Posting bail is not something that most people have to do repeatedly. As such, if you are posting bail for a loved one, chances are, this is your first time ever posting bail. But before you post bail, it is important to understand what you are agreeing to. Learning common bail bond terms can help you if you are looking to post bail for a loved one who has been arrested in Las Vegas. Here are five common bail bonds terms you should be familiar with when posting bail.


Before you post bail on behalf of someone, you should understand what exactly bail is. When an individual is arrested in Clark County, they are booked into the jail. Once booked into the jail, a few different things may happen. Depending on the severity of the crime, an individual may be released on their own recognizance, also known as an O.R. This is usually done for first timers who are facing minor misdemeanor charges. This means the individual walk outs simply by signing a paper that they agree to show up for their trial. Another thing that may occur is that a bail amount is set for an individual. In the state of Nevada, most crimes have a bail amount set by a pre-determined bail schedule. Lastly, your loved one may have to see a magistrate or a judge who determines whether bond is set and at what amount. This is typically done for severe crimes or repeat offenders.

If bail is set, it means that this is the amount of money that must be posted for your loved one to be released from jail.

Top Bail Bond Terms

Surety Bond

Once bail is set, there are two different ways that the bail bond can be posted. The first is a cash bond. This means that you pay the full amount of bail in cash. If bail is set at $15,000, you pay the courts or the jail $15,000 and your loved one is released. The money is returned to you when the case reaches a resolution as long as the individual does not run. The other type of bond that can be posted is a surety bond. This is what most people think of when they hear the term bail bond. A surety bond is a bond posted by a bail bonds company. In the state of Nevada, you pay 15 percent of the bail amount and in return, the bond agency posts a surety bond to free your loved one. The money is not returned to you, but it is a great option for those who don’t have thousands of dollars lying around.


If you are posting a surety bond on behalf of a loved one, you are likely their co-signer, also referred to as a bond indemnitor or guarantor. If your loved one’s bail is set at $15,000, you pay a bail bonds company 15 percent of the bail amount, or $2,250 in this case, to post bond on behalf of your loved one. However, if your loved one runs, the bail company may have to pay the full bail amount to the courts. They turn to you as the co-signer to provide them with this money. As such, you should only co-sign for people you know well and can locate if needed.


When someone is released on bail, there are conditions they must follow. The conditions vary from person to person based on their charges. They may need to submit to drug testing, wear an ankle monitor or check in with the bond agency. If they fail to comply with the terms of their release, their bail may be revoked, which is called a bail revocation, bail forfeiture or withdrawal of bail. This means your loved one needs to be returned to jail. It will be up to a judge to then decide if they should stay in jail or if they can be released on bail again.


The last term you should be familiar with if collateral. In some cases, you may not have the cash to pay a bail bonds company the 15 percent of the bail amount. In other cases, your loved one may be deemed a flight risk and the bond company may want extra reassurance you have the ability to pay them if your loved one runs. Some bail bonds company accept collateral, such as a car title or property, in exchange for posting bond. If collateral is posted, it is important to note that you can lose the collateral if your loved one skips out on bail or if you cannot make payments as outlined in your bail agreement.

Posting a bail bond for the first time can be a bit confusing if you do not understand the terms and the process. Familiarizing yourself with common terms that are used can help you feel more comfortable as you go about posting bail in Las Vegas, Nevada for a loved one. If you need to post bail in the the Las Vegas area, contact Lightning Bail. We will take the time to answer your questions and make sure you understand the process. Contact us now to get started.