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 Las Vegas bail release factors including: what you’re being asked to do, how to go about doing it, and what guarantees you should have before you pay anything to have someone released from jail. You should take these steps:

Go Through the Process

You can post bail with a money order, cashier’s check, or cash. In Las Vegas, you can also provide bail money using a Visa or MasterCard if the amount is at or below $3,000. If this is your first time posting bail or if you can’t afford bail, you might consider talking to Lightning Bail to help you. Our 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. At Lightning Bail we will usually charge about 15% of the bail amount for the service. 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.

Follow the Rules

When you post bail for a suspect, the suspect is promising he or she 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 pre-trial 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.

Do I Need an Attorney?

If the courts hold you for a criminal matter, he or she should consult with an attorney. While Las Vegas courts supply a public defender, hiring a defense attorney is a better way to protect a you’re 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.