In this case, you would pay a premium to the bondsman of $225. If your bond is $50,000, you will need to pay the bondsman $7,500.
You may pay a bail bond in Las Vegas with a money order, cashier’s check or cash. You may also use a credit card to post your bond.
In some cases, the bondsman may ask you for collateral for the amount of the bond. Collateral may include your home, car titles or cash. If you are asked for collateral, keep in mind that you are paying the 15 percent premium while the bondsman is taking the risk that you will appear in court. That is a large risk. In the case of the $50,000 bond, if you skip the bondsman will be responsible for paying $42,500 to the court. That’s a high risk. Asking for collateral ensures that the bondsman is not responsible for the balance of the bond if you do not appear for your court date.
Once you have posted a bail bond and signed the appropriate paperwork, you are free to leave jail. You will have to appear in court for any court dates that the prosecutor may set.
Do I Get My Money Back?
When you post a bond, the 15 percent premium is not returned. This is payment to the bondsman for his or her time. If you paid cash for the full bond through a bondsman, you will get the cash back minus the 15 percent premium. If you used collateral, the collateral is released.
If you are out on bond and you are arrested again, you will have to post bond again. You will have two bonds ensuring you show up at your hearings. The second bond will also cost you a 15 percent premium plus collateral if required. If you are required to post collateral for the second bond, you will have to use separate collateral unless the first item used is valued higher than the amount of the first bond.
If you do not appear in court, you will forfeit your bond. That means that the court keeps the full bond. If you put your house up as collateral and do not show up for a court hearing, you will lose any collateral that you were required to put up.
Leaving Town While on Bond
You must have permission from the court and the bondsman to leave town if the court entered an order stating that you cannot leave town. If the court entered no such order, you still have to have permission from the bondsman to leave town. If you are not in town and miss a court hearing, you will lose the full amount of your bond, including any collateral you put up.
When You Get Your Money Back
Your bond will not be released to you until the court disposes of your case. If you are found not guilty and released, that is the time you get your bond money or collateral back. If you are found guilty and jailed, once you have started your sentence, your bond money or collateral will be released. You are not free from the constraints of the bondsman’s rules until the court disposes of your case one way or another.
If you have any questions about bail bonds in Las Vegas, make sure to contact us today and we’ll help answer them.